Tag Archives: John Oliver

John Oliver explains “the most influential media company that you’ve never heard of”

The largest owner of local news stations in the country, Sinclair is finalizing a deal to acquire Tribune Media, making it an even larger force in local media.

WATCH: John Oliver takes on Donald Trump

Previously, John Oliver had said that his show, Last Week Tonight, wouldn’t spend as much time on the presidential primaries as it would other topics he thought were more important.

Last night he threw that out the window as he aimed almost the entire episode straight at the frontrunner and presumed winner, Donald Trump, in the race for the Republican nomination.

Here’s the whole segment.

WATCH: Making it harder to vote

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight made a welcome return to HBO Sunday evening with a barn-burner of a piece on voting restrictions.

Oliver has said he doesn’t intend to cover the 2016 election per se, but I would consider pieces like this even more important. These are issues that get relegated to the back burner on newscasts which don’t have the time to delve as deeply into the subject.

As always, Sunday night’s piece was as well-researched, as funny, and as enraging as ever, ESPECIALLY the part where legislators who worry about a non-existent voter fraud problem themselves cheat at voting in their legislatures.

Welcome back, John Oliver.

The absence of Jon Stewart isn’t all bad.

colbert stweart oliver

Yes, we’ve lost Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and it’s hard facing a world without him.

But it’s really not that bad, in fact it’s great, because not one, but two extremely talented people have already stepped into the void.

John Oliver is doing a show on HBO – Last Week Tonight – that delves deeply into topics we don’t normally think about, and I don’t think Comedy Central would have let him do that show. Certainly not without commercial interruption.

Also, Stephen Colbert is bringing his incredible intelligence and humor – and his Colbert Report writing staff – to a massive mainstream audience on CBS he couldn’t dream of reaching on Comedy Central.

So, Jon, enjoy your rest. Stephen and John have got this.

John Oliver is the second coming of Edward R. Murrow.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

If you’re not watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver​, you’re missing out on a cultural phenomenon — the rebirth of television news as a force for good.

We marvel at tales of yesterday in which a plucky news team led by a charismatic journalist in the person of Edward R. Murrow could not only report the news fairly, accurately and honestly, but with a sacred attention to detail and fact, and then present them in such a way as to not only make you understand, but to effect change. The fall of red-baiting Senator Joe McCarthy is people’s exhibit number one for that case.

At long last, the spiritual successor to Murrow has arrived in the unlikely guise of a comedian with a keen news sense, Mr. John Oliver, late of The Daily Show and now making quite a large mark on the media landscape with his HBO show, Last Week Tonight.

More than anything, John Oliver’s show is HARD NEWS, albeit covered in healthy gobs of laughter and comedy. But make no mistake, it is hard news.

Oliver delves deeper into an issue than most other TV news shows. TV, we are told, is for short attention spans. TV news, we are told, has time only for headlines and maybe a paragraph, but no more. Even long form news programming like CNN doesn’t dive deeply into an issue, it only repeats, ad nauseam, the top three lines of the story, with video on mind-numbing loops playing over and over again, and then asking a rotating band of pundits what they think about it. A powerless cruise ship and a missing airliner are people’s exhibits number two and three for that case.

John Oliver’s format is basically this: a “quick recap” of a couple of current stories, followed by his main story in which up to 25 minutes of the show can be devoted — in depth, with jokes, in detail, with jokes, stories told with WORDS, not just video, with jokes.

Maybe it’s because Oliver, with his funny little British man routine, is unassuming and nonthreatening, thereby sucking us in, but we watch and learn more about an issue than we ever could watching any other news show, except perhaps 60 Minutes.

Finally, people’s exhibit number four is Oliver’s handling of FIFA over the course of two shows. Now that arrests have been made and the exposure of corruption has entered mainstream public awareness, we see, once again, TV news not just as a source of information, but as a force for good.

John Oliver has been able to dress up Last Week Tonight as a comedy show, a spinoff of The Daily Show, the better to trick us into having longer attention spans. I couldn’t accomplish that, what with this LONG blog post. You probably stopped reading after the first couple of paragraphs because I’m not nearly as funny as Oliver. But Oliver has succeeded, and I can only hope he keeps succeeding. America needs another Edward R. Murrow, and if he happens to also be funny, so much the better.