By devoting his last show of 2010, in its entirety, to the Zadroga bill – a measure to provide $7.4 billion in health care to ailing 9/11 first-responders (negotiated down to $6.2 billion by Democrats determined to get them some help, any help) — Jon Stewart has entered the political fray. First, he pointed out that none of the big four networks had come out in support of, or even mentioned, this no-brainer bill, with the sole exception of one tepid spot on Fox. Then he noted the scandalous silence of the Fox “News” yak machine on an issue they should have owned, considering how they cynically ginned up this phony “Ground Zero Mosque” issue with ersatz 9/11 adoration. This wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party – hmm, maybe the ownership is the other way around – has been using 9/11 as a propaganda tool for going on a decade. And not even they can shame two-faced Republican feebs into supporting the first responders?
Don’t tell me it’s a fiscal issue: you just added more than a hundred times that much to the deficit over the next ten years by letting rich people shave a whopping 3% off their taxes, and threatened to hold your breath till you turned blue, halting all other Senatorial business, until you got your way. Besides, the Zadroga bill pays for its health benefits by closing tax loopholes on companies who outsource jobs! Now some are saying no to Zagroda because a few of the first responders may have been undocumented! The bottom of the barrel has been reached, and the dearth of reason shown: Pubs actually hate the bill because passing it would be seen as another achievement for their opposition. Screw the first responders! Just like the START treaty: if you’ll recall, these same numbnuts held that important national security issue hostage as well, until after Daddy Warbucks was safely tucked in and allowed to “trickle down” onto the heads of the poor unemployed groundlings. Lazy bastards: get a job!
Some lamestreamers watched THE DAILY SHOW last Thursday. It was rough stuff. First a Stewart monologue segment. Then a lengthy interview with four actual 9/11 first-responders who are actually suffering and can’t get an actual dime out of Pubs who are so sanctimonious that they believe calling the Senate back into session between Christmas Day and New Year’s is somehow sacreligious! (The responders, who of course must go to work every frickin day there is, got a huge laugh out of that one as they watched tape of Sen. Jon Kyl struggling to float this pathetic lead balloon.) Finally, poor Mike Huckabee was booked to talk about his Christmas kids’ book, but Stewart would not let him off the hook until he finally stated the obvious: “every Republican should vote for this bill.”
Fox’s Shepard Smith now wonders about the naysayers, on the air, “how do they sleep at night”? Other major news organizations also picked the story up, some with patronizing spin: “look, a fake news show is affecting the real news!” Hey: if you guys had been doing your jobs, it wouldn’t have been necessary!
Finally, one of the most hardcore ideologues in the United States Senate vows to gum up the works in his own clumsy, unpatriotic way. He told Fox “News” that he was against the bill because it hadn’t been brought up in committee. It was brought up, and testimony was heard, last June in a committee of which this dope’s a member — and he doesn’t know (or else he just sat there and lied) because he didn’t bother to show up! I’m with Shep: how do you sleep at night, dickweeds?
EDIT, 12/22 P.M. It’s not everything we wanted, but it’s something. Thanks to Jon, Shep, and everybody else who pressed and pressed on this issue.