Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Supreme Court
February 19, 2024 10:27 AM - Season 11, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Welcome back! This week (and the past two months).... The Chicago Rat Hole. (wait, what?) Tucker Carlson had a fawning interview with Vladimir Putin. Israel continued its horrific assault on Gaza. Courts have hit Trump with gigantic fines, but he keeps on Trumping, saying (amidst the word salad) all the horrifying things he's now been saying for over eight years, including telling Russia to "do whatever the hell they want." And Now: Chuck Grassley Celebrates His Favorite Holiday (Groundhog Day). Main Story: The Supreme Court, which has been losing respect among many, has been rocked by news of gross financial impropriety by Justices, which is dangerous for an institution with no enforcement power. Thomas, in particular, has accepted millions of dollars of trips and other gifts from conservative billionaires, including some who frequently are involved in matters before the court, and almost never recuses himself from their cases, and in recognition of its status as the highest court, the law explicitly carves out exceptions for Supreme Court justices. Last Week Tonight offers to resolve the appearance of impropriety with its characteristic bluntness: if seats on the highest court of the land are so invulnerable to appearances of influence without consequence, then John Oliver himself will offer Justice Clarence Thomas a $2.4 million-dollar motor coach and a million dollars a year for the rest of his life, if he will just step down from his office. In Oliver's words: "How is this legal?"

Note: for the past ten seasons, Last Week Tonight has generally posted its main story to Youtube a few hours after the episode aired, but this time it hasn't, so I can't yet give you a link to the main story.

For more on the history of and reasons for Clarence Thomas, I recommend to you the episodes of Robert Evans' podcast Behind the Bastards on him, parts one, two, three and four. (Most Bastards, like Vlad the Impaler, only get one or two!)

F. 37: "Vox Populi," NAVALNY
posted by JHarris (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
God I laughed so hard with that offer. It's so bad and dumb that we're here but how funny is it to expose that corruption like that.
posted by Carillon at 11:34 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Can you imagine Fox News' reaction if Thomas agreed?
posted by Marticus at 1:19 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Re: The posts on YouTube, I just read that HBO has decided to wait until the following Thursday to share the main story on YouTube. ☹️
posted by JonathanB at 6:27 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

Pretty bad, but I was worried that they were going to stop uploading them altogether. And this might actually help the main story achieve a little extra traction, delaying the shareable version until midway through the week, although it may also hurt blunt its initial impact. Note: the piece they did a couple of months ago on Elon Musk currently has 8.8 million views, and the video they did on the Israel/Gaza conflict also has over 8 million.
posted by JHarris at 9:01 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

What a way to kick off season 11!

Wait, shit, it felt like only a couple of months or something since the last season.
posted by porpoise at 12:37 AM on February 20

It has been; the previous season of Last Week Tonight ran long because it had been interrupted by the writers' strike.
posted by JHarris at 6:10 AM on February 20

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