ABC on Food Stamp Cuts: Hey, It Could Be Worse

cbs-food-stampsOn February 4ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer had a message for food stamp recipients about cuts to the program: Today’s your lucky day. 

More specifically, she said this:

Some relief for millions of American families facing a drastic cut in food stamps. After a two-year fight today, the Senate passed a farm bill which cuts $8 billion from the food stamp program. But that’s far less than the $40 billion Republicans wanted to cut.

I hate to break this to Sawyer, but most people who rely on the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in order to eat are probably not relieved. That Republican scenario was never going to become a law, so this cut is what they have to look forward to.  When you consider that this $8 billion cut came on top of another round of earlier cuts of around $5 billion, it’s pretty easy to imagine that food stamp recipients aren’t breathing a sigh of relief.

Of course, instead of assuming how food stamp recipients are dealing with this news, you could try interviewing them directly. That’s the approach that CBS Evening News took (2/8/14 ), with correspondent Jeff Pegues profiling a family already stretching its food budget. 

Recent estimates are that 1 in 7 American families receive SNAP benefits. Coverage of this issue should, at the very minimum, include them. This CBS report is all too rare. 

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.