With news coming today that Republican Sen. Tom Coburn plans to block any attempt to the pass a bill designed to aid and compensate 9-11 first responders, it will be interesting to see how Fox News anchor Shepard Smith covers the latest obstructionist development. (Coburn insists the legislation can be addressed "next year," even though supporters say they have more than enough votes to pass the bill this week.)
To Smith's credit, he's been virtually alone at Fox News in reporting accurately that it's been Republicans, and Republicans alone, who have stood in the way of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, named after a first responder who died from a respiratory disease attributed to his rescue efforts on the morning of the Sept. 11 terror attack.
On yesterday's show, Smith read off the name of Republican members of the Congress who refused to appear on his show and explain their opposition to the bill.
But now, nearly 24 hours later, it looks like whatever momentum the Zadroga bill had this week has faded with Coburn poised to block the bill for the second time this month. (A House version of the bill passed by 100 votes in September.) Like I said, it will be interesting to see how Smith handles a story he feels passionate about that so clearly features Republicans in the starring role of Scrooge.
Plus, will Smith take issue with the contemptuous claim made on Fox News last night that the first responder bill is just a "sentimental" piece of legislation, not "a big deal," and represents "everything that's wrong with the way government operates in Washington"?