The 2014 '30 Under 30'

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Jon Stewart goes nuclear over VA scandal

Jon Stewart

Comedy Central host Jon Stewart channeled the rage many Americans are feeling about the recent scandals plaguing the Department of Veteran Affairs and its treatment of veterans, and delivered a swear-filled rant about the failures of the agency during “The Daily Show” on Monday.

Stewart went nuclear on government officials, including Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, President Barack Obama (both of whom are “mad as hell”) and President George W. Bush, for failing to fix the blatant issues at the VA, despite having learned about them years before. Attributing their lack of action to “post-bureaucratic stress disorder, the “Daily Show” host mocked White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough for claiming he had the “scars” to prove how angry the president was over the scandal.

“No, I’m sure the story of how you got those scars will really impress the guys waiting at the VA for treatment,” Stewart said. “Oh, you lost a leg there to an IED in Fallujah. Well, I got this when some spittle hit me in the eyebrow.”

Stewart also laid into the officials heading those VA healthcare facilities — across eight states — that were found to be cooking the books on wait times for patients. Several investigations and news reports found that the VA was putting veterans on “secret waiting lists” to hide the long wait times many incur before receiving medical care. Such long waits led to patient deaths at VA hospitals in Phoenix, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M.

Those who allowed these wrongdoings to occur — and encouraged it — he said, belonged in the “Big Book of A**holes.”

Stewart then summarized exactly what he was feeling in one final rant about the hypocrisy of American leaders professing their love for those serving their country.

“Here’s what disgusts me,” Stewart said. “Somehow, we as a country were able to ship 300,000 troops halfway across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost us $2 trillion — an amount that didn’t count toward our deficit because we paid for it somehow under the table. Yet for some reason, it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement, all while we profess undying love for their service.

“…Love and respect ain’t getting the job done,” he continued. “If you want Americans to feel shock and awe, you’ll fix this f**king thing.”

 

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