Corporate media is generally silent concerning the tens of millions of people in the USA who are hungry. In his book ‘Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It’ free-lance journalist and author Sasha Abramsky describes how he toured the country and in small towns he’d talk to people about their daily lives. He found that people, who were employed with low wage jobs, could not make ends meet. They had homes but at the end of each pay cycle two, three, or four days before the end of the month people would run out of money and they literally had no food. Inequality in America is getting more and more pronounced and people at the bottom of the economy are finding it harder and harder to stay afloat. Many millions are making choices between buying medicines for their kids, purchasing food, or paying rent. Abramsky traveled to rural Siskiyou County in Northern California and he talked to people with seven, or nine and ten dollar an hour jobs, some had benefits or some had no benefits. Guys were bringing home three or four hundred dollars a week and when the oil prices go up they found themselves spending 50 or 60 dollars a week on gasoline. Today in rural California employed adults are forced to stand in lines at churches and food pantries every weekend. People are so impoverished pantries have to give out cooking oil because people are now so poor they can’t afford it and charities found that giving away food without cooking oil was useless.
Modern media doesn’t cover poverty, or hunger from the perspective of struggling people the way it once did. In the last few years media has cut back the number of beats they offer their reporters, so 30 or 40 years ago there were reporters specializing in labor or working class issues. Abramsky tells us that in the past the USA had a history of muckraking journalism in America, there’s a tradition of such investigative exposes. Contemporary journalism as a whole is more concerned with celebrity, gossip, and glamour and that is not the most satisfying or morally persuasive form of journalism. In the current economic crisis the media would rather ignore what Abramsky says about a “vast amount of people are experiencing chronic hunger, the sort that leaves a person alive but lethargic, able to work but prone to sickness, depression and rage.”
You can read the entire interview with Sasha Abramsky at Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting’s CounterSpin show by clicking on this link:
“I’m a Truth Addict, aw shit, I got a head rush.” -Rage Against the Machine