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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump's Budget Proposal, Bolivian Traffic Zebras  Season 4, Ep 6

Over the past 10,080 minutes....
  • "President Trump, two words that continue to sound bad together, like 'Horse Pope,' or 'Dr. Oz.'" Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time, whom he denigrated often on the campaign trail. He refused to shake her hand, which was almost as weird as that hand-pull thing he does when he shakes hands.
  • Trump also doubled-down on claims that Obama tapped his phones, claiming as a source a "talented legal mind" on Fox who turned out to be noted conspiracy theorist Judge Andrew Napolitano. Even Fox News backed away from the claim. Fareed Zakaria described Trump's behavior on CNN by using the word "bullshit" and variants of it several times.
  • And Now: Morning News Shows Celebrating St. Patrick's Day Literally The Only Way They Know How.
  • Main story: The Federal Budget and Trump's plans for it, which are predictably terrible.
  • And Now: A Special St. Patrick's Day Moment From Fox & Friends.
  • Finally... Bolivian Traffic Zebras. Bolivian Traffic Zebras. People in Zebra costumes helping traffic in Bolivia. Oliver asks, what situations wouldn't be made better by a helpful person in a zebra costume, and answers: nothing. To this end, LWT has posted green screen footage of a dancing zebra to their YouTube channel, for the use and wonder of all.
[more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 20, 2017 - 4 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Vladimir Putin  Season 4, Ep 2

So, what happened last week?
  • President Trump continues to amplify unquestioningly whatever whimsical story was presented on Fox News, this time that Sweden is having problems with immigrants, which Sweden denies.
  • The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong-nam (Wikipedia), was poisoned in an airport, by a woman who claims she was told to do it as part of a reality show.
  • A Florida man plotted to have bombs placed in 10 Target stores in order to drive stock prices down.
  • AND NOW: Fox & Friends is Painfully Aware of Who is Watching Them
  • MAIN STORY: Russia, specifically Vladimir Putin (YouTube, 20m). Him, his regime, how he's profited, what happens to those who oppose him, and Trump's fascination for him. LWT produced a short dance number about him, refering to the Russian pop song praising Putin.
[more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 20, 2017 - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump vs. Truth  Season 4, Ep 1

The first episode of season four! And so let's get right on to THIS WEEK....
  • The inauguration of Donald Trump, and his whirlwind of activity, which Oliver describes as "the tip of the shitberg."
  • AND NOW: Donald Trump Can't Shake Hands Right.
  • MAIN STORY: Trump vs. Truth (24m, NSFW). While just over a quarter of Obama's statements rated Mostly False or worse by Politifact.com, nearly 70% of Trumps rate so. In the process of covering this rich topic, we visit a Fox News commercial with a "cowboy," Breitbart, Alex Jones (apparently a primary source of information for him). They cover the history of the "three million voted illegally" lie from Twitter rando to President-Elect Trump to clueless person parroting it, creating a hideously self-reinforcing echo chamber that is currently driving policy in the United States.
At the end LWT, noting that Trump gets a disturbing amount of his news from certain programs, has put together a number of short commercial bits with useful information in them (like what the Nuclear Triad is, how the Unemployment Rate is derived, and "Tiffany"), and paid to put them into ad time in those shows. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 13, 2017 - 6 comments

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