LWT Has Severe Journalistic Implications That I Feel Are Dangerous To Public Discourse | Mia Mulder

LWT Has Severe Journalistic Implications That I Feel Are Dangerous To Public Discourse | Mia Mulder

Welcome welcome welcome back, to another episode of previous month today! I’m not John Oliver. Just in time
for a quick recap of the week. Or rather not… I’m not John Oliver, I can do whatever I want, so let’s just get to the good bit. Last Week Tonight and the shows like it are
garbage here’s why. But before we
dig into that potentially controversial statement I wanna say: I love garbage. We all love garbage. Why do you think we
call food with flavor and taste garbage food? I love garbage food, but we call it
garbage food because if we eat it too much it’s really bad for us, and it’s not
really a part of a healthy diet. And I
can already read your comment saying “Hang on there ethnically
indistinguishable but less attractive John Oliver. Last Week Tonight is a
comedy show. Do you really think it’s a
fair comparison to compare last week tonight to Cheetos”? and you know a better
comparison would probably be vanilla ice cream for when you want ice cream but chocolate is too spicy. But I don’t think
it’s an unfair comparison to compare last week’s tonight and show us like it
to garbage food. They are the garbage
food equivalent of late night TV media. But before we dive into Last Week
Tonight let’s give some background. Political satire much like the cottage
cheese you bought two weeks ago is a complicated and potentially dangerous
subject. And this is a very important
part of the democratic process. If you literally aren’t allowed to make fun
of your politician then that severely
limits your freedom of expression, and so political satire then is a form of
expressing that political Liberty. Historically you have found political
satire in all forms of media. In
newspapers you can find them in political satirical cartoons and you can
also find it in movies such as “The Dictator”. In the last couple of decades
political satire has mostly been the domain of late-night TV hosts; the most
famous of which is probably Jon Stewart. Now Jon Stewart headlined at The Daily
Show for what many would consider to be the golden era of The Daily Show. The
Daily Show is also where many modern political comedians got their start. Samantha bee, Steven Colbert and John
Oliver have all been correspondents at The Daily Show and have all gone on to
make their own political comedy shtick. And; they’re all garbage and my issue
basically boils down to this. John Oliver: “I’m not a journalist
at all, obviously. Obviously I’m a
comedian.” The idea that political satire
shows aren’t news or rather are devoid of news, are devoid of journalistic
content. Jorge Ramos: “The interview with Edward Snowden
was a pretty big interview.” John Oliver: “right yeah it was a bizarre
experience” Jorge Ramos: “Why?” John Oliver: “Because you know I was only
there for two days and it was tense. Not the
interview but everything around the interview was tense because I felt
like we were being watched all the time as we probably were. Ramos: “Why do you think he
chose you, and not a, should I say, respected journalist?” Oliver: *Laughs* I really appreciate that. You’re right! I’m not a respected journalist because I’m
not a journalist. Ramos: “Are you a journalist?” Oliver: “No, No I’m not I’m a comedian.” Ramos: “But you are doing the job of a journalist.” Oliver: “I’m doing the job of a comedian.” Mia: Now all of the shows I’ve
mentioned are guilty of this but Last Week Tonight is probably the most guilty
of them all. It’s very established, it deals with many
informative topics and spends a lot of time informing the audience about those
topics, and thirdly: it is available and wildly popular on YouTube. Last Week
Tonight uploads the main segment of their show to YouTube every week and
they were one of the first shows to actually do this. It doesn’t just publish
comedy skits or outtakes like other shows do. They publish the main segments of the
show and this means that the show stands out by being practically free for most
of the world to watch. You might miss out on some skits or some humorous
content but the main segment of the show is
still there. Every week, every episode
there’s gonna be 20 minutes free to watch on YouTube. And there are many
reasons where the show would do this. The show gets ahead of pirates who would
upload the show to YouTube anyway. It makes the show shareable so you can give
it to all your friends and they can enjoy it for free, It gives a taste about what it would be like
to experience the full content if you were to buy into
that sort of experience. Speaking of
which. And this is why last week tonight
studs above similar shows when it comes to my criticism and that means that a
lot more people can watch but more importantly learn from last week tonight. There’s this thing called the John
Oliver effect, something that John Oliver himself claims does not exist. GMA: “So are you aware of this thing called
the John Oliver effect?” The term reflects the
influence the show has over the topic that it covers. Most famously it’s
expressed itself when John Oliver asked his fans to write to the FCC about net
neutrality and crashed the FCC server. However, similar things happen to almost
every single topic that the show covers. But even if the show itself doesn’t
actually deal with something the show often prompt other news organizations to
cover the topic as well; Because it’s in the media now, it’s trending, it’s in the
public discussion, it’s in the discourse. So what John Oliver is doing is making
people aware of a topic and also providing a way for people to act on the
information that he has put into context for them. And that is what news usually
do. And there are even cases of Mayors
and Senators and judges all citing directly John Oliver as inspiration for
changed policy or sentencing. CBS This morning Host: a month
after your story on bail New York City Mayor Bill de
Blasio announced he will ease policies for low-level offenders. That’s one. John: Okay. Host: After your rant on u.s. territory rights
a judge cited the episode in her court decision on a class action case
brought by Guam citizens over a tax refund. And this my last one, you’re
famous net neutrality segment got the public to react so strongly, John, it
crashed the FCC web . John: No, it crashes the whole web. Host: Is it intimidating to you or
is it something like “I can’t wait to get in there” John: No cuz, I ignore all of that so
the ripple effect of the show is nothing to do with us. Once we’ve done
the show we’re finished. Mia: And they’re not doing that because the
segment is so knee-slappingly hilarious that they just
decided to change their politics. They’re
doing it because the show informs and also shapes the public consciousness of
the issues that it covers. And that’s
good, right? Because mostly John Oliver is
pretty okay, and I mean there’s no real harm here is it? John Oliver seems like a
decent enough dude? Yeah I’m not gonna argue that. But this isn’t actually about
the content itself. This is about how the
content is framed in the show. John: So that has nothing to do with us, once
we’ve done the show we’re finished. Mia: if you classify a body of work as “news”
then you can criticize that work in the context of news
and you can criticize the creator of the content as a news producer: a
journalist. And that means that you can
make sure that the content the Creator has created lives up to the standards of
influential reporting. But you can’t do
that if you just call it comedy and again: John: I’m not a journalist at all, obviously. Mia: So let’s dig into that. Is John Oliver a
journalist and is last week tonight a comedy show? Let’s start with the first. is John Oliver our journalist? I would say: Yeah! A journalist is someone
who collects contextualizes and presents information about current events to a
mainstream audience. That is what he is
doing. And it’s not just me saying this,
this concern has been raised by many, many people. CBS Host: so here’s what fortunes 40
under lists of which you’re on and the Vanity Fair New Establishment says:
“Oliver has established himself as perhaps the most disruptive journalist
on television” Mia: Now I’m not saying that presenting those
criticism in that way is dismissive. Except no yeah, I am, that’s
incredibly dismissive and very disrespectful to the reporters and
journalists and opinion writers who do that. Their opinions matter too, John. You say that you respect journalists but
not when they criticize you? Now the term journalism is vague and I would
argue that most people who do any kind of news
information presenting is a form of journalists, including YouTube essayists. We have a responsibility to the content
that we create and also to the audience that watches that content. And I would
say that John Oliver should have that responsibility too. And that is why I call
him a journalist. If someone had a
YouTube channel telling tens of millions of people about a topic, informing them
about that topic and then sharing their opinion on it, we would say that they
probably have some journalistic responsibility to that. And that is what
John Oliver is doing. And if that person
were to defend their format, however damaging it might be, with: “its just jokes
bro” we would recognize that as bullshit, instantly.So why do we not apply that to
John Oliver. John: No, I’m not a journalist at
all obviously. Obviously I’m a comedian. Jorge Ramos: But you’re doing the job of a
journalist. John: No I’m doing the job of a comedian. PBS Newshour Host: It’s always interested
me that John Stewart has often had to tell people: “Hey, we’re a comedy show, we’re
not a news program” John: Yeah, he’s right! Host: “Right, but there is this blurring,
is there not? John: “Not in our minds no, I mean yeah I
can’t speak for him but no, yeah we’re comedians.” Mia: The pieces within last week tonight that
contain journalism, that contain presenting of
information as well as contextualizing opinions, they don’t go away even if you
present them as a joke. Or even if they
sometimes are jokes. Just because something is a joke doesn’t mean
it is devoid of political or journalistic
meaning. If 60 Minutes stopped every 15
minutes to present a meme you wouldn’t say that that stopped being a journalism
show, a news program. You would just say
“that oh that’s a news program with some memes in it”. And I think the same thing
goes for John Oliver. He is entertaining. I watch his show every week, it’s
genuinely funny to me. I love Last Week
Tonight. But that doesn’t change the fact
