During Thursday’s episode of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart replayed a clip from an earlier episode where he mocked Fox News for exaggerating the scope of so-called food stamp abuse. He then showed how Eric Bolling of the Fox News show The Five responded. Bolling tried to ‘school’ Stewart on how the network was merely trying to highlight rampant waste and fraud in the program. Of course, Stewart was able to brilliantly take down Bolling and the network on this claim.
First, Stewart responded to the clip of Bolling defending the network’s coverage by saying the following:
“You thought we were ridiculing you for exposing government waste? No, that’s a reasonable thing to expose. What we were ridiculing was the way you exaggerate the scope of public assistance abuse through random, often unprovable anecdotes.”
He then proceeded to do an awesome and vicious summary of how the network has shamed and ridiculed poor people over the past few years. He pointed out how the network devoted SIX segments to the ‘mooching surfer’ who was able to get an EBT card, and then used him as the face of millions of people who seek food assistance. Stewart also played clips of Fox News personalities and contributors mocking and insulting impoverished people in this country, calling them ‘moochers’ and ‘parasites’, while insinuating that they live the good life.
After highlighting the network’s derisive commentary on the poor of this country, Stewart then moved onto how Fox News has covered corporations abusing the tax laws of this country. The anger was palpable with Stewart in this portion of the segment. He played a clip of Fox News stating that $3 billion has been lost on abuse, fraud and waste in the food stamp program. He contrasted this with another clip of Bolling stating that $4 billion in subsidies to oil companies was just a pittance.
Stewart claimed that Bolling was the ‘worst math teacher ever’ by essentially claiming that $3 billion is greater than $4 billion. The segment also moved on to showing other Fox News’ contributors, as well as 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, justifying tax shelters and loopholes so that corporations and wealthy individuals can avoid paying billions in tax dollars. He focused his attention on how Fox seems to not have a problem with the ultra-rich hoarding money and avoiding paying their fair share, as they’ve stated that this should all ‘trickle down’ on the less fortunate.
Of course, as Stewart pointed out, that doesn’t appear to be the case. He helpfully featured a clip about JP Morgan Chase making millions off of EBT cards over the past few years. Chase got so much business from the EBT card venture that they had to create more customer service jobs. Wouldn’t you know, those jobs were outsourced overseas so they could pay those employees $3.25 an hour, rather than that largess being ‘trickled down’ to the American public, many of whom were being forced to use these very same EBT cards due to lack of good employment.
In the end, Eric Bolling and Fox News though they could take on Stewart and call him out for being unfair. As is nearly always the case, Stewart was able to turn it around and make them look even worse than they did initially.