Who Said It: Fox News or Jesus?

During a broad conversation on how to overcome poverty at Georgetown University last week, President Barack Obama made a few comments about how Fox News talks about poor people. Here's what he said:

... over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there's been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or to be mad at folks at the bottom. And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don't want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. ... I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu -- they will find folks who make me mad ... They're like, I don't want to work, I just want a free Obama phone -- or whatever. And that becomes an entire narrative ... very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress -- which is much more typical -- who's raising a couple of kids and is doing everything right but still can't pay the bills.

Fox's response to the president was outrage that he would single them out and accuse them of demonizing the poor. Jon Stewart captured Fox's reaction on his show last week. One example was Stuart Varney's reaction to Obama's remarks, claiming the network only looks at and critiques the programs, not the people, characterizing the hosts as the "honest messengers."

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Honest discussions about the best approaches to overcome poverty are important and needed -- and that's what President Obama was doing at Georgetown, even sitting in a panel discussion about solutions with a both a liberal and a conservative who disagrees with him. Addressing both personal and social responsibility, family and economic issues, education and racism is crucial. But blaming and demonizing the poor is not called for -- it is shameful. There's the choice here, so for those of us who are Christians, let's make that choice--between the theology of Fox and the theology of Jesus.

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