that too many people he is a de facto news source. A lot of people watch Last
Week Tonight to learn about the topics that he presents and eventually that has
to put some responsibility on the creator of that. John Oliver has some responsibility to the
news that he produces and it is irresponsible to say
no to that. But he has made it clear that
that is our responsibility that he does not want. John: The only responsible as a
comedian is that I have to make people laugh. If I don’t do that and I’m sure
that I often don’t, then I have failed. Mia: And that responsibility to the modern
discourse is what I think he needs to deal with to not be garbage. If John
Oliver messes up a factual statement or presents something out of context it’s
very hard to criticize that because he can just roll back and say: “well it’s a
comedy show bro” But because this is a
de facto source of news for many many people that means that they will take it
in as news, they will not just view it as comedy. People learn from watching last
week tonight, people take in context from last week tonight and it’s hard to
criticize potentially missing context or potentially false statements when the
defense is easy. “Well just comedy bro
it’s just comedy”. For example: the segment on automation. If you haven’t
seen it it’s on YouTube, like anything. You can go there and watch that and then
come back. No, watch it later actually don’t
interrupt this video, please keep watching. The segment on automation
lacks critical context relating to worker agency and the structural
problems that actually lead to workers suffering under automation. But you
wouldn’t hear that. You don’t see that in
the show, you don’t get that wider context. You get one perspective the
perspective of John Oliver and sometimes that perspective is flawed. The
person watching this has probably seen a lot of people sharing clips from last
week tonight on Twitter or on Facebook because they like the information. They
think that the information comes from a reliable news source because that is the
way that it is presented but not taken responsibility for. Host: You are concerned about getting it right. John: Yeah, definitely yeah. Oh absolutely, because
you can’t- Host: That got you , I mean you really care
about that. John: For sure yeah. Because you can’t build- If a jokes
built on sand it just doesn’t work or it like collapses. It’s very very important
to us that we are- That it’s- We’re solid. Mia: People see it as informational because
it is and sometimes when the show lacks context it’s hard to criticize that
because the show builds itself on being a comedy show and you don’t want to
criticize a political satire show for getting something wrong, right? You don’t
want to be the person who criticizes comedy and gets upset by jokes. No one likes that but the problem then
becomes: Can you criticize anything that John Oliver is doing? So I would say that John Oliver is a news
presenter. He
presents news, he is a journalist whether he likes it or not. The segments that he does are
influential, impactful and many people use it as a source of news every week. If it looks like a duck, if it quacks
like a duck, then it’s a journalist in a comedy show. But that brings us to the
next point: Is last week tonight a comedy show? If John Oliver is a journalist
should we instead classify Last Week Tonight as a news program? I would say that last week tonight is a comedy
show. But it’s also more than that. Part of the
charm of Last Week Tonight is that it is funny. It sometimes gets you to laugh. But I
would also say that it is also news. And before you accuse me of being
inconsistent I want to say that Last Week Tonight is a comedy show but it is
also a news program. The way we do media
criticism is not just by looking at the whole thing but we have to look at the
segments that build up that whole thing and yes there are jokes and there are
skits and stuff mixed in, but that’s just a point. It’s mixed in. The comedy is
never the main segment of the show. The
main segment of the show is always the story, the segment, the informational bit
that you will learn about. The thing that
you remember from the show is the information. The thing that you take away
from watching an episode is rarely the jokes, it’s more often the wider
implications of this social issue that has been dealt with. That is what they do. That is also what they talk about in the
marketing. HBO advert person: He said hit comedy. John: Yea, I hear that now. HBO: At best you’re an acquired taste. John: You have made your point
HBO: Sometimes we don’t want a British man yelling at us about how the world is
ending for a whole hour. John: Well, it’s a half an
hour show. HBO: Doesn’t feel like it. Mia: So the question fundamentally boils down
to this: Do you define a body of work as a whole or do you define about a work by
the content? And the answer is obviously
both. That is how all media criticism
work. And that is why it is so
infuriating when John Oliver is pretty clear about how he views the work. CBS: So are you aware of this thing called
the “John Oliver effect”
John: Ugh! Mia: But this leads to a strange place, right? Because I like Last Week Tonight because it
is informational. I don’t watch last week tonight just
because of the jokes. It’s not really
that fun comedy. The comedy acts as a
nice couch to rest in while involving yourself in a very deep or complicated
