Fox News Apologizes For False Numbers In Food-Stamp Fraud Report

“Fox and Friends” issued a correction and apology Friday for a report originally aired on Tuesday which alleged new heights for food-stamp fraud and cited nonexistent U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

“We reported that back in 2016, $70 million dollars were wasted on food stamp fraud. That was actually incorrect,” weekend co-host Abby Huntsman said in an “update” to the report. “The latest information from 2009 to 2011 shows the fraud at 1.3 percent, which is approximately $853 million dollars for each of those three years, and nationally food stamp trafficking is on the decline, so sorry about that.”

Fox News’ original writeup of the segment has since been edited to reflect the correction, but the original report remains accessible via the Wayback Machine, which archives saved copies of webpages.

The original report alleged that “according to the USDA, $70 million of taxpayer money was wasted in 2016 due to food stamp fraud.”

A USDA spokesperson called that claim false, according to a report by the Washington Post.

“We are not quite sure where this came from,” the spokesperson said as quoted in the report. “We have not issued a report on this recently. There is no new rate that we’ve published.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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