SNAP Cuts Disappear From Network Sunday Show Coverage

The four major network Sunday news programs failed to report on the newly enacted decrease in food stamp benefits, which affects more than 47 million Americans.

On November 1, USDA reported that “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will see their monthly benefits decrease” after the expiration of benefit increases enacted in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  But Fox News Sunday, NBC's Meet The Press, ABC's This Week, and CBS' Face the Nation all failed to bring up the issue on the November 3 editions of their respective shows.

Writing at Salon, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explained: “As of November 1 more than 47 million Americans have lost some or all of their food stamp benefits.” He added that “Half of all children get food stamps at some point during their childhood.” CBS News reported that the SNAP benefit cuts would shrink benefits for a family of four by as much as "$432 over the course of a year." The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) highlighted how SNAP benefit cuts would affect hundreds of thousands of veterans:

Many veterans returning from service face challenges in finding work.  While the overall unemployment rate for veterans is lower than the national average, the unemployment rate for recent veterans (serving in September 2001 to the present) remains high, at 10.1 percent in September 2013.  About one-quarter of recent veterans reported service-connected disabilities in 2011, which can impact their ability to provide for their families:  households with a veteran with a disability that prevents them from working are about twice as likely to lack access to adequate food than households without a disabled member.

Veterans who participate in SNAP tend to be young, but their ages range widely:  57 percent of the veterans in our analysis are under age 30, while 9 percent are aged 60 or older.  They served during many conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vietnam, and in some cases, Korea and World War II, as well as in peacetime.

The media continues to ignore food stamp cuts that affect millions of Americans and negatively impact the economy.


Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of the November 3 editions of Fox News SundayMeet The PressFace The Nation, and This Week, reviewing the shows for any of the following keywords: SNAP or food stamps or nutrition or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Where transcripts were incomplete, internal video archives were reviewed.