President Obama said that Fox News “propagated” harmful stereotypes about poor Americans, and “we’re going to have to change” how media outlets report on the poor.
He made the remarks during a panel on poverty at Georgetown University.
OBAMA: I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated. I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu — they will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like, ‘I don’t want to work. I just want a free Obamaphone,’ or whatever. And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up and very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical, who’s raising a couple of kids and doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills. And so if we’re going to change how John Boehner and Mitch McConnell think, we’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like and how budgets connect to that.