After decades of mercilessly “eviscerating” Fox News during his time as host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has made a surprising number of appearances on that network in years, almost exclusively to promote his activism around issues like medical benefits for 9/11 first responders and now veterans who were exposed to “burn pits” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The comedian remained dead serious on Tuesday when he joined Fox host Martha MacCallum to explain why he was in Washington lobbying for a bill that would provide aid to veterans affected by that toxic exposure.
“If a senator or a representative is unsure of the science, let’s go dig a 10-acre burn pit in their town, light it on fire with jet fuel and see how quickly the health effects come to the forefront,” Stewart said at one point, as the Fox host nodded along sympathetically.
But before their time was up, MacCallum just couldn’t help but try to goad Stewart into playing into the Fox News narrative about the Biden administration’s proposed spending.
“You know, you see the trillions that we’re talking about spending for a lot of different things right now, for COVID, for infrastructure,” she said. “How does that make you feel about what you’re pushing for here?”
Instead of taking the bait, Stewart completely turned the argument back around, pointing out that the money it would take to handle the burn pit problem is “dwarfed” by these other concerns, essentially making it a no-brainer.
“Listen, just even at the Pentagon, you’re talking about $750 billion, $800 billion a year,” he explained, adding that what he and his fellow advocates are asking for is a “fraction of that to implement the card and benefits that these folks have already earned.”
“Very true,” MacCallum, replied before thanking Stewart for his work and inviting him to come back on Fox News when the time comes to promote his upcoming AppleTV+ show The Problem with Jon Stewart. He didn’t make any promises.