Courtesy of WaPo:
Comedian Jon Stewart took members of Congress to task on Tuesday, blasting the House Judiciary Committee for its low attendance at a hearing to discuss reauthorizing the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Congress created the fund after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to help anyone injured or sickened in the attacks or in the response process.
“As I sit here today, I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” Stewart told a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.”
The firefighters, police officers and others came to the hearing despite illness and injuries, Stewart said, but some members of the committee chose not to show up. The first responders attended the hearing to advocate for the financial compensation they are due, Stewart said.
“I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic,” said Stewart, the former host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. “But I’m angry and you should be, too.”
“There is not a person here — there is not an empty chair on that stage that didn’t tweet out, ‘never forget the heroes of 9/11; never forget their bravery; never forget what they did, what they gave to this country,’” Stewart said, then motioned to the crowd of first responders behind him. “Well, here they are.”
Stewart did not speak from a written statement, like many who appear in front of committees tend to do. At times, the former late-night host raised his voice. He came close to crying. He begged the committee to take their issues seriously.
“They responded in five seconds — they did their jobs. With courage, grace, tenacity, humility,” Stewart said, tearing up and dropping his pen onto the desk. “… Eighteen years later, do yours.”
Man, I have missed Jon Stewart almost as much as I miss Barack Obama.
I remember when he came back on the air after 9-11 and how he was the first person to make me feel that everything would be alright.
And here he is 18 years later trying to make sure that he was not wrong about that.