Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Narendra Modi
February 23, 2020 10:56 PM - Season 7, Episode 2 - Subscribe

A tiny Trump intro, Mike Bloomberg's attempts to buy a candidacy, Larry King weirdness, and the religious fundamentalism and nationalism of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his circle.

I don't promise that I will keep doing these deep posts, but I will when I can and have the time/energy.

Mike Bloomberg's spending $400+M on ubiquitous ads on campaign to almost literally buy the Democratic candidacy; And Now: Larry King Wants to Know Everything About His Guests; And Now: Larry King Wants His Guests to Know One Thing About Him (he hates eggs); and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's persecution of religious minorities. Oliver: "...throughout his career, Modi's party, the BJP, has served as the political arm of a hardcore Hindu-nationalist paramilitary group, the RSS. I know I've just thrown a lot of letters at you there, but if there's one thing that I'd like you to know about the RSS, and by extension Modi's party, it is this:"
Vice on HBO: "The RSS as formed in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar with the purpose of creating a Hindu unity. Early leaders such as M.S. Golwalkar admired Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, for steps taken to ensure, 'the purity of the race and its culture.'"
Oliver: "That is true. The founders of the RSS admired Hitler for ensuring the purity of the race. Which is just, not a chill thing to admire Hitler for. There is one, and only one, thing it is okay to admire Hitler for, and it is the fact that he killed Hitler."
Modi plans to publish an India-wide list of citizens, forcing everyone to provide documents to prove they're Indian, with those who cannot being declared illegal immigrants, an act widely seen as targeting Muslim residents since only non-Muslims are protected under a different law, the Citizen Amendment Bill.

F. 37 "Pre Pardonus", ROGER STONE
  • Oliver, on himself: "...looks like the ghost of a stork who died of a milk overdose while listening to 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.'"
  • on India: "It narrowly beats out America as the country in which a twenty-minute lecture in this accent is the least welcome."
  • on white people: "...we were created when a sale at Kohl's fucked a true crime podcast."
Google and Facebook have served two billion ads for Mike Bloomberg, working out to 30K a minute.

Mike Bloomberg: "Where's my ice cream? THere it is. Mmm. Big Gay Ice Cream is the best."

Instagram meme account specifically named as shilling for Bloomberg, so you can unfollow them: grapejuiceboys, fuckjerry and shitheadsteve.

Oliver reminds us that, in NYC, Bloomberg's term as mayor was marked with massive expansion of Stop and Frisk, which empowered police to stop anyone they suspected to pat them down, over 700,000 thousand times in a community of eight million people, with over 80% targeting Black and Latino subjects. An encounter with two undercover police by a 16-year-old named Alvin that he recorded in 2011 and was aired on Nightline was played:
OFFICER: "Our job is to look for suspecious behavior."
OFFICER: "When you keep looking at us like that, looking back-"
ALVIN: "Cause you're always like-I just got stopped like two blocks away." OFFICER: (heated) "Listen to me. When youre walking the block with your hood up and you keep lookin back at us like that, we think you might have something."
OFFICER: "Do you want to go to jail?"
ALVIN: "What for? For what?"
OFFICER: (angry) "Shut your fucking mouth, kid!"
ALVIN: "What am I getting arrested for?"
OFFICER: (very angry) "Shut your mouth! For being a fucking mutt!"
A clip was aired of UNICEF's sanitation campaign in India, "Take Your Poo To The Loo." Here's the music video (4m) on YouTube; enjoy.

posted by JHarris (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Gah, the typos in the post are glaring to me now. I made the post pretty rapidly. It's too much to do to not rush.
posted by JHarris at 12:57 PM on February 24, 2020

Thank you for the great post!

I missed John but man is this another depressing story.
I find it comforting when there is either a prank or an action item at the end (like with net neutrality, or the megachurch). This just left me sad but informed. I mean, I'm still glad he's back but I miss his mischievousness as well.

On a side note, the episodes air on what is Monday morning in our time zone. I honestly look forward to Monday 6am all week.
posted by M. at 11:23 AM on February 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

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