The “Last Week Tonight” host isn’t interested in offering a balm for tough times. He wants you to pay attention VIDEO
So I saw this with a different summary elsewhere, more aggressively phrased about how John Oliver was “schooling” Stewart and Colbert, which set my teeth on edge, as do headlines/summaries that are so blatantly attention-seeking.
The article itself doesn’t overshoot quite so much, but there is this reaction to John’s segment last Sunday about the payday loan racket:
This was precisely the kind of story that would never appear on a fake news show. First, because it’s not part of the idiotic news cycle that most of those shows wind up aping (i.e., there’s no “hook”). And second, because it happens to be about the segment of our population most underrepresented in the media: poor people.
Um, no. To point to just one example from this year, Jon Stewart did this powerful segment (be sure to watch the second half that automatically follows) about Fox News’ outrage that poor people use food stamps to eat seafood. “What’s with the fucking fish?”
I’m glad that John’s format on HBO lets him tackle larger issues in such an in-depth way, and yes it does let him do things that Jon and Stephen can’t do as easily, but it’s not exactly a refutation of “fake news.” I disagree with the author that Jon and Stephen are more of “court jesters” looking to ease our pain with laughter. I regularly leave their shows with plenty of outrage over what’s going on, glad to be informed.
Besides, the whole premise is a little ludicrous since John hasn’t done fifteen episodes yet, while Jon’s been at his show for sixteen years and Stephen for nine.