John Oliver returned with Last Week Tonight after a three month hiatus and it wasn’t long before he started swiping at Fox News.
The HBO Max host kicked off the evening by talking about the defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems had filed against the cable network. Files that had come to light had prompted Fox News anchors like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham to air voter fraud allegations while privately saying it was “shit” and “crazy”.
“Wow, if I were a Fox viewer I’d feel pretty betrayed by that,” Oliver said. “It’s like finding out that Big Bird has been texting Elmo regularly saying ‘F**k them kids,’ and Elmo agrees.”
Oliver continued, “This filing shows the extent to which Fox hosts didn’t believe the shit they were selling, which is totally fine when you work for QVC and have to fill an hour on why jeweled squatty potty.” will change your life . But it’s a bit more worrying when you’re pretending to be the news.”
The late-night host also mentioned that he was most intrigued by “how terrified major Fox characters were about losing their audience to more conspiracy-friendly networks like Newsmax.” Oliver said he understood Fox hosts’ concerns and the pressure to keep their ratings “kind of” and gave an example of how the folks at Last Week Tonight are doing it.
“We’re also under pressure to keep our audience, it’s just that we’re doing it the old-fashioned way, by having integrity, self-respect and the blind luck of airing right after successful prestige dramas that people actually want to see. It’s not difficult,” he said, as audiences applauded as the logos of shows like Game of Thrones, Succession and The Last of Us appeared on screen.
In his latest jab, Oliver said there are two felony offenses at Fox News: 1. “Making the stock price go down.” 2. “Being a sex monster for decades (but only if people outside the company find out about it).”
Oliver’s first point was a reference to Carlson, who suggested firing a Fox News reporter for “hurting” the company’s stock price after she reviewed a Trump tweet about destroying votes.