Shepard Smith attacks Tom Coburn for blocking 9/11 first responders bill

Fox's best anchor attempts to shame the unshamable senator from Oklahoma

Published December 21, 2010 11:15PM (EST)

For the second day in a row now, Fox News' Shepard Smith used his 3 p.m. show to publicly shame specific Republicans for blocking passage of the bill that would fund healthcare for ailing 9/11 first responders. Yesterday, Shep called out a dozen senators who refused to come on his show and explain themselves. Today, Shep singled out Sen. Tom Coburn, a conservative's conservative, who is at this point the last Republican still willing to publicly block the bill from coming to the floor.

Republicans were just sort of mindlessly blocking this bill because they could for weeks, until Jon Stewart pushed the issue into the national press. At that point, even Fox began pushing for the bill's passage, though only Smith and Chris Wallace have thus far actually pointed out that Republicans are the ones obstructing it. (Hannity guest-host Mark Steyn, in contrast, is not a big fan of the bill, because he is a monster.)

Coburn is a mean sonuvabitch who really doesn't care if you call him out, though. He responded by calmly explaining that he is opposing the bill because it provides "overly generous funding" to firefighters with cancer. There is really no shaming some people.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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