Last night, Jon Stewart delivered an epic takedown of the utter hypocrisy of Fox News for attacking those on food stamps, while also making excuses for big corporations that drain a lot more money from our system, after Eric Bolling was stupid enough to actually try and attack Stewart for calling them out last week.
So knowing numbers, and hating waste and fraud as you do, when Democrats were looking to raise a trillion dollars in revenue, in part by ending the very wasteful $4 billion dollars — $4 billion dollars—in taxpayer subsidies that go to already profitable oil companies, you said what?Video and full transcript (update: and Bolling's latest response to Jon!) below the fold.
ERIC BOLLING (2/11/2012): The tax breaks, or the loopholes, or tax credits that you give to oil companies amount to about $4 billion dollars a year. They're a pittance compared to what they were looking for.(in haughty rich voice) Oooooooohhhhh!!!!! It's a... $4 billion is a pittance! A pittance for the refrigerator set!
Last week, we mentioned on the show that whatever this Fox News network there, they spent a lot of time on how poor people in this country are gaming the system and abusing the American taxpayers to maintain their surprisingly ravenous seafood addictions.Update: I see that after the clip went viral and was picked up by many other places, including the Washington Post and Salon, Eric Bolling has responded on Facebook, whining about how Jon supposedly got it wrong.
3/4/2014:I cannot believe how young I looked. It's been a tough week.
BRIAN KILMEADE: People using food stamps to buy gourmet crab legs??
GREGG JARRETT: He's buying lobster!
ANDREA TANTAROS: You can use EBT cards, Eric, down at the organic market in the East Village. You can get organic salmon, wild salmon. It's insanity!
JON STEWART: "They get wild salmon in the East Village! I've always said poor people salmon should come in a can from an outer borough!"
Anyway, apparently this completely appropriate observation drew the ire of one Ericles Bollingsworth.ERIC BOLLING (3/8/2014): Take a listen to Jon Stewart mocking all of us at Fox News for shedding light on food stamp abuse. ... Let me school you, Mr. Stewart.Oooh, school! (takes out school supplies to audience laughter and cheering)
I'm ready for class, professor! Wait! (takes out apple) For you!
School on, professor!ERIC BOLLING (3/8/2014): We are talking about the waste, fraud, and abuse in a lot of the programs.Ohh. I'm sorry, I see the disconnect. You thought we were ridiculing you for exposing government waste. No, that's a reasonable thing to expose. That's not what we were talking about. What we were ridiculing was the way you exaggerate the scope of public assistance abuse through random, often unprovable anecdotes, hour-long specials, and for some reason, this hand bursting through the heart of America...
before apparently reaching into America's pockets for taxpayer lobster and titty bar money! Get a job, you titty bar lobster-eatin'... hand!
You see, your very network has created the very balanced narrative that ties people's poverty to their own lack of virtue, and says that programs created to serve the impoverished are in fact the reason that those are still impoverished. Sort of the idea being, if they weren't such shitty people, they wouldn't be poor. And those food stamps are just making them shittier. (audience laughter) Of course, you didn't say it so elegantly.FOX NEWS VOICEOVER (8/9/2013): Food stamp abusers, eating on taxpayers.WHAAAAAAAAAAA?!?!?!?
FOX NEWS VOICEOVER (7/19/2011): America's poor are actually living the good life.
STEVE DOOCY (10/10/2013): ... America's culture of dependency ...
ERIC BOLLING (3/8/2014): Our liberal government is teaching our kids to be takers, instead of makers.
GRETCHEN CARLSON (1/6/2012): ... moochers ...
JONATHAN HOENIG (8/7/2013): ... parasites ...
MICHAEL REAGAN (10/23/2010): ... sucking off, you know, the nipple of the government ...
CHARLES PAYNE (7/5/2012): ... freeloading ...
TRACY BYRNES (11/18/2011): ... draining this society ...
STUART VARNEY (7/19/2011): 99% of them have a refrigerator.
(in haughty rich voice) "Yes, you know, I don't think I'm going to finish this milk today. I'm going to put it back in here until tomorrow. It's good to be the king!" (audience laughter)
Not that you don't have your examples of food stamp waste, fraud, and abuse. Like this guy, surfer guy.
He's in some band, and his food stamp crimes were so egregious, he was featured on six different Fox shows.ERIC BOLLING (2/26/2014): He uses an EBT card, he walked into a supermarket, and he bought lobster!Well, technically, you're either a rat or a parasite. You can't be both. A rat is a scavenger, who could carry parasites. In fact, if you ever watch the show Skippy and the Tick, it's about a very fastidious mouse who lives with a very sloppy tick.
BILL O'REILLY (8/12/2013): This guy is a parasite ... he's a rat.
He gets into some adventures. Nickelodeon never picked it up. (audience laughter) The point is, it was a kids show for the play-carrying set. I thought it was gold! I still have the storyboards!
My point is this. Congratulations, on finding your food stamp abuse Bigfoot. That one guy you found is certainly not someone that the food stamp program itself would probably point to as its greatest success story. But we make fun of you not for finding him, but for pretending that he somehow represents literally millions of Americans. I know I'm being purposefully hyperbolic.ERIC BOLLING (2/26/2014): He is this, the representative of literally millions of Americans.Oh I'm sorry, I meant hyper-Bolling. (audience laughter)
But let's take you at your word. Perhaps you're merely a watchdog for the American people. And like watchdogs, you do occasionally bark at burglars, but mostly just the dishwasher and shadows. For instance, what is the waste, fraud, and abuse in the food stamp program?ABBY HUNTSMAN (2/4/2014): More than $3 billion dollars has been lost to trafficking, fraud, and overpayments each year.Well you know what? That ain't nothing. That's a lot. And I imagine you would agree with me that $3 billion dollars is a lot of money.
ERIC BOLLING (2/11/2012): You and I know numbers. I know you know numbers, and I assume you know I know numbers.Well, OK, you don't have to point at me, but OK, fine. So knowing numbers, and hating waste and fraud as you do, when Democrats were looking to raise a trillion dollars in revenue, in part by ending the very wasteful $4 billion dollars—$4 billion dollars—in taxpayer subsidies that go to already profitable oil companies, you said what?
ERIC BOLLING (2/11/2012): The tax breaks, or the loopholes, or tax credits that you give to oil companies amount to about $4 billion dollars a year. They're a pittance compared to what they were looking for.(in haughty rich voice) Oooooooohhhhh!!!!! (audience laughter) It's a... $4 billion is a pittance! A pittance for the refrigerator set! (audience laughter)
So what I have learned today from my "teacher" is that $3 billion dollars of taxpayer money is greater than $4 billion dollars in taxpayer money.
I think we're done here. (wild audience cheering and applause) I think we're done. You're the worst math teacher I ever had!
So we don't even have to do the bit anymore. But you know what? Fuck it! We're going to keep doing the bit. Let's keep going. Is $3 billion dollars greater than this?REP. STEVEN HORSFORD, D-NV (1/13/2014): The United States loses an estimated $150 billion dollars annually to tax-avoidance schemes involving tax havens.Which they used to hire lobbyists to create more tax loopholes, and....
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD (11/4/2011): A lot of companies are only paying half the current tax rate for corporations. And some aren't paying any income taxes at all.
MARY SNOW (11/4/2011): Some companies had so many tax breaks, their tax burden went negative, meaning they got money back.
♫ It's the circle of life!
(audience cheering and applause)
If surfer guy's a parasite and a rat, I can't imagine what you're going to say about corporations that take full advantage of our tax laws and government programs. I got my money on "leech vultures".FOX BUSINESS GUEST (12/2/2010): Whether they needed it or not, it was available, so they went and got it. Why do we vilify? Why do we look for all these companies? They took cheap money! ... Do you blame them for going for the cheap money?Just to be clear, so on Bullshit Mountain, this asshole's narcissism represents all the Americans who are impoverished and need food assistance.
