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Fox News Total Lie About Food Stamp Fraud Sparks Rare Retraction Request From Federal Government

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But Fox News’ Mission of Yet Again Demonizing the Literally Life-Saving Food Stamp Program Was Accomplished

Fox News‘ Abby Huntsman this week delivered an entirely false story about food stamp fraud to “Fox & Friends” viewers, sparking a rare request from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for the right wing cable news giant to issue a retraction. As NCRM reported, Huntsman told viewers that food stamp fraud is at an all-time high and totaled about $70 million in 2016. That would be 0.09% of the total amount of food stamps issued annually, an incredibly low number, actually, but false nonetheless. Fox News also lied, claiming food stamp fraud was at the highest level ever. It’s actually not, and it’s actually decreasing.

So, not one word of the report was true, including the fact that the USDA hasn’t issued any numbers on the SNAP program for 2016, or 2015, or 2014, leading to our tweet to Huntsman:

Huntsman did not respond.

In fact, as Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum – who first reported that the Fox News report was a lie – notes, there are no published numbers on food stamp fraud past 2011.

RELATED STORY: Fox News Is Asking if the Food Stamp Program That Helps 44 Million Americans Should Be Ended Because of 0.09% Fraud

“We are not quite sure where this came from,” a spokesperson for the USDA, speaking about the fraudulent statistics Fox News reported, told The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. “We saw that there was as story on Breitbart. We have not issued a report on this recently. There is no new rate that we’ve published. So we’re not quite sure why they’re so interested in stirring this up.”

Wemple reports that the Agriculture Dept. requested a retraction from Fox News, which is rare, and even more rare, Fox News pulled its original report and issued the retraction.

“The statistics reported Tuesday in a ‘Fox & Friends’ segment about 2016 food stamp fraud were incorrect,” Fox News Insider, where the original report was published, noted. “The latest USDA information, from 2009 to 2011, showed $853 million in fraud, or 1.3% in those three years. Nationally, food stamp trafficking is on the decline.”

Huntsman also issued a rare on-air retraction.

Fox News’ report also was based on the “question” that perhaps the food stamp program, SNAP, should be eliminated, because of fraud. 

That suggestion is on its face insane. The amount of food stamp fraud is so minor compared to the number of people it serves (44 million) it barely is worth reporting, especially since it’s decreasing, not increasing. Also, 45 percent of food stamps go to feed children, not adults. 

But Fox News’ mission of yet again demonizing the literally life-saving food stamp program was accomplished, given more people likely saw the initial report and not the retraction.

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.

At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”

“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.

“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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