I’m not saying that John Oliver is carefully reading every Pajiba article and taking notes. But I am saying it seems surprisingly coincidentally that Dustin wrote this on Thursday, and Oliver put this out on Sunday.
God, we needed that.
Now admittedly, the segment is not perfect. Inherent to Trump’s campaign is the idea that he’s never been wrong about anything. Last Week Tonight could lay out the most carefully constructed, well-reasoned argument ever that Trump is a lying, unqualified buffoon, and Trump would carefully explain that he’s never even heard of John Oliver because he was too busy discovering penicillin (and not by accident either because everyone knows Trump doesn’t have accidents). Oliver and Co. admit that with both the lemur and the burned off stump jokes which is not to take away from either of those jokes. They were awesome. So while it’s reassuring to know that we haven’t actually lost our minds and Trump is verifiably a delusion bag of lies, it doesn’t do enough to attack Trump where it could really hurt him. To borrow from Dustin’s piece:
[Jon Stewart] called out the media for not calling out Trump. He held the media’s feet to the fire, and it mattered because they had respect for Stewart (so much so that Megyn Kelly was reduced to tears when Jon Stewart call her on her hypocrisy). Television newscasters and pundits were more careful, because they didn’t want to end up in one of Stewart’s Daily Show segments, and I can only imagine the holy hell that Stewart would’ve brought down on Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
Trump cannot be shamed. He’s established that fact over and over again. But these people?
These people can clearly be shamed. And horrified. And possibly they can feel the terror at the realization that they’ve created a monster and are now unsure of how to deal with him.
Oliver’s trying to go directly to the source and convince the general public that Trump isn’t the demigod he says he is. I’m not saying it’s ineffective, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a large enough cross over between Last Week Tonight fans and Trump fans to access enough people to make a difference. Calling out derelict reporters and journalists is a significantly more direct link to the assholes who like Trump. And while I don’t think Oliver will be dedicating anymore show time to dealing with the U.S.’s overgrown back mole, I will be sending Dustin proposed think pieces on the matter all week just in case.