topic. But the information is also
enjoyable. It’s fun to learn we all love
learning. We love soaking up information. That is
why we watch last week tonigh,t that is why documentaries exist, that is why
channels like scishow have become so big on YouTube. We love learning. The information itself is enjoyable and that
is why you, every night, Google different sexual positions. For the information. But if the information
and journalism is there by accident and the show contains zero reporting then
what are we left with? We’re left with pretty Meh comedy. I don’t really watch Last
Week Tonight to laugh and if I do it’s maybe for a minute. The jokes that were
left with our kind of meh. Describing countries wrong, funny
hashtags, one-off references and putting celebrities in costumes. But beyond that, for 20-minute segments, there’s
not that much comedy. The entire show is built on
journalism, it’s built on the news segment with comedy sprinkled in. Now I’m
not saying that John Oliver isn’t funny, he is funny. I watch it every week, people
in the audience laugh. And I’m not saying that he needs to do fewer
jokes or anything. God forbid I need some joy in my life. But last week tonight thrives because it
is news. It is not a crutch, it is
literally the foundation of the show. People crave facts, but more importantly
people crave opinions. You don’t see
people on CNN telling their audience to write to the FCC. It’s refreshing
sometimes to have a news presented to us in a more direct tone that is
more connected with what people are actually like. John Oliver’s audience is
built on the fact that mainstream news is boring. No one likes mainstream news
while his show is funny. It’s entertaining. His news is funnier and more
entertaining than mainstream news and that is also why we have seen not just a
rise of Last Week Tonight but so many other political comedy shows. People love
news, people love journalism but they don’t like mainstream news outlets. And many of these shows aren’t directly
satirical they’re not really presenting the topic in an overblown funny fashion. Sometimes these shows present an issue
in often a very factually based, calm manner and then make jokes next to that. And there’s a difference. In most satire
the news themselves are funny but in many of these political shows
the news are sad and the jokes are kind of funny. All of these shows are grounded
in the fact that they are informative they are sharing knowledge with the
audience and that is what news are. It is still satire though. Like, they are still
satirical but there comes a line where you’re not just making fun of the news;
You have become the news. And you know what that’s fine actually, that
has happened many times in political history. Just take responsibility for it. Stop saying that it isn’t happening,
it obviously is happening. Many people think it is happening and many
people have said so and for you, John Oliver to
dismiss that out of hand and be kind of rude about it? I feel like that does more
harm to the concept of journalism than most things actually. Eventually, we need to ask ourselves with
how little accountability we can assign to these
shows, because these shows are accountable for the effect that they have. Even if John Oliver says that he
has no power which is an obvious lie. These shows do significant influential
political change while being funny. But
they still do the first bit and they need to take responsibility for that
because if we don’t want to take responsibility for that, that leads to
public discourse into a very dark place. If they just keep saying “oh it’s just
entertainment brah it doesn’t actually matter it’s just it’s just entertainment
brah it’s just entertaining it’s just a entertainment brah” Then other people will say that too. There is a pattern currently within
media to do influential political content that changes people’s lives for
the better and worse but then hide that by saying that it’s all just jokes, it’s
just it’s nothing, it just memes, it’s just jokes it doesn’t matter it just
it’s just entertainment. And John Oliver and people like him haven’t
done anything particularly awful. Yet. But they are contributing to a type of discourse
that I feel is very harmful to the way we just do discourse. They are
normalizing the idea that you can be incredibly influential political and
informative but take no responsibility for what that means. That you can basically become a news program
and then say well it’s just jokes yo, it’s just
jokes so it doesn’t matter. Well, while John Oliver can do that
fairly well it’s that really the way we want to have political discourse? Jorge: But you’re doing the job of a journalist. John: No I’m doing the job of a comedian. So I make jokes
about the news so I’m pretty clear about the lane that I’m in. Jorge: But but let me just
say that you have more credibility than most journalists here in the United
States and I would say in many other countries John: But that is more of an insult
to the current state of journalism than anything. -Yeah well we’re comedians. I
think that becomes more a sad commentary on news than it does on us though. Like it or not John Oliver is part of
the political discourse. And yes it is
jokes but jokes are not devoid of meaning. John Oliver and other shows that builds
