Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Supreme Court Season 11, Ep 1
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?" [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Israel-Hamas War Season 10, Ep 17
This week... the main story is about the Israel-Hamas war, specifically about their leaders, "how they came to power, whose interests they do and don't represent, and what role they played in bringing us to this current conflict." Hamas undermined the efforts of the previous poltical party Fatah, which had been pursuing peace; and Netanhayu is currently widely reviled within Israel by those who blame him for the security lapses that allowed Hamas to attack, but has long had other very troubling issues, and currently presides over the most right-wing government in Israel's history. (On Youtube, 32 minutes) And Now: Rachel Campos-Duffy Really, Really Needs You To Know That Her Husband Was Once In Congress. Concluding the episode is an update over the New Zealand Bird of the Century election. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Safety and the FDA Season 10, Ep 13
This week... a cold open about the situation in Gaza. The US House voted out Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and replacing him won't be easy. And Now: Jim Cramer Is Totally Untroubled By His Haters. The main story (Youtube, 20 minutes) involves food safety and the failings of the Food & Drug Administration in ensuring it. And Now: Check Out The Sexual Tension Between Fox Business' Liz Claman And Charlie Gasparino. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stand Your Ground Laws Season 8, Ep 12
This week, once again from the void... . Local governments try different ways to incentivize getting vaccinated against COVID, from lottery money to free fast food. And Now: Ari Melber, Rap Genius, Will Just Not Fucking Stop. The conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists escalates, a conflict that, despite the both-sides, tit-for-tat framing the news media uses for it, greatly harms innocent Palestinians more than Israelis. The main story concerns Stand Your Ground laws (19m), an unnecessary set of laws passed in 22 states that removes the "duty to retreat" from armed confrontations, sometimes with disastrous consequences. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health, Peeple Season 2, Ep 29
Vladimir Putin launches air strikes against ISIS in Syria. Quick takes from the United Nations general debate: Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe defends their anti-homosexuality laws; Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaims the Iran nuclear deal by silently staring them down for 45 seconds; dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko brings his 11-year-old son to sit beside him in the General Assembly. The Secret Service hits scandal yet again by trying to embarass Congressman Jason Chaffetz by leaking his old job application to their agency. And Now: People On Television Talking Shit About Their Producers. Main story: the horrifying plight of the mentally ill in the United States. YouTube (12m) And Now: Newscasters Stretching The Definition Of The Word "Exclusive." And finally, the new "Yelp for people" app, Peeple... wait that sounds a bit familiar. Last Week Tonight launches a website to facilitate people saying awful things on the internet without actually hurting anyone: screamintothevoid.com. Or consider another suggestion by LWT: Peeble, an app which rates people according to the opinion of Mario Van Peebles. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Municipal Violations Season 2, Ep 7
This week: Elections in Israel go again to PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. --- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asks employees to discuss race matters with customers. --- 4th Graders in New Hampshire draft a bill to declare the Red-Tailed Hawk the official state raptor and travel to the state capital only to watch it get (metaphorically) shot down in flames. To make it up to the kids, LWT declares it the show's official bird, brings one into the studio, and airs a short promotional video. --- And Now: People On TV Honoring St. Patrick's Day In The Most Offensive Way Possible. --- Main story: Municipal violations in the US and how grievously they punish the poor. (YouTube 18m) LWT produced a short video piece against the practice, using hashtag #shutdownthefuckbarrel.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US Territories Season 2, Ep 5
This week: Federal civil rights committee finds evidence of systemic racism in Ferguson police department. Upcoming elections in Israel. Fanta ad pulled in Germany for referencing war-related origins. (Last Week Tonight makes a commercial for Fanta.) Main story: the rights of citizens and nationals in US territories. (YT 13m) How Is This Still A Thing: Daylight Savings Time. (YT 3m) And an update on the tobacco industry, and LWT's #jeffwecan tag and meme.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Payday Loan Industry, Russia Bans Food Imports Season 1, Ep 14
This week: Americans striking ISIS in Iraq with aerial bombardment. Russian gang steals 1.2 billion internet passwords. A three-day cease-fire in Gaza doesn't quite go the distance. A long piece on the payday loan industry. (16m) Russia bans Western food imports.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: America's Prisons Season 1, Ep 11
This week: Conflict in Gaza. Ukraine rebels shoot down airliner. The Commonwealth Games. John Oliver says the overall theme of the week was how depressing it was, so let's have a long piece on prisons in America... but with a puppet song at the end! John Oliver suffers so that we might laugh.