John Oliver often spends a good chunk of Last Week Tonight’s runtime taking a deep dive into a single issue that’s making the news, or should be but isn’t. On Sunday night, he dove right into a week that was very unusual, even by his standards.
“It’s one of the rare times we’re actually living up to our show’s title, and like, why did you probably be called 28 Minutes On The Corn Tax Or Whatever The Fuck With John Oliver,” he said. “And the reason we’re doing that is that this has been one hell of a week.”
Oliver then drew a line between the rhetoric and outright lies sprayed at serious volume at the Republican National Convention last week and the protests and then violence that erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin almost simultaneously following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man. Specifically, the fact that the McCloskeys, a couple who went viral after they pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their St Louis home, were invited to speak at the RNC, then used their time to repeat the false, racist dog-whistle line about Democrats wanting to “abolish the suburbs“.
“Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police with three of his children in the car, and then in the protest that followed Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who traveled there from out of state and was illegally carrying a weapon killed two people,” Oliver said. “And look, I don’t know if he saw the McCloskeys speak the night before he chose to drive to a city he didn’t live into defend property he didn’t own. What I do know is that he was an avid Trump supporter, even sitting front row at a rally back in January. And Trump and his media ecosystem have been delivering essentially same message as the McCloskeys for years now.”
“The events in Kenosha would be infuriating at any time,” he went on, “but it’s somehow especially infuriating that they took place in the same week where the RNC was desperate to reassure the country that America isn’t racist, while simultaneously fear mongering about violent crime threatening law abiding citizens.”
The full segment, above, might not be a surprisingly fascinating deep dive on the corn tax or whatever the fuck. But it’s a useful summary of whatever the fuck is going on right now.