Nobody does smart, righteous takedowns through mild-mannered sarcasm as well as Jon Stewart does. Since his departure from "The Daily Show" in 2015, his witty social and political commentary has been missed. Now he's back with his own show, "The Problem With Jon Stewart," on Apple TV+, and he's in peak form.
For years, Stewart has advocated for government support for veterans and first responders impacted by toxic chemicals, with several testimonies before lawmakers making the viral rounds on social media. He has played an active role in pushing legislation to provide compensation for 9/11 heroes who have suffered ongoing health issues from exposure to chemicals and particulates at ground zero, as well as veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a four-minute clip of an episode called "The Problem With War: Burn Pits and Sick Veterans," Stewart says that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs keep putting off action on veterans suffering from toxic chemical exposure because they claim they need clearer evidence. However, as he points out, not only has evidence that benzene and dioxin are harmful been reported on for decades, but the Defense Department's own internal memos say so as well.
The Problem With War: Burn Pits and Sick Veterans | The Problem With Jon Stewart | Apple TV+youtu.be
"We know the chemicals in burn pits are the same chemicals in Agent Orange and the same chemicals at ground zero. And we know exposure to those chemicals make you sick," Stewart said. "We know. They know. We know they know. And now I think they know that we know that they know."
Stewart always throws in that bit of wry humor, but the message he's delivering is deadly serious.
"Now veterans are dying and going bankrupt because the DoD and VA are forcing them to indisputably prove a connection they already internally admit exists," Stewart said. "And what makes it so incredibly demoralizing is that they are holding the veterans to a standard of proof far beyond the one our own government used to send them to war in the first place."
Leave it to Jon Stewart to drive the point home with such clarity and with a gut punch right at the end.
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