Eonline.com Hypes, Airbrushes Paltrow's 'Failed' 'Food Stamp Challenge'

April 21st, 2015 11:52 AM

Readers who have seen my previous posts on actress Gwyneth Paltrow's recent "failed" attempt to complete the deceptively designed "Food Stamp Challenge" know far more than people who rely on Eonline.com ever will.

Although it's far from encouraging when contemplating our nation's future, what we have here is an object lesson in how the entertainment press airbrushes the truth to polish the image of a celebrity who is either breathtakingly ignorant or in on the scam.

Readers here know that Paltrow tried and "failed" to eat for a week on $29, when the program's benefit before reductions for available income and financial resources for a single person is really about $45. They also know that, after getting by for "about four days" after spending $24.40 on a dubious collection of food items, she was actually still on track to stay within the actual $45 benefit, but quit. Those who only go to Eonline.com, watch the related cable channel, or go to other entertainment media venues for their "news" won't know any of this, as the video and coverage which follow the jump will demonstrate.

Before getting to that, I should also expose Eonline.com's clickbait approach aimed at pushing readers to their Paltrow coverage, as seen in an email I received yesterday:


Paltrow, whose self-described "lifestyle brand" web site includes relationship advice, recently finalized her divorce from Chris Martin. The pictured headline is a clear attempt to rope in readers far more interested in lurid details about a possible affair than anything of substance.

Continuing the theme, here is E's vapid report ("Gwyneth Paltrow Admits to Cheating"; relevant footage begins at 0:33):

Related coverage, at a separate Eonline.com web page (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

... Did anyone really think Gwyneth Paltrow could feed her family on a $29 budget? [1]

"Last week, chef (and great man) Mario Batali challenged me to raise awareness and money for the NYC Food Bank by trying to live on $29 dollars for the week (what low income families on SNAP are trying to survive on)," the actress wrote in her goop newsletter. "Dubious that I could complete the week, I donated to the Food Bank at the outset, and all of us at the goop office began the challenge."

Paltrow spent $24.40 on "things like avocados and limes," which "are cheap."

Noble as her intentions were, the New York Times best-selling cookbook author didn't last long. "As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice)," Paltrow, 42, confessed. "My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days—a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year." [2]

... After trying to complete this challenge (I would give myself a C-), I am even more outraged that there is still not equal pay in the workplace," [3] said Paltrow, who included food photos.

... "Let's all do what we can to make ... (food) a basic human right and not a privilege." [4]


[1] — Not only did reporter Zach Johnson get the dollar amount wrong, he led readers to believe that Paltrow only received $29 in benefits to feed her whole family. That's obviously false. It's $29 per person. For the purposes of the "challenge," the actress was obviously just concerned about feeding herself — but, as noted previously, really should have been trying to stay within $45, not $29.

[2] — Her perspective is forever twisted by being misled by Food Stamp Challenge promoters and failing to investigate (or deliberately ignoring) the "supplemental," as in "Supplemental Nutritions Assistance Program," nature of the government's food assistance.

[3] — Sigh. Equal pay for equal work is the law, and the reality.

[4] — Well, for all practical purposes, if 47 million are receiving benefits (as of January, it was actually just over 46 million), we're already there.

See how it works? An A-list actress, either ignorant or willingly engaging in deception, gets credit for "noble intentions," while Eonline.com readers and viewers remain cloaked in ignorance, still believing that the government isn't doing enough.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.