Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Elon Musk
December 18, 2023 9:36 PM - Season 10, Episode 21 - Subscribe

This week, Rudy Giuliani sued for defamation of two Georgia election workers, dinged for $148 megadollars, and went right back to repeating the claims that got him successfully sued outside the courtroom. The main story: Elon Musk, the good and bad. A bit of good (getting the big automakers to care about EVs), but a whole lot of bad. On Youtube (31 minutes). And Now: People On TV Do Not Understand This Holiday Dessert (fruitcake). And finally, this is the end of Season 10 of Last Week Tonight. There is a look back at some episodes, and talk about some stories that didn't happen because of the (necessary!) writer's strike. Thanks for watching along, see you when Season 11 starts.

Put downs of Elon Musk:
* Lex Luthor posing for the cover of Metropolis Maniacs Monthly,
* Why no Mr. Bond, I and my child bride expect you to die,
* I just bought your media company and I'm about to strip it for parts,
* Space's first racist sheriff,
* a less-fuckable reimagining of Billy Zane's character in Titanic.
* The world's richest man is playing the "You're not breaking up with me, I'm breaking up with you" card
* he's doing it to confused silence while wearing a jacket from Ralph Lauren's Midlife Crisis Collection
* he's clearly going for "bad boy" there but ended up looking more like Red Pilled Chip from Rescue Rangers.

The list of things Elon Musk did to harm Twitter (by no means exhaustive):
* Fired 80% of its workforce,
* dissolved its Trust & Safety council,
* blew up the verification system,
* exercised the same censorship he claimed to be against,
* reactivated the accounts of various white supremacists,
* released "The Twitter Files," in which he basically mistook the emails of various feckless left-leaning tech weenies struggling with the impossible job of content moderation as signs of a vast elite conspiracy to silence right-wing dipshits,
* changed the name to 'X,"
* put a giant 'X' on the building, which he then took down,
* and just this week reversed his earlier decision and let Alex Jones back onto the site, "a decision that's been met with resounding praise from 'Big Loud Fucks Quarterly.'"

The list of areas where the government has ceded authority to Musk to at least some degree: "every day, Musk's companies control more of the Internet, the power grid, the transportation system, object in orbit, national security, and its energy supply." (The New Yorker, "The X-Man," September 11, 2023.)

F.37: "Holtis In Aeternum," ANDRE BRAUGHER
posted by JHarris (12 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A couple of weeks back, I complained in a comment in one of the recent Musk threads about Musk doing things because largely the government hadn't. Someone challenged me on the ways that happened, and I didn't have a list at hand so I went by immediate memory. Please substitute Last Week Tonight's list, ultimately from The New Yorker, for the one I provided.
posted by JHarris at 9:38 PM on December 18, 2023 [6 favorites]

Heh. The election workers have re-sued Rudy to get the judge to permanently gag him from defaming them.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:39 AM on December 19, 2023 [16 favorites]

I don't always watch John Oliver, but I did catch this episode. Good stuff! My favorite part was the bit at the end where he talked about having both increased respect for things Musk has done that nobody else was willing/able/rich enough to do, and increased concern at realizing just how much power and influence Musk actually has.

I stopped watching JO very regularly a season or so back where it seemed like he was just angry all the time, and the humor was very hard (for me, at least) to find. Glad to see he's back on his game.
posted by cupcakeninja at 9:24 AM on December 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

This is probably my favorite episode of the show because John Oliver ripping on Elon is what I've always wanted.

This is also a good rundown on what he said.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:29 AM on December 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

The way John signed off, I was almost expecting an announcement for the end of the show. Gladly, it wasn't such.
posted by porpoise at 11:24 AM on December 19, 2023 [2 favorites]

He ends many, not all but many, seasons like that. It's not the biggest send-off he's done, that would probably be the dance party of all the mascots the show's staff has made.
posted by JHarris at 11:56 AM on December 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also, just to note: at the time I got the Youtube link of the Main Story on Elon Musk to put into the post, the video was #2 on Youtube's Trending list.
posted by JHarris at 2:33 PM on December 19, 2023

Oh no, Elno.
posted by Marticus at 5:08 PM on December 19, 2023

It's not the biggest send-off he's done

Here's another contender.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:11 AM on December 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

I wonder if he was serious about junking unused segments and starting from scratch each season. Seems senseless to waste good topics like pet insurance and dental elder abuse.
posted by dr_dank at 3:46 PM on December 20, 2023

I don't think they abandon them so much as are probably so pressed with new horrible things to talk about that they never get around to covering unused topics from previous seasons.
posted by JHarris at 4:20 PM on December 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

Also - I would imagine that many of those actually didn't stand up to research (ie they wouldn't have made good segments) but as a list it really works.
posted by mce at 2:40 PM on January 7

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