Jon Stewart grandstanding on the backs of first-responders (Opinion)
No shortage of news today about the 'impassioned speech' and tears from comedian Jon Stewart before a Congressional hearing on Tuesday. All about standing up for first responders who rely on money from the Victims Compensation Fund for medical treatment and to remain above water. Right? Or was it?
The fund itself still has two billion dollars in it and has already awarded $5 billion. Even though if it were allowed to expire, many victims would only get partial benefits, there was literally never a chance of that happening. Both sides of the political aisle are committed to making the heroes of 9/11 whole. Actually, the bill itself has nearly 300 co-sponsors.
The committee meeting that Stewart cried in because some chairs were empty was nothing more than a opportunity for a ego-driven publicity hound to take advantage of out-of-context optics. Shame on Jon Stewart. I'm sure he's smart enough, or his writers are, to understand that there was no compelling reason to be at the hearing for members of congress other than to hear him speak.
The vote is scheduled for Wednesday and it's likely to pass without a single dissenting vote. So why the whining water works? Well, if it had nothing to do with the actual fund, which is not in danger, then what? Seems to me that Stewart conveniently put himself in front of the first responders to shame Congress for no reason. The Hollywood ego knows no bounds.
The real question is why do so many First Responders have to wait months, even years, for proper treatment and compensation? This has NOTHING to do with Congress. It's all about the implementation and spending of the money AFTER Congressional approval.
So again, Stewart is nothing more than a man looking for credit for something that was going to happen anyway. Shame on you, Jon. Maybe Stewart should take a page out of Denzel Washington's book: quietly support our brave American heroes by spending as much time and money as possible advocating behind the scenes and visiting the injured. He's a class act and isn't in it for the ego boost.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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