Remember in 2013 when Jon Stewart went on vacation from The Daily Show? Well, not vacation per se, he was directing a movie, but he was gone for two months. Stewart chose his fill-in wisely. John Oliver did a fantastic job and that was, apparently, not lost on HBO. Oliver left TDS for his own show on the cable network a year later. And it’s phenomenal.
Since Last Week Tonight began, Oliver and his staff have done the sort of investigative reporting that used to be common in the U.S. news business. They examined those “scientific studies,” blew the lid off credit reporting, formed their own church to blast that industry, put the microscope to public defenders and how the poor get screwed by the legal system and, just recently, exposed the debt buying industry. For that last one, Oliver formed his own debt buying business, bought up $15 million in medical debt and forgave it on the air.
John Oliver has a special way of giving us not-so-terrific news while also making us laugh about it. He’s adept at walking that tightrope. So when he came on the air Sunday night, after the horrible events in Orlando, with his poignant introduction, Oliver endeared himself to us even further.
He began by saying that details were still emerging but “right now, this just hurts.” He continued, saying how this was a familiar pain. We felt this pain for Paris, Oliver submits, remarking that the attacks in Paris targeted “everything that symbolizes what is wonderful about France.” On Sunday, he noted, the gunman attacked a…
… Latin night at a gay club in the theme park capital of the world. And, for the record, I will happily embrace a Latin night at a gay club in the theme park capital of the world as the ultimate symbol of what is truly wonderful about America.
It’s a safe bet that most of us would join him. We talk a lot about what is wrong in America, especially this year, during an election. And we do have lots to deal with the make America even better. But, dammit, a Latin night at a gay club in Orlando does represent the best of America.
Oliver acknowledged that it is hard to know what to do at a time like this. But he has a suggestion. While showing a video posted on Twitter this morning of hundreds of people waiting in line to give blood, Oliver declared that this…
… kind of reminds you that that terrorist dipshit is vastly outnumbered.
That he is.
If you would like to donate blood for the wounded in Orlando — or for anyone who needs it — AABB.org has a blood bank locator. Please consider donation if you can. In Orlando, please make an appointment at OneBlood.org or call 1.888.9.DONATE (1.888.936.6283).
Jon Stewart knew what he was doing when he found and mentored John Oliver. Yes, we all miss Jon Stewart (I do like Trevor Noah, he just needs time) but we can all thank Stewart for giving us someone who is worthy to carry the political humor banner. John Oliver is funny, yes (I caught his stand-up and he’s painfully funny) but, comedy aside, Last Week Tonight has brought back real journalism.
Like most of you, I’ve been following and dealing with this horror all day. I have managed to keep my tears in check… until I saw that line and heard John Oliver talking about it. That, right there, is another thing that is right with America. God/dess bless.
Here’s the video:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgS5xljTSNo&w=640&h=360]
Featured Image via Screen Capture