Conservative media outlets, including Fox News, are spreading a new conspiracy theory about the Department of Homeland Security bracing for "food stamp riots" on November 1.
The hysteria started over an ad on the Federal Business Opportunities government website, which posted an ad for armed guards. The ad reads in part:
The Federal Protective Service (FPS) is conducting Market Research to locate qualified, experienced, and interested potential Small Business Sources capable of providing Protective Security Officers (PSO) Services throughout Upstate New York.
...This acquisition is for approximately 380,000 hours of Basic Service, 20,000 hours of Temporary Additional Services and 3,500 hours of Emergency Security Services per year. Currently, there are an estimated 205 guards protecting approximately 95 posts at over 55 buildings. The estimated value of this Contract is between $75M and $80M.
The conspiracy website Infowars.com reported this week, "What is the federal agency preparing for? Food stamp riots? Anti-IRS demonstrations? Or some other form of civil disorder?"
The food stamp riot scenario comes about because the increases to the food stamp program under President Obama's 2009 stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, are going to end on Nov. 1, which will result in a reduction of food stamp benefits, noted the USDA.
The conspiracy website World Net Daily subsequently blared the headline: "New domestic threat: Food-stamp riots."
Fox News' host Neal Cavuto dramatically reported today (video below) that “November 1st could be a very very iffy kind of a day... this could be all hell breaks loose day."
Cavuto then falsely claimed the ad for armed guards was to protect government buildings "from American citizens because on November 1st the food stamp program is set to start decreasing the amount that is allocated to food stamp recipients... and they’re worried that violence will ensue.”
Cavuto and guest Niger Ennis, of TeaParty.net, then tried to demonize food stamps and the poor people who use them.