Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Circle of Media and Poverty

After spending the past week in AS learning about social classism, I stumbled upon an article by Charles Blow titled "The President, Fox News and the Poor," that seemed to fit perfectly with this topic.

President Obama spoke on a panel, at Georgetown university, that discussed poverty, where Obama stated his opinion that the media, mainly Fox News, has a tendency "to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving." His main issue with this idea is that it's become more and more popular over the past 40 years.

A huge problem with generalizing the behavior and attitude of poor people, is that it allows for people negatively stereotype that poor people don't have any money because they don't work hard enough, when this is not the case at all. This assumption is mainly to blame the media for; you don't see them advocating narratives of hardworking individuals trying to make ends meet for their families. "Very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress — which is much more typical — who’s raising a couple of kids and is doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills," says President Obama.

I completely agree with Blow when he says: "There are people across the income spectrum who are lazy and addicted and want something for nothing. But it’s unfair and untenable to pretend this is the sole purview of the poor." When the media shows stories of  poor people saying they want just want a free Obama phone, (explained in the article), that's not how most people of low income people act. But the more their viewers see stories like this, the more they believe it's true. 

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