Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Europe Swings Right, Net Neutrality, National Spelling Bee Ends In Tie
June 2, 2014 6:30 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

This week: far-right groups including Greece's Golden Dawn party picking up seats in the European Parliament, Ukraine elects candy billionaire Petro Poroshenko as President, Obama's plans to leave Afghanistan, White House Press Secretary Jim Carney retires, the FCC's planned ruling on Net Neutrality (13m), the idiocy of Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and Scripp's National Spelling Bee ends in a tie. The show's official YouTube page offers this bonus clip (4m) coming off the hiatus.
posted by JHarris (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Abbot segment had me gawping in amazement. That dude makes W look good.
posted by KathrynT at 8:26 AM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Are Austrialians as bored with dingo-->baby jokes as this Canadian is with "aboot" jokes? The rest of the episode seemed really solid, but those two jokes just felt cheap.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:51 AM on June 2, 2014


* Europe swings to the right after European Parlimentary elections, Greece's ultra-right Golden Dawn party gains seats.
* Ukraine elects candy billionaire Petro Poroshenko President.
* Obama's plans to leave Afghanistan
* "And now, after resigning, (Press Secretary) Jay Carney tells one last pack of lines to the White House Press Room."
* FCC's planned ruling on Net Neutrality. Best bit of the episode. Highlighed are how Comcast sabotaged Netflix on their service until they paid them, Obama's cozy relationship with the cable industry and his nominating a cable industry lobbyist to run the FCC, "the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo," and the monopolistic practices of the companies that have given the US high broadband fees but worse download rates than Estonia.
* Other Countries' Presidents Of The United States: Tony Abbott, the ultra-right Prime Minister of Australia. Includes him saying that no one is "the suppository of all wisdom."
* Scripp's National Spelling Bee ends in a dual victory, with two champions. Contains a Mortal Kombat reference!

"Just to be clear, the ranking of who buys influence (in Washington) is, #1, military-industrial complex, and #2, the provider of Lizard Lick Towing."

"That is even boring by C-SPAN standards. I would rather read a book by Thomas Friedman than sit through that hearing!"

Reported by the show: the FCC is inviting comments on Net Neturality at http://fcc.gov/comments.

To respond to KathrynT, I don't think Abbott is dumber than George W. Bush, it's easy to forget with approaching two terms of Obama worth of distance that the man was responsible for a great many stupid things. But I think he's as dumb, that the Elect-The-Useful-Idiot plan is something the rich and powerful wield throughout the world.
posted by JHarris at 12:29 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]




Are Austrialians as bored with dingo-->baby jokes as this Canadian is with "aboot" jokes?

No these continue to be fair dinkum hilarious and make me want to throw another shrimp (of non-stop chortles) onto the barbie (of gut-busting comedianship).
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:52 PM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tony Abbott is a 24 carat ball-tearer of an imbecile though.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:53 PM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's not that he's dumber, per se. It's that he seems to be even further along the axis of "constantly saying mindblowingly awful things in complete serene ignorance of how actual human beings actually function." Like when he dropped the wink to the camera when the woman said "I am a 60 year old woman with multiple incurable life threatening diseases and I work a phone sex line to make ends meet." I just, what?
posted by KathrynT at 3:03 PM on June 2, 2014


It's that he seems to be even further along the axis of "constantly saying mindblowingly awful things in complete serene ignorance of how actual human beings actually function." Like when he dropped the wink to the camera when the woman said "I am a 60 year old woman with multiple incurable life threatening diseases and I work a phone sex line to make ends meet." I just, what?

Ah! The Tommy Wiseau of politics!
posted by JHarris at 5:11 PM on June 2, 2014


"[T]he suppository of all wisdom" still has me giggling today, as well as his total silence with with the journalist asking him for context.
posted by gladly at 5:52 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't get over it myself gladly. I hope whoever goes against Abbott in the next election remembers to title him The Suppository of All Wisdom. That's a nickname that deserves to stick.
posted by JHarris at 6:45 PM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, when he was silent, that weird nodding he was doing, like he had delivered a crushing coup-de-grace. Like how he thought the journalist should be writhing on the ground against his incredible comeback. Wow.
posted by JHarris at 6:47 PM on June 2, 2014


"Because lest we forget, when Europe goes far right, they go far right through Belgium." Heh heh.

John Oliver is wonderful.
posted by lullaby at 1:31 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love this show, but I wish John would figure out something else to do with his hands. He over-emotes with them, and it's so distracting.
posted by jbickers at 5:26 AM on June 3, 2014


I have always enjoyed John Oliver, but this show is so amazingly great! He didn't invent the News Satire as primary source of news, but he sure as hell is perfecting it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:57 AM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]




I've never met an actual Australian that likes Abbot. Is this like the Rob Ford thing, where scared people in suburbs voted the guy in and everyone I know is an intellectual from the city center that hates the guy?

Is there a right wing streak in Australia? I've been there a couple times and met loads of people from Oz, but only once or twice did someone seem like an American Republican to me, the rest were all pretty liberal.
posted by mathowie at 5:18 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


> I've never met an actual Australian that likes Abbot. Is this like the Rob Ford thing, where scared people in suburbs voted the guy in and everyone I know is an intellectual from the city center that hates the guy?

Yeah, that's exactly what it's like. I lived my whole adult life in inner city Perth and Melbourne—basically in a moderate/left-wing bubble where I never had to knowingly cross paths with Liberal Party supporters. But I've been living in London for the past eight years and recently visited my mum in the sprawling West Australian working class suburban 'city' of Rockingham and holy shit that place is crawling with Abbott supporters.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:17 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is there a right wing streak in Australia? I've been there a couple times and met loads of people from Oz, but only once or twice did someone seem like an American Republican to me, the rest were all pretty liberal.

Abbott is not even well liked within his own party. The hardcore Liberal voters that I know voted for the party, not the man.

You have to understand that the previous Labor government's two terms were marred by general incompetence and messily public infighting, switching Prime Minsters twice in that period. They were also terrible at communicating successes. I think we voted Labor out, rather than voted the Coalition in.

I've never met an actual Australian that likes Abbot. Is this like the Rob Ford thing, where scared people in suburbs voted the guy in and everyone I know is an intellectual from the city center that hates the guy?

Pretty much.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:45 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


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