MITT ROMNEY (1/23/2012): I pay all the taxes that are legally required, and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone that's the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.
ANDREA TANTAROS (1/14/2012): We are not going to demonize success. ... Every one of us walks into H&R Block in April, and takes every deduction available to us.
MONEY WITH MELISSA FRANCIS GUEST #1 (5/21/2013): If they're doing it legally, what is wrong with it? This is the fault of our government, they are setting up a tax code that is so ridiculously convoluted, and they wrote in those loopholes.
MONEY WITH MELISSA FRANCIS GUEST #2 (5/21/2013): It's completely legal, and good for them.
But these assholes' narcissism represents all that is good and decent about America.
Why the distinction?ERIC BOLLING (1/21/2014): As the rich get richer, it floats all boats.And just because they occasionally also destroy the economy. (audience laughter) But at least half the time they're creating jobs. If only there was one story that could exemplify the corporate/government assistance/job creation nexus.
SARAH PALIN (5/18/2011): Let our job creators keep more of what we earn and produce so we can hire more people, and that'll get the economy rolling along.
GRETCHEN CARLSON (5/31/2012): We shouldn't be punishing the job creators.
ERIC BOLLING (5/13/2011): Employ millions of Americans. Why do you go after the people who are job creators?
RUSSIA TODAY (2/18/2011): JP Morgan Chase provides food stamp debit cards in 26 states and the District of Columbia. The firm is paid per customer. And in the state of Indiana, JP Morgan makes roughly $186,000 dollars per month.Whoa! In fact, it's kind of genius. Since 2004, 18 of the 24 states JP Morgan Chase handles have been contracted to pay the company over $560 million dollars. It's a brilliant business model. You make a ton of money selling subprime mortgages and derivatives. And then when that business crashes the economy, and millions of homeowners find themselves underwater and foreclosed upon, and have to go on food stamps, you get a little taste of that too. (audience laughter)
But don't think of it as JP Morgan shorting homeowners. Think of them as going long... on hunger. (audience laughter)
But I assume they then put some of that money that they got, that $560 million dollars, into creating jobs for the few non-lazy Americans left.RUSSIA TODAY (2/18/2011): To save money, JP Morgan has been routing benefit card customer service calls to India, where employees reportedly earn no more than $3.50 an hour.Well! That makes sense. You don't want to hire Americans. That would cut into your lucrative food stamp business. You gotta maintain your customer base.
So what I'm getting from Fox is this. Exploiting government largesse — while reprehensive and morally corrupting for an individual — is A-OK for corporations. So maybe this'll help. Don't think about food stamps and Head Start and programs like that as feeding and helping a small child. Think about it as investing in a promising startup with a liquidity problem. (uncomfortable audience laughter) We'll be right back.
@TheDailyShow Jon fired up the edit machine and team & selectively edited away. Jonnny, waste & abuse in the welfare system is FAR greater than $3b. where you get that #?.. oh I see.. MSNBC hack mentioned it, and you ran with it! #FailAgain, he didn't. Bolling deliberately tries to again change the point of what Jon was saying, that it's the conflation and demonization of MILLIONS of people. And you gotta love him attacking Jon Huntsman's daughter as an MSNBC hack, when she got her numbers from a well-sourced New York Times piece about food stamp fraud that never tried to sugarcoat what was going on. So no, Bolling doesn't "see" at all.
@TheDailyShow making ludicrous comparisons.. Fraud is not the same as tax relief.. like saying losing a $100 bill is cool if you make a good salary. #SelectiveEdits
Jon then followed up that infuriating segment with a hilarious segment by creating what I hope will become a new viral meme, #mcconnelling.
Stephen then looked at how upset Fox News's Neil Cavuto got over Obama expanding overtime pay.