Finally, John Oliver addressed Americans’ worst nightmare that has, unfortunately, come true: the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.
However, unlike other late-night shows, "Last Week Tonight" didn’t just make witty jokes about the absurdity of a Trump presidency — or lament over the defeat of who could’ve been the first woman president of the U.S. — but tore into one of the biggest reasons a Trump presidency was made possible: the media.
“It’s true! That happened!” exclaimed Oliver. “It turns out, instead of showing our daughters that they could someday be president, America proved that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world,” he added, referring to the culture of sexism that contributed to Clinton’s loss.
The host then went on to criticize the general post-election attitude of the mainstream media, which is all about hoping Trump doesn’t turn out to be as bad as previously thought.
According to Oliver, this kind of thinking could “feed into the normalization of Donald Trump. And he’s not normal. He’s abnormal. He is a human 'what is wrong with this picture?'”
Oliver added giving “Trump a chance in the sense of not speaking out immediately against policies he’s proposed is dangerous,” because some of them, including his promises to build a wall with Mexico and deporting undocumented immigrants, “are alarming.”
Then he took on the “cesspool of nonsense” on the internet, social media in particular, which helped spread false information throughout the presidential race. The show included a study of over two weeks of Facebook activity that found nearly 38 percent of news shared on some Republican-leaning Facebook pages and 19 percent of news on Democrat-leaning Facebook pages was false.
It’s alarming considering around 62 percent of U.S. adults get their news from social media, with Facebook being the top source.
Oliver also discussed the tragedy of how someone like Trump now has the power to shape the Supreme Court for the coming years, how a man who likes waterboarding “a lot” is going to head the U.S. armed forces and how a man loved by white supremacists is going to be the so-called leader of the free world.
“It is going to be too easy for things to start feeling normal — especially if you are someone who is not directly impacted by his actions — so keep reminding yourself: This is not normal,” the host said. “Write it on a Post-It note and stick it on your refrigerator, hire a skywriter once a month, tattoo it on your ass, because a Klan-backed misogynist internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address, and that is not normal. It is F****D UP.”
All in all, Oliver didn’t only ask, “How the f**k did we get here?” but also carried out his journalistic responsibility of answering the poignant question.
And that’s the way it should be.