After a Republican filibuster on Dec. 10, the 9/11 responders bill sank to the bottom of the Congressional crapper against a mammoth clog of bullshit left by Republicans who felt that the $7.4 billion price tag was too high. Yet, Republicans had no problem voting for an extension of the Bush tax cuts that will cost approximately $860 billion.
Despite impassioned pleas by two New York Senators and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the bill’s passage still appeared hopeless until one vocal advocate, comedian Jon Stewart, devoted an entire episode of the Daily Show to the 9/11 bill.
It was only then that the elephants in the chamber stopped chomping on their nuts long enough to snake the mammoth clog of bullshit in the Congressional crapper, thus allowing the 9/11 bill to pass through the Federal sewer system also known as the U.S. government.
Not even the broadcast news voiced their outrage of the filibuster or covered the story while the 9/11 bill languished at the bottom of the Congressional crapper and instead devoted time to more important issues, like iTunes acquisition of the Beatles music catalog.
The Jon Stewart episode on the 9/11 bill kneed the network news establishment in the groin as the painful realization of the importance of reporting the 9/11 bill’s progress radiated down their legs.
Once the Daily Show episode aired, slamming the Republican filibuster and the broadcast networks failure to cover the bill for more than two months, Congress reshuffled their priorities and the networks began to cover the bill’s progress.
To put this all in perspective, it took the passionate pleas of a satire news host to slap cold water on the face of the Republican party and to resuscitate the hearts and minds of the network news establishment.
Other voices weighed in on Jon Stewart’s advocacy of the 9/11 bill, as noted in a Dec. 26 article in the New York Times:
Eric Ortner, a former ABC News senior producer who worked as a medic at the World Trade Center site on 9/11, expressed dismay that Mr. Stewart had been virtually alone in expressing outrage early on.
“In just nine months’ time, my skilled colleagues will be jockeying to outdo one another on 10th anniversary coverage” of the attacks, Mr. Ortner wrote in an e-mail. “It’s when the press was needed most, when sunlight truly could disinfect,” he said, that the news networks were not there.
Sadly, this illustrates the broadcast networks propensity to air stories they feel will appeal to the masses rather than to actually report the news. That’s why I, and likely others, watch CNN and The Daily Show instead or read the news online where I know can find cogent news stories and not fluff about a Paris Hilton drug bust.
I’m not a doctor or play one on TV, but I can see through my progressive lenses, pun intended, that things are broken in Washington and on my TV.