Hey, let’s go ahead and embrace this misery for a little bit. Everything is terrible. That’s an undeniable fact. I don’t begrudge anybody who tries to avoid the news right now, simply because it’s impossible to stay up on what’s happening and not just get overtaken by despair. Some real bad times right now. The only reason this week might be slightly better than last week is because at least we won’t have a Republican National Convention blasting out Trump propaganda on every broadcast network and news channel.
Still, we gotta take a deep, hard look at last week, and thankfully John Oliver is here to help out. It wasn’t just that the RNC was happening, and was, in Oliver’s words, “a full throated denial of objective reality” that was basically just four nights of “telling lies in front of flags.” It’s the fact that the Republicans were arguing that racism isn’t a problem in America anymore, while using racist language and stereotypes to disingenuously argue that the Democrats were going to destroy the suburbs—and all while protests over the police murder of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., were turning deadly thanks to a teenage Trump fan with a semi-automatic rifle. We got a terrible, frightening, depressing, fatal look at the consequences of the GOP’s lies and divisive rhetoric—and the Republican leadership and partisan media endorsed it.
We can’t just ignore or forget what’s happened and what’s happening. Last Week Tonight is a crucial must-watch not just because it’s very funny, and not just because Oliver and his team are better at real journalism than almost any other TV show, but because at moments like this its combination of facts, humor, and indignation serve two vital roles. It simultaneously informs and acts as catharsis for the horrors it reports on. It shouldn’t be the main source of your information. It shouldn’t be the extent of how you engage with the issues it reports on. But if you’re going to be staring at a screen, Last Week Tonight is near the very top of the list of things you should be watching.
Check out the latest clip from Last Week Tonight below.