On the morning of July 16, 1996, someone walked into a furniture store in downtown Winona, Mississippi, and murdered four employees. Each was shot in the head. It was perhaps the most shocking crime the small town had ever seen. Investigators charged a man named Curtis Flowers with the murders. What followed was a two-decade legal odyssey in which Flowers was tried six times for the same crime. He remains on death row, though some people believe he's innocent. [more inside]
A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government. [more inside]
So, last week....
- "Unfortunately, we must begin, again, with President Trump, two words that continue to sound unnatural together, like 'Walrus Porn,' or 'Tilda Swinton.'" Trump promises a crackdown on illegal immigrants, despite problems hiring ICE agents, and withdraws Obama-era guidelines for transgender students in school bathrooms.
- And Now: Some Random Thoughts From WCBS2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main Story: The Affordable Care Act (YouTube 19m), and Republicans trying to repeal it despite unexpected (to them) popular opposition. LWT examines what it is, problems with it, and Republican plans to fix it.
- And Now: WCBS2 Meteorologist John Elliott Drops Some Famous Names
- Finally, the Supreme Court. Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland for 11 months, so that they'd have the opportunity to have their guy Neil Gorsuch confirmed, a historic abberation. To reflect this, LWT's Dog Supreme Court is filling the seat, not with a dog, but by a choice of three lobsters, that they're asking viewers to vote for on their Twitter feed.
On this episode, we visit Edward Blum, a 64-year-old “legal entrepreneur” and former stockbroker who has become something of a Supreme Court matchmaker — He takes an issue, finds the perfect plaintiff, matches them with lawyers, and works his way to the highest court in the land. He’s had remarkable success, with 6 cases heard before the Supreme Court, including that of Abigail Fisher. We also head to Houston, Texas, where in 1998, an unusual 911 call led to one of the most important LGBT rights decisions in the Supreme Court’s history. (The overriding theme of this episode is the creation of test cases.) [more inside]
On the inaugural episode of More Perfect, we explore three little words embedded in the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “cruel and unusual.” America has long wrestled with this concept in the context of our strongest punishment, the death penalty. A majority of “we the people” (61 percent, to be exact) are in favor of having it, but inside the Supreme Court, opinions have evolved over time in surprising ways. [more inside]
"Starring Kerry Washington, Wendell Pierce and Greg Kinnear, Confirmation takes a look behind the curtain of Washington politics, depicting the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings where Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. The hearings brought the country to a standstill and became a pivotal moment in American culture forever changing how we perceive and experience workplace equality and gender politics."
We start with Ask Ken and Robin, as Patreon supporter Ross Ireland asks us to tell our best crazy game stories. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump's Border Wall Season 3, Ep 6
This week.... Brazillians protest against their president Dilma Rousseff and their legislature moves to impeach, although 60% of members themselves face criminal charges of some kind. Obama nominates Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Scalia's death. And Now: two segments on CBS This Morning's Awkward Sex Talk. Main story: Trump's proposal to build a border wall along the US/Mexico border. (YouTube 19m) Finally, Last Week Tonight begins to consider updating their All-Dog Supreme Court and asks the public to choose a dog for the event that Garland gets confirmed. [more inside]
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]
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]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Same Sex Marriage Legalized in U.S., Transgender Rights, The Leap Second Season 2, Ep 19
This week: In a landmark decision the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court also upholds the subsidies of the Affordable Care Act. CNN mistakes a flag covered with images of sex toys for an ISIS flag. The ex-president of Ukraine emerges from hiding to defend his private zoo, and LWT marks the occasion with video footage of ostriches mating. And Now: A Few More Seconds Of Ostrich Sex. Main story: Transgender rights, and the legal challenges remaining to transgendered Americans. YouTube (17m) And Now: This Is Not CNBC's First Rodeo. Finally, on June 30 a leap second will be added to the clock. Last Week Tonight commemorates the event with the sites spendyourleapsecondhere.com and johnoliversecstapes.com. Web exclusive: And Now: Five Years Of People Prematurely Declaring The End Of Obamacare. (2m) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sugar in US food, interview with Dr. Jane Goodall Season 1, Ep 22
Sweden freaks out over possible Russian sub offshore near their capital. New York freaks out over Ebola patient. Some of the results from last week's Real Animals/Fake Paws court footage. Main story: FDA plans rules on disclosing on nutrition labels how much sugar is added to food, but are opposed by food manufactuers. Interview with Dr. Jane Goodall. Some of the gaffes of Toronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford, Rob Ford's brother.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators in Afghanistan, Livening Up Supreme Court Reporting Season 1, Ep 21
Ebola Freakout. Vladimir Putin has a full day. McDonalds hires a former Mythbuster to promote their food. Main story: the plight of military translators (16m), with guest "Fnu" Mohammad. And Now: People in Congress Reminding you Exactly How Long They've Been In Congress. How to liven up Supreme Court proceedings (6m): take a cue from Keyboard Cat and replace courtroom drawings with dogs. Presented with raw footage of dogs (and a duck and a chicken) (11m) that news agencies (and you, the viewer at home) can use to make your own backing footage of Supreme Court audio.
This week: Luis Suarez bites another player in the World Cup for the third time. Snakes and bees drive the terrorist organization Boko Haram out of the Nigerian forest. Obama requests $500M in aid for moderate Syrian rebels. US Supreme Court decides Hobby Lobby case. Politicians misuse the word "literally." Ugandan persecution of homosexuals intensified due to influence by American evangelical groups. Interview with Ugandan transgender activist Pepe Julian Onziema. Part 2 (web exclusive).