The directors behind the new hunger documentary A Place at the Table graced The Daily Show’s stage last night, and they boiled the current food crisis down to one bumper sticker-sized slogan.
Blame President Ronald Reagan.
Documentary filmmakers Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson got the cottony softball treatment from show host Jon Stewart, who let them pin hunger on the ex-president without even a hint of skepticism.
“The modern food safety net … it more or less ended hunger in the U.S.,” Silverbush told Stewart of ’70s era “bipartisan” legislation. The host then asked the obvious question, “what happened?”
“In a word, I mean, Reagan,” Silverbush said, explaining he helped tar the hungry as “moochers” and “takers” and shifted the effort to feed them onto overwhelmed food banks and charities.
No mention of the Age of Obama’s impact, the higher gas prices, the administration’s recovery-free recovery, the soaring deficit … nope. Of course, why not blame President Bill Clinton who had eight years to undo the “damage” Reagan caused, or even the four-plus years of Obama’s time in the White House?
A Place at the Table, which features Oscar winner Jeff Bridges and apparently clings to the myth that “food deserts” are partly to blame for our eating woes, opens in theaters and On-Demand venues March 1.