There's something else going on here. There's the construction (no pun intended) of a "deserving" poor person whose needs can be addressed via a for-profit reality show, as opposed to real, systemic change.
Think back just a couple of years, and you'll return to the tail end of the Bush Administration. For some, it marks the terminus of the good times: when America didn't look to allies in order to make foreign policy, when we were on the right road against "abortionists," and abstinence-only education got boatloads of money to save our children from certain sexual promiscuity and queerness. For others of us, it was like waking up from an eight-year nightmare.