Homelessness and Poverty in America: Bad News for Democrats

After Hurricane Katrina, the airwaves were filled with media promises to pay attention to long-neglected stories about poverty and racism. As FAIR documented(Extra!, 9-10/07), that promise didn’t amount to much; three years of newscasts(coveringSeptember 2003 through October 2006) provided just 58 stories about poverty.

On September 12, ABC World News devoted almost 100 words to the news that, according to anchor Dan Harris:

170,000 families were homeless, rather, in homeless shelters in 2009. That’s a 30 percent increase in two years. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau is expected to announce this week that as many as 15 percent of American families lived in poverty last year, up from 13.2 percent.

Harris’ set-up for this brief report–that was pretty much the whole thing–was to announce that these were “some new economic numbers that could prove troubling for Democrats trying to hold onto power in Congress.” And probably even worse news for the homeless families.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.