on the same idea are contributing to this zeitgeist of a
discourse where you can claim that as long as you have entertaining elements,
as long as you have comedy, your thing- your body of work is actually devoid of
any political journalistic or informative meaning. Like it or not but
Last Week Tonight has become a phenomenon viewed by millions of people
every week. The stories that they cover
have real implications in people’s lives and it is not just entertainment. Despite what John Oliver says he has power
and the John Oliver effect is real even if
he denies it is. So what’s my solution
then? If I am also some kind of semi
serious news presenter what is my solution? Well, it’s simple: Just tell the truth. Just take responsibility for the impact
that the show actually has. Because it is
funny news, it’s still funny but it is still news. People still turn to it to be
educated or to confirm their already existing opinions on a topic but you
can’t just keep calling it comedy. That
doesn’t work. Sooner or later we’re gonna
end up in a society where you can do basically anything but as long as you
pepper in some jokes you can just resign responsibility and
that’s not really a world that we want to have, is it? The result of this is that
last week tonight is promoting a discourse that enables fake news and
that’s despite partially building its brand or not being fake news. But they haven’t done that by actually taking
journalistic responsibility they just said, They just say that they’re not news
at all. We can’t be fake news if we’re not news right? But we are already in a point of
political discourse where comedians can have impactful change in people’s lives and
then just resign responsibility. Now, John. Love. Obviously, you’re not responsible
for the discourse of Steven Crowder. Obviously not. But you and Steven
Crowder contribute to a very similar type of discourse and I think that
that’s kind of harmful. You’re still
presenting your opinion based on your version of the facts while being a de facto
news source for your audience’s while you’re resigning any responsibility to
that audience; by just claiming it’s just comedy brah. And you could so easily
not do that! Because last week tonight is
mostly fine. You mostly stay on topic, you
mostly have the facts correct, you mostly have things in context. Sometimes you
don’t and that’s problem but that’s a topic for another video. But if you just called yourself funny news,
if you just took responsibility of what your show
does I think that would make a significant change in how we do
political discourse. And more importantly
to you maybe: not much would have to change in the show itself, right? All you
would have to do is take responsibility for your own work, take charge of your
own creations instead of just resigning responsibility the second you’re done
with an episode. Personally I think it’s
incredibly disrespectful and irresponsible for John Oliver to dismiss
any responsibility that he or the show has over the content or the audience the
show has. And I think it’s especially
disrespectful to the audience itself because the fact that last week tonight
is informational, the fact that it is news is, I think, a large part of why last
week tonight is so successful. And I just
wish that you would do better with that. And you know what? That’s it! I- That’s the hot
take for previous month today or whatever I called my show. I’m not John Oliver I don’t have to end this
on a musical number, I can end this however
the fuck I want. Now, you might have some
concerns if you’re watching this, you might have some concerns that I might
not have presented John Oliver or other shows in context or maybe I missed some
factual thing, maybe I missed an interview that he’s done recently or something. And to you I want to say: It’s just a comedy show. It’s just
jokes bro, it’s just jokes. I’m a comedian. I have no responsibility. Oh, and John, if
you happen to be watching this: Just because you are mostly factually
correct and just because you are mostly contextualizing properly, not always but
mostly, that doesn’t change the fact that the framing that you have
contributed to is harmful. And to me it’s
kind of hypocritical when the show criticizes a topic for not taking
responsibility over something when you yourself won’t take responsibility for
anything. You present facts and contexts
but you are responsible for the framing and the framing is what I talked about
today. You may not agree with me that’s
fine but you are normalizing a dangerous method of interacting with your audience. Resigning responsibility is not a
healthy way to do that either for your own show but mostly for society. Now, I’m still gonna watch your show. I think it’s
fun. I’m gonna watch it, I think it’s fine
to watch it. I just- I just
kind of wish that you did your job in a way that didn’t contribute to a harmful
type of discourse, a harmful framing device. Because that is what you are doing. But until you admit that you hold that power
that you have that influence and that by definition then you also have the
responsibility that comes with that power: I got a call you garbage, dude. Because just like garbage food you are
tasty, you are enjoyable, I love watching your content but it’s harmful. And if we do it too much I think it’s
dangerous. You need a wider diet, sure, and
