Rove, O’Reilly Combine Their Ignorance to Battle Jon Stewart

Last night on Fox News (12/22/10), Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly attempted to defend GOP opposition tothe James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, whichwould providehealth care for 9/11 Ground Zero workers.

In his final broadcast of the year (12/16/10), Comedy Central‘s Jon Stewart devoted the entire show to lambasting the Republican opposition.Stewart’s attention to the issue seems to have pushed other media outlets to pay attention to this issue. (With any luck, we’ll remember this the next time there’s a “debate” aboutpeople watchinga comedy show instead of “real” news.)

Rove and O’Reilly’sdefense of GOP intransigence is hardly worth recounting. What was notable was theirsuggestion that Jon Stewart suspiciously developed an interest in this story just last week:

ROVE: But look, where was Mr. Stewart earlier this year–

O’REILLY: He didn’t know about it.

ROVE: –when they weren’t doing voodoo diddly squat to move this through? Where was the president of the United States?

O’REILLY: Look, look, look–you know the answers to these questions. You know the answer to these questions. They’re demagoguing the issue now.

ROVE: Absolutely.

O’REILLY: Because they’ve squeezed it into a corner where they want to pass it tomorrow.

This is, unsurprisingly, false. Stewart did a report on the health bill in August (8/4/10), when he blasted Congressional Republicans and Democrats for the failure to pass the bill–leading him to declare about the political process, “I give up.” You can watch it here. And send it to Bill O’Reilly while you’re at it (

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.