Stewart: Aljazeera Pays More Attention to First Responders than Senate Republicans, US Networks

The Republican Party has since September 11, 2001, been absolutely insufferable in invoking those attacks at every possible moment for every possible reason, and in trying to portray themselves as better than other people precisely because they demagogue this issue so much.

So what a surprise that the Republicans in the Senate, who after all are the party of Big Capital unsympathetic to working people, shot down an attempt to extend health benefits to 9/11 first responders (i.e. firemen and policemen). Now if only the first responders had founded banks and then run them poorly and gone bankrupt, the Republican senators would have been willing to give them billions.

Not only did the Republican senators behave in this shameful way, but no network news organization even covered it.

Then when the first responders announced they would come to Washington to lobby senators and congressmen in their offices, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine called the police on them!

Jon Stewart at the Daily Show points out that while the first responders’ health benefits were of no interest to US corporate news, Aljazeera covered the story:

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And here is the Riz Khan segment that Stewart praised:

The only correction I’d make is that Aljazeera is not sympathetic to al-Qaeda or Muslim radicalism, but has a philosophy of reporting all sides of conflicts. So it is natural that they cover the first responders as well as broadcasting short excerpts from al-Qaeda videos. Unlike US network news, they don’t consider themselves our nannies, that they should filter the news for us and protect us from hearing the words of enemies.

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Responses | Print |

22 Responses

  1. I saw the Daily Show last night and Jon Stewart’s outrage, while controlled and measured, was barely contained. Rightly so. As one of the first responders he had as a guest put it, “My brothers and sisters are proud to work on Christmas and New Years and weekends, so it seems to me that the Senate can work long enough to pass this bill.”

    Stewart deftly laid into Mike Huckabee, a paid Fox shill, for his network – like the political party it represents – finding a way to demagogue about 9/11 every chance it gets, except on the Republican stall everything tactics that have caught the bill that would help these people. When The Huckster tried to dance around Stewart’s questions, he simply wouldn’t let Huckabee get away with it.

    Jon Stewart has replaced Walter Cronkite as the most trusted news anchor in America. Stewart modestly claims he does “fake news” but it he tells more truths every night than Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS does in a month.

    • Stewart is an entertainer, a comedian. “Liberals” think he’s giving them the news instead of Time Warner/Arab/CNN/Cartoon Network propaganda. The dumbing down of America starts with comedians “educating” people.

      • Sorry, Arturo, but you have it completely backwards. “Comedians” since the days of court jesters have told truths wrapped in laughs. During the days of the old Soviet Union, one of the most popular and widely-read magazines was “Krocodile,” which told inconvenient truths about the power elite wrapped in the format of very funny satire.

        One of the reasons behind the great success of The Daily Show and The Cobert Report lies in their ability to provide glaring truths about politics, social justice issues, the military and the power elite in the US all in the guide of comedy.

      • Not at all. The responsibility of informing the public has unfortunately fallen upon comedians to do the work the media failes to do. Yiou are right about the dumbing down of the public but that is a process that was begin decades ago and continues today.

  2. Its no surprise that Aljazeera have covered this issue, whilst it is ignored by the main US networks. Aljazeera’s coverage of world news, even as it expands and grows in influence, is still far superior to that of the US networks generally.

    Riz Khan is a splendid interviewer. He researches his subjects thoroughly and asks the relevant and pertinent questions, whilst always showing courtesy and respect to his interviewees.

    For people brought up on the poor diet of biased propaganda and the aggressively pro-establishment interview techniques of the US, Riz Khan and Aljazeera generally provide a feast of different opinions and genuine news and analysis.

  3. Al Jazeera and Press TV are my main news channels nowadays. Although you’ve gotta self-filter the BS on Al Jazeera about Iran.

    • PRESS TV? Press TV is just as much a propaganda network as is VOA. Take what you see there with a bag of salt. To compare Press TV to Al Jazeera is disgusting.

  4. These folks have generous health plans, pension rights, and public safety disability. They are not in dire need of a federal handout.

    If someone says “9/11” are we supposed to shut off our brains?

    • In fact, the first responders on last night’s Daily Show – along with all of the others who are ill as a result of their work at Ground Zero – have been cut off from their benefits as a result of being put on long-term disability or simply removed from the department where they worked. None of the four men were eligible for health plans or LTD, and have been fighting for nine years (in some cases) to have their medical condition affirmed as “work related” by Worker’s Compensation boards in multiple states.

    • Isn’t Prof Cole’s (and Jon Stewart’s) point precisely that, in a functioning democracy such points are reported and analyzed openly rather than being filibustered and then self-censored?

      Not that Al Jazeera’s host country is a functioning democracy either.

      On the other hand, who is surprised? Bearers of uncomfortable news are always being erased from the pages of Time and some would like them
      wiped off the map altogether.

  5. […] But as he noted last night, none of the three broadcast networks, CBS, NBC, or ABC has even bothered to mention the issue over the last two and a half months. In fact, Juan Cole reports that the only broadcast network to give the story a decent amount of coverage was Aljazeera. […]

  6. Stewart really ripped it up last night

    Stewart ripped it up last night. Bringing attention to how our Reps had enough time to pass legislation that benefited most of them (millionaires) but the Republican filibuster of the ZADROGA BILL( 9/11 first responders) will keep this bill from moving forward. Go watch Stewart at Huffington Post or at the Daily shows website.


  7. o.k. linked the Stewart story at huff po and here at Washington Note, Race for Iran, Mondoweiss, and have sent it to Emptywheel at Firedoglake and Jane Hamsher.

    Contacted Reps. Hope others will do the same. Thanks Prof Cole. This is absurd that this has not all ready passed.

    Wonder how may of our Reps will benefit from that tax cut extension but could not pass this. Republicans should be shamed about this. Too bad it took Stewart embarrassing our MSM to get them on this. Bet Rachel or Chris Matthews will get on this now

  8. Put all of this up at Hardballs Hardblogger. Have been trying to get Chris Matthews to have you on for years. Rachel, Chris and the rest do not seem to want a balanced view on the middle east based on facts. They like to have people like Douglas Feith and Gaffney on. Aye yi yi

  9. Thursday Dec 16 th, 500 people protested just outside the White House against the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and drones being used in Pakistan, Afghanistan and that part of the world. The protest was organized by Veterans For Peace and the crowd was made up of Vets, Daniel Ellsberg, Cindy Sheehan, Dr. Margaret Flowers, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, members of the anti war pro peace organization Code Pink and many others. There has been little to no coverage of the protest or the arrest. No coverage by Rachel Maddow who only seems to cover Iranian’s protesting against their government or gay rights protest. Diane Rehm did not cover the protest or arrest. Chris Matthews did not cover this protest or arrest and it took place within a few miles of their studios. 131 people were arrested two thirds of those arrested were Veterans.

    link to
    photos of the protest
    link to

  10. I think al jazeera English is an excellent channel, it along with cnn international and france 24, in my opinion, provide the best and most overall balanced coverage, however that isnt to say that the channel is perfect, channels shouldn’t just be judged on how critical they can be towards american issues, they should also be judged towards how critical they are towards their own nations or the nations in which they were developed, here al jazeera does not do as well, it’s all good and well criticising the press freedom in let’s say italy on shows like the listening post, but al jazeeras criticism on Qatar’s press freedom is quite muted.

  11. This reminds me of record of the Republican cutting veteran’s benefits after launching the Iraq war.

    I have heard some bad things about Al Jazeera from Middle Easterners but I am not sure of the details. I think Asad Abu Khalil has been warning about problems with this network.

  12. I’m pretty sure that hinterland Republicans really don’t care anymore about the responders or 9/11 victims’ families and wish they would just shut up and go away. Except when you can exploit them to buttress some fearmongering campaign.

  13. I have been watching Aljazeera since day one, Aljazeera brings people from the far right all the way to the far left people like Daniel Pipes and Noam Chomsky, in my opinion, it is the ultimate news machine.

  14. ABC finally mentioned the bill on their news, either last night or tonight. It was the first I’d heard of it.

    Also, great new layout!

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