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.