Recently, New York Times columnist Charles Blow quoted the president speaking at Georgetown University about the poor:
“And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction,” said the President.
“And, look, it’s still being propagated. I mean, 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. I don’t know where they find them. [Laughter.] They’re like, I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone [laughter]…”
The columnist also criticized Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for calling poor people “lazy.”
O’Reilly then gave his opinion of Blow’s column on his TV show The O’Reilly Factor.
Below is a quote from Media Matters that was cited by Blow in his column. Media Matters states the quote is from 2004 from O’Reilly’s radio show The Radio Factor.
O’Reilly: “Reagan was not a confrontational guy, didn’t like confrontation, much rather be your pal … doesn’t want to get involved with the really nasty stuff, the tough stuff, and that’s what racial politics is — nasty and tough. … It’s hard to do it because you gotta look people in the eye and tell ’em they’re irresponsible and lazy. And who’s gonna wanna do that? Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen.”
Are poor people lazy? What about the “working poor?” Are people who work full-time for low wages lazy? Are there times – during an economic downturn, for example – when people are forced to accept low wages?
Article from the New York Times: