Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Oliver isn’t falling for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s act

Screenshot: Last Week Tonight/YouTube

The notion that Ivanka Trump is all that stands between us and WWIII is one of the more popular myths to come out of Donald Trump’s time in office, along with “making America great again.” She’s shown considerable poise in front of the camera, and, in a page that’s not out of her father’s playbook, managed not to make racist remarks in front of millions of viewers. But, beyond her education and time spent running her father’s flailing businesses, the country hasn’t been given much reason to think she’s qualified for her job as assistant to the President. There’s very little proof that she and her husband, Jared Kushner—who landed a sweet gig as co-President recently—have acted or will act as moderating influences on their, oh, let’s say, more foolhardy relative. As John Oliver demonstrated on last night’s Last Week Tonight episode, most of what they have going for them is who and what they aren’t.

The low bars set for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner include not being Steve Bannon (which, if that’s all it takes to be lauded, could mean a whole lot of parades), making nonsense sound more palatable, and—in Kushner’s case—not making much of a sound, period. Oliver finds that liberals are so hard up for a mitigating factor, they’re projecting their own beliefs onto individuals who haven’t made any moves to suggest they’re not fully on board with the President’s agenda. The host warns viewers not to swayed by these blank slates just because they’re not covered in racist graffiti.


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