Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In his "Stupid Watergate" update, John Oliver warns of Trump going "full O.J."

Illustration for article titled In his Stupid Watergate update, John Oliver warns of Trump going full O.J.
Screenshot: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

John Oliver has famously dubbed the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation “Stupid Watergate,” since, as the Last Week Tonight host put it on Sunday’s show, everyone involved in this latest attempt by a sitting president to undermine American democracy is “dumb, and terrible, and bad at everything.” Oliver might have apologized for dipping back into the Stupid Watergate well once again for his main story, except that, as he explained, the Trump administration’s only hope for survival in the face of Robert Mueller’s dogged pursuit of evidence of its traitorous bumbling is to wear the American public (and beleaguered late-night comedians) down to numb nubs. And, as Oliver spelled out in his examination of the trifold tactics of a certain state media organ and blaring propaganda engine, Trump, unlike Richard Nixon, has Fox News further scouring the airwaves with relentless, unmitigated bullshit.

Noting with alarm polls showing shrinking support for the continuation of Mueller’s probe, Oliver called out the Fox faux newspeople’s intellectually dishonest foghorn strategies, like Sean Hannity’s incessant deployment of “‘Carrie on Homeland is off her meds’ conspiracy boards.” Intended to obfuscate the fact that Mueller’s investigation already has uncovered enough sketchy, illegal, and outright incompetently villainous activity to sink a presidency in anything resembling a functioning democracy, Oliver warned that Fox’s calculated reframing of reality is “transparent, illogical, and dumb... and depressingly effective.” (Try to watch a focus group of Fox viewers spouting “deep state” Fox talking points and not throw things.) Drawing a parallel to another case where a “sociopathic, misogynist millionaire” was facing a seemingly insurmountable mountain of damning evidence, only for his highly-paid spokespeople to appeal to the court of public opinion with a barrage of conspiracy-minded button-pushing and sense-dulling catchphrases, Oliver called Trump’s attempts to undermine the entire system of justice, “going full O.J.” At least, playing the metaphor out, that means that Trump will eventually do time for something completely unrelated—if there’s a viable legal system left standing when this all comes down.


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter