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Friday 17 December 2010

A Plea For First Response

This week is the last of 2010 for the Daily Show, and the very last show was broadcast at 2300 hours ET yesterday (on More4 in the UK at 2030 this evening, then available on 4OD). It deserves a special mention simply because the whole of it was dedicated to 9/11 First Responders.

These were the people, such as firefighters, who were first at the scene after airliners were flown into both towers of the World Trade Center. Many have since developed respiratory diseases and cancers. There is a bill – known as the Zadroga Bill – waiting passage through the Senate which would provide up to seven billion dollars in benefits to them.

But it is being filibustered by Republicans, as Jon Stewart has pointed out, “the party that has turned 9/11 into a catchphrase”. The GOP is never short of a talking head praising those first responders, yet now it is blocking real help for them.

And the only network that has focused on this issue? Al-Jazeera. A frustrated Stewart observed “scooped ... by the same network Osama bin Laden sends his mix tapes to ... this is insane!

So it is. Please watch this evening or catch the show on 4OD later.

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