Last Week Tonight is back, in a studio, and with a live audience and a new set! This week... Texas's awful new abortion law that lets private citizens sue people who got or in any way abetted an abortion, including the people who drove the patient to the hospital. And Now: Yet Again, It's That Time Of Year (Starbucks is bringing back their Pumpkin Spice Latte). Main Story (YouTube, 19 minutes): Belarus, specifically its leader Alexander Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed "last dictator of Europe," who has clung to power for three decades. He's the most popular president Belarus has ever had, but only because he's the only president Belarus has ever had, and is in fact deeply unpopular and controls that nation's media with an iron fist. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sponsored Content Season 8, Ep 13
This week once again comes to us from the White Void of Sad Facts. The Supreme Court is on track to review Roe vs. Wade, to the chagrin of practically every non-conservative. In Philadelphia, Larry Krasner, running in favor of police reform, won a primary for D.A. and is set to go against Republican Charles Peruto. Along those lines there is a brief recap of cartoon character candidates in the news, such as Andrew Giuliani. And Now: San Francisco City Council Meetings' Public Comments Are A Joy To Behold. The main story: sponsored content (21 minutes), specifically in local news programs, revenue source for local stations that, due to vague FCC rules that suffer from lax enforcement, often is insufficiently identified as paid programming. Many examples are given, including three that Last Week Tonight produced themselves and got placed for a mere few thousand dollars, for the "Venus Veil," a fake product that is the "world's first sexual wellness blanket." [more inside]
A pair of teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania travel to New York City to seek out medical help after an unintended pregnancy. [more inside]
One of the most fearless writers of our time, Jodi Picoult tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.
Romania, 1987, the brutal Ceausescu communist regime is in place; birth control is illegal and abortion is a crime punishable by death. Gabita is almost five months into an unwanted pregnancy and in meek desperation turns to her friend and roommate, Otilia for help in organizing an illegal termination. Unfortunate circumstances force the two women to use an unwanted male abortionist, Bebe. [more inside]
When Melinda Dawson was seven years old, she learned that she was adopted under mysterious circumstances. As she got older and had children of her own, she tried to learn something about her biological parents. And when she went to the county courthouse and asked to see a copy of her birth certificate, she discovered that she was an unwitting participant in something much bigger and more complicated than she could have imagined.
David Plotz, Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson discuss the unfolding anti-Trump effort, Hillary Clinton's general election potential and the Supreme Court's recent debate about abortion access in West Texas. [more inside]
This week.... Donald Trump wins the South Carolina Republican Primary despite a feud with the Pope, and Jeb Bush finishes fourth. Republicans dig in on not confirming whatever replacement Supreme Court Justice Obama nominates. The "Judicial Crisis Network" makes an ad saying Republican senators should not confirm made mostly of smiling faces bought from stock footage sites. Last Week Tonight provides a stock footage rebuttal. How is This Still a Thing: Hollywood whitewashing. This week's main story:
breast implants abortion (16m), and the stealth efforts of the right to outlaw it de facto by making it impossible in some states to operate an abortion clinic through the imposition of ridiculously onerous rules. The show finishes up with footage of a bucket of baby slothes -- and one in person, in the studio. Metafilter thread. [more inside]
Please Like Me: Pancakes with Faces Season 3, Ep 6
As Tom & Ella make a nervous trip to the dentist, Josh & Claire have to deal with a decision that makes them realise they're growing up fast. Mum plots revenge when she learns Stuart is still seeing his wife. [more inside]
Lake Of Fire is a very dark, very thorough, very good, and very triggering 2.5-hour documentary by Tony Kaye about the politics of abortion in the US in the ‘90s and early aughts. The film captures a range of beliefs about abortion, manifestations of community among the pro- and anti-choice, the blood that has been shed in the war, and (a fraction) of the reality of the process of getting an abortion. [more inside]
Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help.
Exploring strange Craigslist posts. Plus, what it's like to have online harassment blend with real-life threats when you're an abortion provider. [more inside]
Jane the Virgin: Chapter One Season 1, Ep 1
Through a series of plausible accidents, Jane gets pregnant through artificial insemination. Now she has to make some decisions. [more inside]
The Knick: The Golden Lotus Season 1, Ep 9
Thackery does lots of coke. Everett prescribes an emetic to someone with an eating disorder. Barrow gets salt water from his loan shark instead of cocaine. Disregarding the evidence in front of his nose, Bertie hits on Nurse Elkins and she gaslights him. Bertie also refuses to admit that Thackery is a hop-head. There is one patient in The Knick who doesn't care that Dr. Edwards is black. Finally, we learn that 'golden lotus' means foot not a portion of a woman's nether regions. [more inside]
A romantic comedy about an abortion!