On Thursday, Trevor Noah opened The Daily Show by reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to grant a stay of Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Noah noted that the Court’s move was essentially unprecedented: “The Supreme Court blocked Obama’s climate regulation before the case even reached them. And this is the first time . . . that they’ve ever done this.”
And he followed up with a bit of advice for the Supreme Court that began to sound extremely awkward only about a day and a half after Thursday’s show. Highlights (i.e. the most relevant bits) are in bold:
Late night TV hosts sometimes understandably like to make sure their viewers are still awake. John Oliver, for instance, delights in mislabeling his maps just to keep you on your toes:
In August, Jon Stewart inexplicably forgot about Washington (and the legality of its weed). More recently, erstwhile replacement John Oliver committed similar oversight during his segment on the controversial “Race Together” campaign from Starbucks:
On this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver was quite pleased to report that at least one Halloween costume vendor is responsible for “Sexy John Oliver” (see above). But though Oliver may be all the rage after the successful launch of his weekly program at HBO, anyone just beginning to ape his wardrobe is already quite late to the party.
You see, I noticed back in February of last year — when he appeared in a segment titled Halal in the Family — that John Oliver and I own nearly-identical (to my flawed vision) glasses. In fact, I’ve had a folder pointlessly (until now) saved on my computer ever since titled ‘John Oliver has my glasses’, containing only a screenshot* I grabbed from that episode of the Daily Show as evidence:
A little over two months ago last night, John Oliver* — in a segment on the phenomenon of police militarization, prompted by then-recent events in Ferguson — poked fun at the Keene Police Department for having cited the tiny town’s annual pumpkin festival as justification for its purchase of a Bearcat** (which looks like this):
So when this year’s festival erupted in riotous disarray, a whole mess of people gleefully and predictably gloated that those events somehow served to vindicate the Keene PD. Here’s a brief sample:
I want to briefly address another story that recently made the rounds, best expressed in this headline from Vox: “The perfect response to people who say all Muslims are violent, in one tweet“.
By ‘people who say all Muslims are violent’, the headline is responding to (inter alia) HBO comedian Bill Maher, who argued on his show that members of “the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are actually not extremist outliers but represent the inherent violence and intolerance of Islam itself, and by extension its 1.6 billion followers.”
Vox counters by citing this tweet and subsequent explanation:
In the course of last night’s discussion of why the International Olympic Committee is having so much trouble finding a city willing to host the 2022 Winter games, John Oliver noted that perhaps the organization’s extravagant demands had something to do with the lack of interest on the part of formerly-interested countries like Norway.
For example, the IOC requires that host countries stock their hotel rooms with seasonal fruits and pastries. “Incidentally,” Oliver continued, “what the fuck [this is HBO] is a seasonal pastry in Oslo in February? I’m guessing it’s something like herring with vanilla frosting.”
In John Oliver’s acclaimed evisceration of the Miss America pageant, HBO’s new host investigated the pageant’s oft-repeated claim that it makes $45 million in scholarship money available to contestants on an annual basis. Unsurprisingly, he concluded that the stated figure substantially overstates reality.
But he was wrong,* and it’s all because his fact-finding elves didn’t dig deep enough into the types of people who compete in the pageant — and particularly, into their educational proclivities (emphasis added):
Jon Stewart couldn’t get wait to get back from his 4th of July vacation and discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; the unfolding debacle was featured heavily in his very first segment the Monday of his return, (500) Crazies of Summer.
You’ve probably seen the segment by now. You’ve probably even seen some of the criticism it’s attracted. You might have even stuck around long enough on Tuesday night’s The Daily Show to watch Hillary Rodham Clinton tell Jon why she thinks his understanding of the conflict is skewed (here and here).
But even if I hadn’t directed you to those pieces of criticism, you probably could have just watched the clip yourself and had no trouble arriving at the conclusion that Stewart’s analysis of the current situation was largely facile and pointless. Essentially it boiled down to this: Israel has bigger guns.
Thank you, Mr. Leibowitz, for the nuanced update.
Though I don’t agree with everything Horovitz had to say about the segment (in “some of the criticism” above), there was one paragraph fragment that stood out to me as undeniably true and to the point: