Active Measures chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladimir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. [more inside]
A documentary that loosely follows avowed dirty trickster Roger Stone through the 2016 campaign while reviewing the broad outlines of his career - from outsider, to Reagan campaign insider, to consultant, to outsider and insider and outsider (and insider?) again, all loosely framed around his (claimed) desire to someday run Donald Trump as a candidate for President. Featuring interviews with Stone, Paul Manafort, Tucker Carlson, Trump, and many others.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 2016 Election Result Season 3, Ep 30
This week (11/13):
- The only story is the outcome of the 2016 Election and the selecting of Donald Trump as the next US President. The full consequences of this are detailed, and his staff picks are discussed, and also offered is a look into how this happened: the prevailing use of social media to isolate people into echo chambers and feed them disinformation. A list of many organizations you can donate to and volunteer for is offered. It ends with a hearty FUCK YOU to the year 2016.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Multilevel Marketing Season 3, Ep 29
This week (11/7):
- The final pre-Election 2016 segment! Contains a couple of old Daily Show clips, of John Oliver 1. begging Donald Trump to run for the comedy potential, and 2. claiming the Cubs will never win.
- And Now: The Inevitable, Sad Consequences of Morning Shows Celebrating Halloween
- Main story: Multilevel marketing companies like Herbalife, Kyäni and "Nu Skin," and their suspecious similarity to pyramid schemes. With LWT's own pyramid scheme at the end -- money isn't involved, but passing a video around to five of your friends is. Because MLM companies are now targeting the Latino community, the segment is offered on YouTube with Spanish subtitles. English - Spanish subs (both about 32m))
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Segregation Season 3, Ep 28
Week of 10/30:
- Regrettably, more on the 2016 Election, putting aside a story on Pirate Party making progress in Iceland, among others, to make room for it. OH WELL:
- The FBI finds a few Clinton emails in an investigation into oh god I can't believe I'm typing this Anthony Weiner, yes HIM again, Carlos Danger himself. Worth watching just for the footage of Biden reacting to the words "Anthony Weiner."
- And Now: The Stream-Of-Consciousness Musings of WCBS-2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main story: School segregation, and its surprising continued prevalence, not in the South, but in New York state. YouTube (18m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Voting On Tuesday (It turns out to have started because, in the 1800s, people were expected to be spending Monday travelling to the polling place to vote.) YouTube (4m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Opioids Season 3, Ep 27
Week of 10/23:
- The final debate of the election, and some highlights of awful Trump statements made during it, particularly his promise to keep us "in suspense" as to whether he'd accept a loss or not. Clinton and Trump were also both present at the Al Smith dinner in New York, where Trump spoke, and bombed. Henry Kissinger's reaction to Trump's speech: "Dis is not good." At the end, in order to allow Trump to save face should he lose the election, Oliver makes a bet with Trump on-air: he will bet Trump that he wins the elction, with the stakes being Oliver's Emmy award statuette.
- And Now: You'll Never Guess What Christ Matthews' Favorite Movie Is
- Main story: The rise of addictive opioid prescription pain killers (Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet), resulting in over 30,000 overdose deaths a year, and actively promoted, predictably, by the pharmaceutical industry. YouTube (19m)
- People Who Somehow Got Elected: US Representative from Wisconsin's 6th District Glenn Grothman.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Third Party Candidates Season 3, Ep 26
Week of 10/16:
- Donald Trump has had quite the week as multiple women come forward with news of unwanted contact. Trump continues to rotate wildly, lashing out at both Clinton's campaign and his own. But dangerously he also loudly proclaims at rallys, "The election is rigged!"
- And Now: The Most Patient Man on Television (Steve Scully): 2016 Election Edition
- The issues with third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), who despite Johnson's loud recorded protestations, have a high chance of being spoilers this election cycle. YouTube (19m)
- And Finally: A Glimpse Into the Innter Workings of the Most Patient Man on Television
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Guantanamo Bay Season 3, Ep 25
For the week of 10/9:
- Trump's tape talking to Billy Bush bragging about being able to grope women. A portion of it on YouTube (5m)
- And Now: A Look Back At Billy Bush's Creepy Bromance With Donald Trump YouTube (1m10s)
- Main story: Guantanamo Bay, President Obama's continued difficulties in closing it, and the true meaning of "Freedom Isn't Free." YouTube (21m)
- And Now: A look Back At Billy Bush Being Creepy With Everyone. YouTube (1m20s)
- Another look at Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who's now running a reality show and staging martial arts battles among children. This is the guy who Oliver teased earlier this year, asking "Is this your cat?"
- Trump tries to spin his terrible debate performance by citing terrible, exploitable online polls, and his thin skin somehow gets even thinner, as he casts aspersions on a former Miss USA winner by, well.... Oliver: "That is a candidate for President of the United States urging America to check out a sex tape. Just do me a favor. Look up into the sky right now. Higher. No, higher still. Do you see that? Way up there? Way up above the clouds? That's rock bottom. And we are currently way down here."
