Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dollar Stores Season 10, Ep 18
This week.... Fox Business asks Fabio for opinions on the Israel-Hamas war. The House passes a bill to prevent a government shutdown before the end of the year, but was also marked by multiple congresspeople insulting and even threatening each other. And Now: You'll Never Guess Where Fox's Pete Hegseth Went To College. (Princeton) Main story: Dollar stores, specifically Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which also owns Family Dollar), and how terribly they treat their employees. Dollar General has been called the worst retail job in America. Often a single employee runs the entire store at a given moment. The median Dollar General employee makes $18,352 a year. The piece finishes up with a trademark fake promo for a store called "Dollar Bucket." On Youtube. (22 minutes) Finally, an update on the New Zealand Bird of the Century poll, their sponsored bird, the pūteketeke, won the poll with over 22 times the votes that the second-place finisher, the kiwi, got. The organization that ran the poll was Forest & Bird, who are selling metal sculptures of the winning bird (with a removable John Oliver that can ride on its back) at the site metalbird.com. Last Week Tonight is off next week.
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: Abortion Rights Season 10, Ep 16
This week... Ron DeSantis claims he doesn't wear lifts in his shoes. Main story: the fight to preserve abortion access in US states. "[...A] truly horrible thing to have to add to the list of things that pregnant women are not safe to do. So it's now officially: ride a roller coaster, eat sushi, dye your roots, and simply exist in the State of Texas." It's on Youtube (23 minutes). And Now: It Was Halloween, And Local TV Hosts Did What They Always Do. And finally, New Zealand is having a poll to decide their "Bird of the Century," and Last Week Tonight is waging an "alarmingly aggressive" campaign on behalf of the Pūteketeke, a.k.a. the Australasian crested grebe. The website of their campaign is here. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dialysis Clinics Season 4, Ep 12
New events worthy of mention:
- Trump again. The fallout from his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and the many problematic things about it.
- Congressfolk's continued denial over the situation mentioned above as every functioning adult in the nation gets steadily angrier about their refusal to do anything about it. "When you've got the Presidential equivalent of a five-year-old shitting on the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays, at some point you stop blaming the five-year-old and you start blaming the people who are not stopping him."
- Back to New Zealand's ruling National Party's appropriation of Eminem music. New Zealand PM Bill English heard about Last Week's Last Week Tonight mention of the court case and said, "some of the stuff I've seen he does isn't very funny." LWT, in retaliation, found an actual Facebook post Bill English made, with pictures: "Cooked dinner for the family last night - like if you agree with tinned spaghetti on pizza!"
- And Now: A Series of Terrible Pizzas That New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English Would Probably Enjoy
- Main Story: Kidney dialysis clinics, particularly those operated by DaVita, and the dangerous extents many go through to save costs, like rushing patients through dialysis, and the deeply terrible methods some employ to keep customers using their services and not seek out life-saving transplants. DaVita has had to settle nearly a billion dollars to settle lawsuits over the past five years, while their CEO compares his business (willingly!) to Taco Bell. LWT offers a commercial for Taco Bell stating how it's not a proper business model for dialysis clinics. YouTube (24m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality II Season 4, Ep 11
Recently in the news....
- More on the court case where Eminem is suing New Zealand's National Party for using, in an ad, a song that sounds just a little too close to "Lose Yourself."
- The U.S. House of Representatives rapidly moves to pass an updated (but still no better) version of the AHCA, before most people really knew what exactly was in it and before the Congressional Budget Office could score it, sending it to the Senate.
- And Now: To Celebrate Their Engagement This Week, A Look Back At The Romance Between Joe Scarborough And Mika Brzezinski. "Congratulations?"
