According to new Cenus Bureau data released last week, the United States remains stuck with a high poverty rates. As of 2011, 46.2 million Americans — 15 percent of the national population — were living at or below the federal poverty line, which is set at $23,000 a year for a family of four.
The poverty rate amongst children is even higher, reaching almost 22 percent. In New York City alone, the number of children living in homeless shelters is at its highest peak since the Great Depression.
Despite these numbers, a recent report by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that during this campaign season the issue of poverty has been remarkably absent from the media’s spotlight. Between January and June of this year, only 0.2 percent of campaign stories from major media outlets addressed poverty in a substantive way. A new video from the Half In Ten campaign points out this failure wasn’t due to a lack of time. During the recent debates, the media found plenty of opportunities to ask candidates whether they prefer Leno or Conan, how they stand on prostitution, and if they’re “a flake.” Watch it:
Half In Ten is a partnership of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Coalition on Human Needs and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.