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies
- Main Story: Police accountability, or rather its lack, as it turns out that police who use deadly force practically never get called on account for it, due to a variety of increasly infuriating reasons. YouTube (20m)
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies, All Christ Matthews Edition
- More on Wells Fargo, how the company retaliated against whistleblowers who called an internal ethics hotline to warn of wrong-doing. It turns out that the case for ethics had been made by a training video that Wells Fargo themselves had commissioned. The host of that video, it turns out, now works as a writer for Last Week Tonight! He stars in an update for that video. YouTube (4m)
This (last) week:
- The protests in Charlotte over yet another police shooting, and the release of video from the incident.
- Employees for Wells Fargo created a huge number of accounts for people without their knowing, in order to extract fees for those accounts, due to an "aggressive" sales campaign.
- And Now: Wait, Is WCBS2 News at 11 Just Fucking With Us At This Point?
- Main story: The scandals plaguing the Clinton and Trump campaigns, how the Clinton ones tend to be more annoying than truly serious, while the Trump ones tend to all be blockbusters that would doom any other candidate, resulting in scandal fatigue. YouTube (21m)
- Hillary Clinton releases her tax returns. Donald Trump claims Obama founded ISIS. He also claims that, if Hillary beats him, it must have been because of vote cheating. He also loves charts. Part 1 (4m) - Part 2 (4m)
- The American Petroleum institute airs a new commercial, and totally rips off the style of Last Week Tonight's intro! Of course you know, this means war. (4m)
- Main story: Predatory auto lending (18m) and its effects on the disadvantaged.
- Restrictive voting laws struck down in Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina. (4m)
- A military coup fails in Turkey, and the Turkish President Erdogan seeks revenge. (4m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Tanning Beds
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention (18m)
- And Now: Some More Highlights from the Democratic National Convention
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Republican National Committee, and Campaign Songs Season 3, Ep 18
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention, and Hillary Clinton's choice of Tim Kaine as her VP pick.
- David Cameron's successor Teresa May's controversial pick of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
- And Now: A Summary of Roger Ailes' Contribution to Our Political Discourse
- Main story: A recap of the 2016 Republican National Convention. (12m)
- And Now: A Few More Highlights From the Republican National Convention
- Referencing both the RNC's unapproved use of Queen's "We Are The Champions" for their convention, and the long history of Americal political parties misappropriating music, often unlicensed and frequently ironically, LWT got Michael Bolton, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Cyndi Lauper, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Dan Reynolds, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson together to make a music video to speak against the practice. (7m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Retirement Plans Season 3, Ep 15
- Cold open, without an audience, in which John Oliver discusses the shooting in Orlando. YouTube (2m)
- Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic Party's presumptive candidate for US President, and gets involved in a Twitter scuffle with Donald Trump. Part 1 - Part 2 LWT provides a GIF of a vomiting Abraham Lincoln.
- And Now: People on Television Asking You to Imagine Things
- Main story: Retirement plans and how many people are charged fees far exceeding what they expect. (Here are LWT's print-out certificates of Elf Spotting and Financial Planning.) It ends with a piece offering LWT found to be the best, simplest way to manage your 401K: low-fee index funds, and gradually moving money from stocks to bonds over time. YouTube (21m)
- Trump and his businesses, it turns out, have been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits over three decades. LWT focuses on those concerning Trump University. YouTube: Part 1 (4m) and Part 2 (9m)
- And Now: Wolf Blitzer States the Obvious
- Main story: Debt, how Americans are in it (to the tune of $12 trillion dollars), how they get in it (often unavoidable medical reasons), how debt buying has become an industry to itself, and how it operates (predictably, badly) To demonstrate how easy it is to organize as debt buyers and buy debt, LWT organized as debt buyers in Mississippi, set up an EXTREMELY bare bones website, bought $15M of medical debt, the debt of 9,000 Texas people, and forgave it. The cost to them was a mere $60K, but it was technically the largest televised giveaway in history, beating out Oprah Winfrey's famous car giveaway. Oliver: "It is done! It is done! I am the new queen of daytime talk!" YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES Season 3, Ep 13
- Protests rock Venezuela as their economy continues to deteriorate due to low oil prices.
- Canada Prime Ministar Justin Trudeau hits a very minor scandal, "Elbowgate," due to his pushing his way through a crowd of people in the House of Commons.
- And Now: John McLaughlin Angrily Introduces Discussion Topics.
- Main story: Primaries and Caucuses, the means by which the Democratic and Republican candidates get chosen, which is far from proportional to public will.
- And Now: Increasingly Weird Bell Ringers at the New York Stock Exchange
- Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, widely considered to be a brutal strongman and who idolizes Putin, has completely lost his cat. LWT launches a campaign to find Kadyrov's cat before anyone suffers for it. Follow-up on Huffington Post.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Science Season 3, Ep 11
- Ted Cruz drops out of the race for the Republication Nomination, leaving Donald Trump as presumptive nominee. (YT 4m, via Fortune!)
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calls the first meeting of their Worker's Party since 1980. (YT 4m)
- And Now: The Next President of the United States
- Main story: Science (YT 19m), and how good, and not-so-good, studies get trumpeted by the media as saying things that they don't all the fucking time. LWT presents a parody of TED talks, "TODD," to make their point.
Sneak up on us very carefully as Ask Ken and Robin responds to a Josh Kroger question regarding stealth systems in RPGs. [more inside]