TVNewsers Help Push ‘James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act’

By Molly Stark Dean Comment

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg says Jon Stewart, among others, are to thank for the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. In a statement after the bill passed last night, Bloomberg said, “We would not be where we are today without the hard work of so many others who are too many to name, but include Representatives Maloney, King, and Nadler; responders, survivors, and their family members; labor and civic leaders; and great New Yorkers like Rudy Giuliani and Jon Stewart.”

Stewart’s entire final show of the year, which aired last Thursday, was dedicated to the bill. He first mocked the media for their lack of coverage. He then followed with a panel of 9/11 first responders, and topped it off with an interview with supporter of the bill and FNC host Mike Huckabee. Most of the show was spent attacking Congressional republicans who opposed of cost of the bill.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also credited Stewart. “If there’s the ability for that to sort of break through in our political environment, there’s a good chance that he can help do that,” Gibbs told reporters Tuesday. “I think he has put the awareness around this legislation. He’s put that awareness into what you guys cover each day, and I think that’s good.”

Gibbs’ statement didn’t sit well with the hosts of “Fox & Friends” who are adamant that it was their colleague who really was the impetus behind the act being passed.

Brian Kilmeade said on yesterday’s “Friends”:

“It seems like Jon Stewart is getting all the credit by expressing outrage on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but it’s really Shepherd Smith. Because he’s done that incredible 9/11 series on “Fox Report.” He’s been railing about this for a while. It doesn’t seem like Robert Gibbs gets the network.”

On last night’s “Studio B,” Smith got emotional when talking about the passing of the bill:

“You talk about the game of politics, and certainly on many levels it is a game, but it was that 9/11 first responder who reminded us all yesterday: All of this is not games — 41 funerals later is not a game. People who died on 9/11 who stayed on that pile for weeks and months on end — as New Yorkers stood with flags on the West Side Highway. For weeks and months on end, as these heroes were digging us out of our own graves. Today they get their health care. Today they smile from ear-to-ear. In Washington, we’re making progress. You don’t have to like it all, but it’s progress.”