When ‘The Daily Show’ picks up the slack, cont’d

WHEN ‘THE DAILY SHOW’ PICKS UP THE SLACK, CONT’D…. Last week, a unanimous Senate Republican caucus blocked the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. It’s the bill that intended to pay health care costs for 9/11 rescue workers, sickened after exposure to the toxic smoke and debris. For the GOP, it was a simple calculus — they’d consider bills like this, just as soon as they’d secured tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

At this point, the only broadcast news outlet that’s jumping all over this story is, oddly enough, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” which has aired multiple segments. Last night, Jon Stewart took Republicans to task for the callousness, and also blasted ABC, NBC, and CBS for completely ignoring the issue on their evening news casts.

In fact, the host noted in last night’s show that the only network to run a thorough report on the 9/11 health bill was … Al Jazeera. “Our networks were scooped with a sympathetic Zadroga Bill story by the same network that Osama bin Laden sends his mix tapes to,” Stewart noted.

Not done there, “The Daily Show” also hosted an on-air discussion with four 9/11 responders, all of whom are suffering health problems believed to be caused by the air they breathed in the aftermath of the attacks.

The segment was pretty devastating, and well worth watching.

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9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.