Tag Archive: food stamps

The phony allure of the anecdote

Surf and Turf, a staple of food stamp recipients' diets according to GOP.

Surf and Turf, a staple of food stamp recipients’ diets according to GOP.

Humans are a storytelling species. Thus, it’s no surprise that narratives — essentially, ongoing story lines — are an important part of successful political communication. In Messaging Maxim #4: Feed the Narrative, we mentioned that it is valuable to:

craft a true but negative story about your opponents’ ideas, actions or positions, and then look for statements or actions by them that you can point to as furthering that narrative.

Republicans are very good at constructing narratives (for example, “Scary Brown People”); however, many Republican narratives are false. That’s why you will see the GOP using anecdotes, i.e., possibly false or possibly true stories involving as few as one person, to further their phony narratives, rather than citing any meaningful facts, evidence or accurate math.

Fox News’ two-pronged attack on food stamps and California

Judy Oerly gathers food she will be taking home from the Central Pantry in Columbia, Mo., on 10/4/13.

Judy Oerly gathers food she will be taking home from the Central Pantry in Columbia, Mo., on 10/4/13.

Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Fox “News” attacks the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), which Fox and the Republicans refer to by its old-fashioned and perhaps derisive name “food stamps.” Perhaps it’s also not a surprise that Fox “News” attacks almost all things in the great Blue State California, from “liberal Hollywood” to progressive policies such as green energy (which, by the way, is responsible for many good California jobs.) But what might be surprising is that Fox found a way to attack both SNAP and California at the same time, via its “Food Stamp Surfer” story.