NY Times- Just a few months after his retirement, Jon Stewart made a visit to “The Daily Show” on Monday to talk about a health care act for 9/11 emergency responders that he had helped champion when he hosted the program.
Mr. Stewart, dressed casually and sporting a silver beard, said that he was not there to take back the show, but to talk about an issue that he cared about “very deeply, and I want to get some attention paid to it.” That issue, Mr. Stewart said, was the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides health care funding and compensation for emergency workers who were sickened by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and their aftermath. The act passed Congress in 2010, was signed into law by President Obama and went into effect the following year. Portions of the act expired after Sept. 30, and the rest of it will expire by next October unless it is renewed.
Mr. Stewart said there was “no reason not to renew it permanently, but they did not renew it anyway.” “It’s soon going to be out of money,” Mr. Stewart said. “These first responders, many sick with cancers and pulmonary disease, have had to travel at their own expense to Washington, D.C., hundreds of times to plead for our government to do the right thing.” “The only conclusion that I can draw,” he added, “is that the people of Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders.”
Real heavy stuff right there, especially when 3/4ths of the first responders that sat on the panel five-and-a-half years ago were unable to make it back for last night’s show. It never ceases to amaze me how people like our veterans and first responders can ever get shafted when it comes to funding. Those are the people that make this country great and are the first to spring into action when someone tries to attack our way of life. You know how your dad would get the biggest piece of meat at the dinner table, as well as the last food remaining while growing up? That’s how it should be for the brave people that go into the situations most of us are too scared to head-first without thinking twice about it. But they aren’t asking for the biggest piece of meat. They are just asking that they don’t have to beg for scraps after dinner is over.
And yes, it was good to see Stewart put on the 4-5 for one night only to support this cause before he has his HBO show as a platform next year. Going after the clowns in D.C. is the definition of wheelhouse for him. Comparing politicians to meerkats was just perfect, as many of them just disappear at the first sign of trouble. I don’t want to get too political here because I am one of those people who thinks that even the politicians that go in with the best intentions will get corrupted sooner or later. It’s just part of the game. The higher you move up the political food chain, the murkier it becomes, as you likely have to sell out at a certain point in order to make real changes. So I don’t really trust any of them, regardless of party or stances. But it was nice to see Stewart do his thing again may give this cause the attention it deserves.
You can help out by going to Renew911Health.org and tell your local congress member to support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. And if you want to go after the politicians on Twitter, use the hashtags #WorstResponders, #ShameWorks and (just because it’s an A+ hashtag) #EndTheFuckery. The first responders risked everything without thinking twice. Helping out from a keyboard or a smartphone seems like the LEAST any of us can do. Stoolies never disappoint when it comes to helping out others, and make no mistake about it, these people need our help. These people helped out on that awful day, it’s time for us to do the same.