- Main story: Net Neutrality is up in the air again due to Trump's newly-appointed head of the FCC Ajit Pai, a pseudo-hip former Verizon lawyer planning on changing the rules. LWT notes that his complaints about the restrictiveness of the current rules are a bit disinginuous, since it was a court case brought by Verizon that resulted in them. The FCC is once again soliciting public opinion, and like they did in the show's fifth episode, LWT encourages you to write in with your opinion, this time purchasing a domain name, www.gofccyourself.com, to take people to a search that makes the comment request easy to find, important since the FCC's comment form is less friendly to navigate than it was the first time. YouTube (20m)
Last Week Tonight S03E01 Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at age 79. Chipotle restaurants face federal investigations over food safety. (LWT produced a small commercial for them.) Main story: Voting (YouTube 14m), and the increased obstacles put in place to make it harder for US citizens to vote in elections. And Now: Newscasters Using Entirely The Wrong Tone. New Zealand's Prime Minister Steven Joyce is smacked in the head by a thrown phallus and is thereafter nicknamed by the New Zealand Herald "Dildo Baggins." Joyce tweeted to send it the GIF to John Oliver to get it over with -- and so they put the image on a flag, and gave the flag to Peter Jackson to wave. And then things got weird.... Yes that's right: Last Week Tonight is back! [more inside]
This week.... New Zealand Prime Minister John Key answers surprisingly candid questions on radio. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, unpopular for his reforms, courts controversy with an insensitive TV commercial. A Copenhagen zoo's decision to kill a healthy two-year-old giraffe and feed it to the lions is followed up by the decision to kill two lions and their cubs, and another zoo in Denmark dissected a lion in front of a crowd. LWT helpfully produced an honest commercial for Denmark's zoos. Main story: Canada has an election tomorrow (er, by now, two days ago -- Justin Trudeau won). Cameo appearance by Mike Myers! YouTube (15m) And Now: A Student Passes Out Listening To Steven Harper Speak. (Two students, actually.) Finally, in response to the epidemic of quote misattribution by political figures and generally on the internet, LWT created a website to generate random misquotes from historical figures, definitelyrealquotes.com. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Televangelists Season 2, Ep 25
This week.... Cuba allows their US embassy to reopen for the first time in decades. Historians confirm that US President Warren G. Harding had a child out of wedlock. New Zealand is considering changing their flag, and held a competition for people to suggest designs. John Oliver points out some particularly ludicrous entries. And Now: Six More Actual Flag Designs Submitted to the New Zealand Goverment, With Descriptions of What They Look Like. Main story: Televangelists, those forgotten scourges of the poor, their tax-exempt status, and the surprisingly legal things they get away with. YouTube (20m) To demonstrate the extent of the problem, LWT started their own church, "Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption." Said church has a website, www.ourladyofperpetualexemption.com. Metafilter thread about the episode. [more inside]
This week: The 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, how it's reported in the US media, and Obama's attempts to tiptoe around the word genocide in official statements. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key is called out for repeatedly yanking a waitress' ponytail and pretending his wife did it YES THAT REALLY HAPPENED. An update on everyone's favorite media quack, Dr Oz fights allegations that his show is a biased, misleading, terrible source of medical information. And Now: Political Figures Interviewing Themselves. The main story: The fashion industry's long-standing and continued reliance on oversea sweatshop labor (YouTube 17m).
Hungary protests an internet tax. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key floats changes to his nation's flag. Lowes tests out employing robots instead of help staff in a store(6m), prompting Last Week Tonight to make a commercial for Home Depot in response. A couple of days before the 2014 elections, John Oliver takes a look at the madness of state legislatures(17m). Web exclusive: the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel reaches one million subscribers(2m). "I think of YouTube subscribers the same way I think of pogs: I recently acquired a lot of them, and I'm not quite sure what they do." According to the LWT YouTube channel, next week is the end of the first season of Last Week Tonight(1m).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Embargo on Cuba and A Look at The Miss America Pageant Season 1, Ep 18
After historic turnout, Scotland elects remains in the UK. The ruling party of New Zealand uses an Eminem song in a campaign commercial without permission, and is pretty dismissive about it. More NFL players are under fire from domestic abuse allegations. (2.5m, extended web exclusive) Newscasters refering to the future using the fifty-old cartoon The Jetsons. Obama extends the US trade embargo with Cuba. People on the news insincerely laugh at each other. A long piece on the Miss America pageant and their questionable claims for funding woman scholarships. (15.5m) Surprise guests: Kathy Gifford, and "Giuseppe," who they objectively determine on a runway is a better host than John Oliver.