Welfare Activists Confront KSTP
In response to an investigation by local news outlet KSTP, the Welfare Rights Committee staged a protest to demand an end to what the group calls “poor bashing.” The Committee went on to say that reports such as these are inaccurate and shame people away from accepting much needed help, that this nation is in a state of economic crisis and 1 in 7 people are on food stamps.
These reports, done by Mark Albert have relied heavily upon stereotyping the recipients of public assistance and tried to blanket their consumption as wasteful. Here's a quote from KSTP.com, “Beginning in November 2010, our stories found a benefits bonanza that might leave you shaking your head... we showed how welfare cash - taxpayer money - could be withdrawn at ATMs inside some casinos and bingo halls and then gambled away.”
This localized spat is a prime example of the hypocrisy riddled throughout our economic system and the discourse surrounding its future. Mark Albert is concerned with a waste of tax payer money and uses casino spending as an example. This is obviously a poor use of public assistance, however Mr. Albert does not go to the lengths of providing any statistics or figures as to indicate how much of our money is spent in such establishments, something that a solid investigative report should do if it's purpose is to provide hard hitting truths and not slander people on the low end of the totem pole.
Someone concerned with government waste and in a position to shine a powerful light on such waste should do so with the figures provided here by Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/01/real-size-bailout-treasury-fed). The true size of the Wall Street bailouts, “$14.4 trillion and counting.” The biggest, and most expensive tax payer funded gambling escapade of all time.
The Welfare Rights activists did not succeed in persuading KSTP to stop running the reports even after meeting with the stations news directors. This shouldn't serve as a surprise however, as there would assuredly be repercussions on staff from the right wing owners of KSTP, the Hubbard family. This won't stop the group from coming back in the future.