The news cycle in this campaign seems to be jobs, deficit, taxes, abortion. Repeat. And again.
What’s missing from this endless loop? Almost any conversation about poverty. Which brings us to our number of the day: 0.2 percent.
The media watchdog group FAIR added up the election stories from eight major news outlets, from January to June, and only 17 campaign stories — out of more than 10,000 — talked about poverty in a really substantive way. One-fifth of 1 percent of all election coverage.
At the same time, 15 percent of the U.S. population continues to live in poverty. Why does the issue get so little coverage? Mainly because the candidates barely talk about it.
The only time the topic has really come up was when Mitt Romney said he wasn’t concerned about the very poor. And most stories about that just focused on Mitt — not on poverty itself.
But the media does not have to let candidates set the agenda. If candidates won’t talk about poverty at a press conference, what stops reporters from bringing it up themselves?