We live in a country where, according to the US Dept.of Agriculture, "1 in 5 children lived in a household where they or a family member did not know if they will go hungry tomorrow." But Fox News, which sees food stamp recipients as lazy slackers, doesn't seem to think that this is a problem. But now that a GOP Congresswoman is crafting a bill to address the concerns of South Dakota high school students, who are complaining about insufficient portions in their school lunches, Fox is concerned about these kids who, according to Rep. Kristi Noem, aren't getting enough to eat because of burdensome federal regulations. So the segment fits nicely with the Fox & Friends/right wing talking points about unnecessary government regulations especially those governing school lunches because, you know, freedom...
The segment was part of Fox & Friends "Regulation Nation." Elisabeth Hasselbeck set the theme immediately: "When it comes to the federal government's new limitation on school lunches, it's safe to say one size does not fit all." She played "viral" video which featured students singing about the meager portions in their school lunches. The chyron set the message: "Hungry for More, Students Starving After Free Lunch." The video title was "Hungry for More." It was done, last year, by Kansas high schools students and was featured in a Fox News website article. Hasslebeck smiled benevolently as she reported that "one congresswoman is fighting back on behalf of the kids." Hasslebeck introduced her guest, GOP Rep. from South Dakota and Tea Party darling Kristi Noem.
After noting the high percentage of obese students in SD, she asked Noem about the bad regulations which have the kids "up in arms." (A new, favorite Fox & Friends term?) Noem whined about regulations which cap calories, proteins, and grains and are hurting the kids who "were the first to complain." She spoke of how many of these children are poor and this is their only meal. Hasselbeck cited some of the regulations and proclaimed that "some kids need more."
Noem, who mentioned that she's a "mom," asserted that there needs to be more flexibility because kids in SD are "different from kids in NY City." (Huh?) In explaining her new bill to address this issue, she said that there should be flexibility and that DC bureaucrats shouldn't be making these decisions, yadda, yadda, yadda. She said that beyond being healthy, "we want kids to be full."
Noem seems like a concerned "mom" who is concerned about children, including those who are poor and have "food insecurity" (a topic not, as far as I know, big on Fox News). But at the same time, she supports the food stamp cuts in the Farm Bill because it "puts integrity back into the food stamp program to ensure that those who need assistance the most receive it. These reforms return work incentives to the program while curbing fraud, waste and abuse and refocusing benefits on families most in need."
Yet South Dakota kids will be even hungrier if their food stamps are cut. Somehow that wasn't part of the discussion. If those on Fox & Friends think that they are addressing the problem of hungry children, they can keep on pretending!
There’s so much double-speak in Noem’s claims that I really don’t know where she stands. Neither does she, probably, but whatever she said was good enough for TV time on Fox.