While John Oliver has already unleashed his premium-cable fury on how companies, the federal government, and Donald Trump are handling their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight he gave the right-wing media their spotlight. Or rather, the entire carousel of personalities who host a show on Fox News — who, despite behind-the-scenes network precautions being implemented to curb the spread of the virus, continue to downplay its severity on air. “Because,” Oliver explained, “they only pretend to believe these things on television for money.” The worst offenders that Oliver could find? Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, who enjoy referring to COVID-19 as a “hoax” or “hysteria” that Democratic “panic pushers” are weaponizing for their benefit. And, yes, our president is watching them all and taking notes.
“We have a compulsive liar who’s constantly listening to voices telling him that this is nothing more than the common cold, with potentially a 100 percent cure available,” Oliver said about Trump, “and that there’s already a great plan to restart baseball even as there’s a swimming-pool killing spree that for some reason nobody’s talking about.” Maybe, just maybe, Oliver will still be able to unite everyone in this difficult time. Please allow him to try, even if his methods are … unorthodox. “While there are no easy solutions to make this irresponsible media magically disappear, I guess there’s one trick we haven’t tried yet,” he added. “So if you excuse me, here it goes.” Okay, his method is a spit take. A wet, germy spit take. He had to try something.