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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Jon Stewart's campaign for the Zadroga bill (Video)

By Melissa Bell
Jon Stewart
(Screengrab of the Daily Show)

Thursday's "Daily Show" was the last episode of the year for the news comedy show, yet there were very little laughs. Instead it focused on a devastating interview with four of the 9/11 first responders. Kenny Speck, Chris Bauman, Ken George and John Devlin epitomize New York tough-guy firefighters, emergency workers and police officers, and all suffer from severe diseases and injuries as a result of the work they did in the first days after the terrorist attack on lower Manhattan.

It was the latest in a series of attacks Stewart has launched on the Republicans for blocking a bill to fund health care for 9/11 first responders. He also has been scathing of the scant network coverage of the bill.

Republicans have said they will block the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act until the Bush tax breaks were extended. Now that the tax cut bill has been approved and will likely be signed into law, it remains to be seen if the Republicans will stop stalling on a vote for the Zadroga bill.

The segments have provoked an online outpouring of support for Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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By Melissa Bell  | December 17, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Jon Stewart has a gift for pointing out how the network news is not doing its job, as well as our elected officials who are not doing theirs, unless only taking care of those who bribe them with large sums of cash is the only work they do now.

Posted by: reileys | December 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Good for the Republicans! Holding up a small spending bill on principle!!

Nothing, i mean nothing should get in the way of tax cuts for hedge fund managers!! Even the impacts of not having passable healthcare for 911 first responders.

Listen, those people making over 250,000 in income (salary less deductions) are living in a terrible world of uncertainty.

If we don't pass their tax cuts, 700,000 americans will be affected!! And that uncertainty- taxes at 36% or 39%- will devastate the economy, (or atleast our campaign contributions).

The 9/11 first responders can wait. After all we are only talking about their health.

(I feel compelled to state this is satire. The republicans who have held up this bill by using these silly, idiotic arguments (and procedural tactics like a filibuster) should be ashamed of themselves.)

Posted by: Gus4 | December 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Isn't kind of pathetic that the Washington Post denigrates this topic to a blog?!?!?!?! Write a story on it!!!!!! Put it in the front page. I commened the blogger for paying attnetion, thank you for that. But why sin't the WAPOST sayign anything, completely distrurbing. Both sides are equally culpable for this.

Posted by: brhat131 | December 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, the Daily Show & Jon Stewart were great last night, but the implications of Stewart's words 3,378 days ago, and what they show about todays sordid debate seem (to me at least) even more relevant.

Posted by: RyanC1384 | December 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

This was front page at Huff Post and the outpouring of appreciation for Jon Stewart is secondary to the issue which is an outpouring of support for the first responders.

The disappointment in the network media for ignoring this is close to that. I'd say what you called support for Jon Stewart is more like gratitude, appreciation, even adulation. What if no one noticed what he did?

Posted by: GaiasChild | December 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart uses humor brilliantly to make America aware of the idiocy of our nations politics. He is a far superior source of information than our mamby pamby news organizations who allow lies like the death panel nonsense to fester. It is disgusting to watch them throw softball questions at our supposed leaders and then knowingly let the lies and deception be the answers with no push back at all. Isn't anyone else incensed with the softball questions and then crying from John Boehner when he talks about his closeted self? What ever happened to the Walter Cronkite types who actually verified facts before spouting or repeating lies? Faux news is a propaganda machine for the Repugnicans spending most of its time spreading lies and fear mongering to put our lesser educated which is quickly becoming a majority into voting against their own best interests. The Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch and the rest have already bought the Supreme Court with its Citizens United travesty and the congress is a bunch of bought corporate shills as well. the Internet and reality TV have destroyed the honest journalist profession to the detriment of America. Godspeed Jon and keep bringing us the sad truth with your brilliant humor. Your rally by the way was a day of fun seeing some balanced and sane folks in the same place instead of watching Glen Beck and Sarah Pailin(like an idiot only dumber) two spawns of the devil.

Posted by: jbento | December 17, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It's disgusting and outrageous that the Republican Senators have blocked/killed the Zadroga bill. And it's also shameful how the mainstream media has ignored this story--speaking of which, why isn't this on your front page, rather than buried in a blog?! Kudos to Jon Stewart for bringing this to the public's attention, including his devastating interview with four 9/11 First Responders on the Daily Show last night.

Posted by: Penn999 | December 18, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

thanks for finally covering this. it's disgusting that it takes jon stewart's reprimand of the media outlets for them to cover a story like this, but i'm happy it worked. there is no place for media giants anymore if you don't give people the news that we actually care about. you are very quickly on your way to obsolescence.

Posted by: jonstewartforking | December 18, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

This the first time that I can remember where Jon Stewart crossed the line from satirist to activist. He picked a really good cause and I support him for it, but I hope he goes back to being a satirist when this is all over.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | December 18, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is an idiot. Anything that he brings up has got to be wrong for the country. Who cares about Stewart, he is a moronic libturd.

Posted by: rickshawjim | December 18, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Great. John Stewart successfully capitalizes on the fact the GOP is holding the "first responders" hostage in order to pass the tax bill. While his ratings are soaring while providing education to the vast majority of america, the zadroga bill is still in the oven. While the thing provides for specialized health care due to a specific event there is also another reason where the $7.4 billion dollars can be utilized. It is to establish a "Fund to provide compensation for losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system". Does this mean that the bill provides an alternative way for "first responders" and their families to be awarded "compensation" or "damages" and bypass the legal system? Is this really a carefully crafted bill to obtain settlement for the first responders? $7.4 billion dollars? Are not the NYC firefights provided "the best health" care out of respect for what they do? What is really happening here? A bill to by-pass litigation for a identifiable group using the compassion of america's bleeding heart liberals?

Posted by: catherine888 | December 18, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It's a no-brainer. These first responders belong to a union - and we all know how RepuBPlicans feel about unions.

Posted by: areyousaying | December 18, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart for President.

Posted by: areyousaying | December 18, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

rickshawjim is an idiot. Anything that he brings up has got to be wrong for the country. Who cares about rickshawjim, he is a moronic theoturd.

Posted by: areyousaying | December 18, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Huckabees won't provide medical care for first responders to the same 9/11 they've been using as a battle flag for 9 years to addict America to Cheney's Christian Oil Crusades to appease Israel and to fund entitlement programs for Halliburton and Lockheed Martin.

In two years, the table will be turned on them again.

Posted by: areyousaying | December 18, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Stewart at least is calling out those Republicans who have used 9-11 whenever they think it's convenient to them.

Shame on them and also shame on MSM for not reporting more on this hypocrisy.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 19, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to learn that 9/11 was the American regime nuking its own largest city, and it created the China Syndrome which then poisoned thousands of responders and millions of NY residents.

Google "9/11 Cancers"

Posted by: Howard45327 | December 19, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The firefighter made another point about how busted the health care system still is. You see, if you get injured on the job, and you're so sick you can't work, then you lose your regular 'health insurance' and go on "Worker's Compensation"(WC), which immediately denies there's anything wrong with you and stops paying for medication and treatment.
Back before there was WC, if you got hurt on the job, you had to sue your ex-employer and win before they paid for treatment. This could take years, during which time the person often died, which resolved the problem. To fix that terrible situation WC was instituted. Now if you get hurt on the job, all you have to do is to sue your ex-employer's WC INSURANCE COMPANY and win before they pay for treatment. See how much better it is now?

Posted by: FamilyDocUlsterNY | December 20, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

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