Daily Show airs story with footage of Aasif Mandvi asking Gov. Rick Scott to pee in a cup
Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi's recent trip to Tallahassee, where he asked a number of state legislators to pee in a cup while working on a story about Florida's drug testing of welfare recipients finally hit the airwaves last night.
And, as expected, it made the Sunshine State look like a haven for hypocrisy and hysterically uninformed conservatism.
There was great footage of Mandvi asking Gov. Rick Scott to pee in a cup during a press conference -- look for Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau chief Steve Bousquet's pricelessly shocked expression as the Tampa-raised correspondent makes his bizarre request (I don't think he knew who Mandvi was). There was also great clips from the Times outlining the cost of the drug testing program, which has resulted in taxpayers footing an extra $200,000 toward tests which just 2 percent of welfare recipients failed.
The whole program seems a perfect example of ideology trumping the facts or common sense. Scott may believe that drug use is more common among welfare recipients than the general public, but academic studies indicate lawmakers continually overestimate the amount of drug use among welfare recipients.
A 2004 study cited by the National Poverty Center estimated 21 percent of welfare recipients had used an illegal drug sometime in the past year -- exclude marijuana and the percentage drops to 10 percent and just 4 percent used drugs often enough to significantly impair their lives. Seems to me that steering recipients with drug programs into treatment would make more sense that cutting them loose, but that doesn't look as good on a campaign bumper sticker.
Mandvi didn't show attorney general Pam Bondi, who provided a cup of apple juice, or other legislators who supposedly participated.
But in showing Rep. Scott Plakon, supporter of the drug testing bill, stating that recipients of public money should submit to a test before refusing to submit himself, the Daily Show made its point loud and clear.