Tuned In

Never Forget: Jon Stewart Keeps Responding to First Responders

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9/11 was a tragedy that happened to the entire nation, and in its larger ramifications, to the world. But New Yorkers also felt it, and still feel it, on a personal level: not just the fear, the terrible sights and the awful memories (the rest of America watched 9/11; we smelled it), but also the pride and the feeling of the city coming together, especially behind the heroes who rushed to the disaster.

New Yorker Jon Stewart still feels 9/11 personally. And he’s turned that feeling into finely concentrated satiric rage over the Senate’s failure—particularly Republican senators’—to pass a bill funding medical care for 9/11 first responders. My colleague Steven James Snyder capably covered an earlier Daily Show segment a couple days ago, but if you have any interest in the issue, you need to watch Stewart’s discussion with four responders last night. It is searing, moving and shame-inducing.

Two questions: how it is possible that a Comedy Central host is doing a better job hammering this seemingly no-brainer issue (on which Republican Mike Huckabee agreed with him) than the Democratic leadership? And how is it possible that he’s covering it better than a press corps that seems largely to have shrugged and moved on?