Fox News' latest whopper: Only 'a very small percentage' of homeless people are homeless 'because they can't afford housing'

Fox News' latest whopper: Only 'a very small percentage' of homeless people are homeless 'because they can't afford housing'
Fox and Friends Screengrab

Fox News is continuing the network’s attacks on America’s homeless population. Monday morning “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade falsely claimed only “a very small percentage” of homeless people across the country are homeless “because they can’t afford housing.”


Kilmeade served up his absurd and damaging attack after showing viewers a clip of one homeless man in Austin, Texas, who told the conservative cable channel that living on the streets in that city is “great,” because people “give you money” and “you can party.”

“It’s a blast,” he told a Fox News reporter.

What Kilmeade and his fellow “Fox & Friends” co-hosts did not do is tell Americans that on any given night there are about 550,000 people living without a home.

“Here’s what’s important,” Kilmeade, clearly not a scientist, told viewers. “To talk to the people – don’t talk in generalities.”

Talking to “the people” might offer anecdotal insight, but one person’s experiences or views are not the same for everyone.

“Find out why they’re there,” Kilmeade continued. “Some of them are choosing to be there, some of them have mental illness,” he offered.

Steve Doocy interrupted Kilmeade to say, “Like that guy,” referring to the homeless man they just interviewed.

“Some of them have drug issues. It’s not necessarily, or maybe a very small percentage, because they can’t afford housing.”

In fact, there are many reports that make clear people in America are homeless because they can’t afford housing.

“Low income households often do not earn enough to pay for food, clothing, transportation and a place they can call home,” the National Alliance to End Homelessness reports. “More than at any other time, there is a lack of housing that low income people can afford. Without housing options, people face eviction, instability and homelessness.”

Who suffers from homelessness most?

“Data show that men, black Americans, the mentally ill, domestic-violence survivors, substance abusers and veterans all experience homelessness at higher rates,” The Washington Post reports.

“A lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of housing assistance programs have contributed to the current housing crisis and to homelessness,” the National Coalition for the Homeless says.

“Society often blames the individual and sees homelessness as a personal problem, but this ignores the role that our social institutions play, such as not providing enough affordable housing,” says Claudia Solari, an author of a report on homelessness.

Watch this clip of “Fox & Friends”:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.