I think that maybe watching a show like this every now and then that’s probably fine. But you know that there are people
who don’t watch the news but that watch last week tonight. And their diet
consists entirely of you then, their news source is you. And just having a diet of
junk food… That’s- that’s really
dangerous. Or you know what, better yet
fly me to New York! Take me to New York,
let me take over the show and I will show you how it’s done. Maybe, maybe you’ll convince me. I mean
maybe! My hunger for fame is probably
larger than my ideas of ethical media production. Maybe! And if you want
to see that you should let John know by tweeting #LastWeekTonightButMiaThisTime
on Twitter and I hope he gets the message. And now, this: [Music] Curio: And now: The thanking of the patrons
and stuff like that. That’s it for this
episode of previous month today or whatever I called my satire thing. I want to start out by thanking curio for
lending their voice to me as the deep voice of the “and now” narrator. You should
check out their channel! It’s good, you’ll
find a link in the description. You. should- you should go subscribe to
them. It’s good. They’re good! Go! I want to thank all my patrons that make
sure that I can do this as a job. That I can sustain myself
by making YouTube videos but I want to give a special thanks to: Alice. Amelia Fletcher. Christopher Steinmuller. dirty computer. Eggs_Box. Emil Rutkovski. Hopefully I pronounced it
correctly this time, if not feel free to give me shit – I deserve it if I come
I fucked it up again. Emma not Goldman. Foxx cant. Ibrahim Aldridge
Jørgen Danielsen. Katarzyna JJ
Kim. Linus2Punkt0
Liaren Sagan Marcin servin. if it’s
French and I butchered your name I’m sorry if it’s not French and I butchered
your name, I’m I’m sorry. Let me know. Phobos2390. Rosie. Ryan Kolak. William Pietri. Wrex.
and Yunico Also, I’m actually like budget-neutral in
my life right now and
I’m actually earning enough money to do this as a job. Mind you, I’m
not earning like Bank but I’m earning enough to like to pay rent, to pay my
bills and I just want to say that I’m so deeply unimaginative li-like
mind-bogglingly grateful because I don’t know what I would do without you. Honestly and I just want to I just want
to say thank you from the deepest parts of my heart thank you so much for for
everything. Thank you so much. I’ll see
you as ya see I’ll see you in a couple of weeks yeah
thanks thank you bye

100 thoughts on “LWT Has Severe Journalistic Implications That I Feel Are Dangerous To Public Discourse | Mia Mulder

  1. If you’re going to admit right off the bat that the show isn’t all bad, avoid using such a clickbaity title. It makes me want to not watch the video

  2. doesn’t he realize that it doesn’t matter if he called himself a comedian or a priest of the church of hoopla if he’s functionally identical to a journalist

  3. Oy. So many things.

    First, presentation – whatever combination of scripting, acting, and ad lib you're doing isn't working particularly well. At worst you come off as an amateurish caricature of Natalie Wynn and at best it's just sort of…meh? You need a more fluid delivery and you should probably leave the occasional, somewhat obvious jokes on the cutting room floor until you put a little more polish on things. It will make you look like a more serious person and give you a greater air of professionalism. Also, what mic are you using and how are you balancing your sound? For most of the video you're competing with your background music (your somewhat droning, hypnotic background music – probably not the best choice).

    Second – what the holy hell are you talking about? Who says you can't criticize a comedian for getting a fact wrong in a joke? If I premise a joke on the assumption that Joseph Stalin is history's greatest humanitarian, that's probably going to fall flat, because everybody knows that's wrong, and if even the slightest amount of investigation will show the foundation of my joke to be wrong, it ceases to be a funny joke and graduates to an idiot being wrong about something because he's a stupid wrong idiot.

    Third – you're asserting a very broad definition of "journalism." Too broad, really. Any communication can educate and inform. The question is whether that's its principle purpose. If you're directly citing Last Week Tonight as some sort of factual foundation for something that you do, you're a moron and you deserve to be dismissed as such. I'm pretty sure that what Oliver is trying to say here is – just like Jon Stewart – for the love of christ don't treat this show as your source for news. Go look it up somewhere else.

    Fourth – what in the shit does perspective have to do with anything? Even formal journalists aren't responsible for reporting how every potential person involved in a story feels about that story. What implication does the way a factory worker who loses his job to a robot feels have on the material facts of the matter? From his perspective I'm pretty sure it eats. So what? You honestly shouldn't even have this argument anywhere near this video, because the immediate impression that it gives is that you just don't like him when he disagrees with you, and that basically invalidates any other argument you might potentially forward because it transforms the piece into what looks like a great big justification for why this guy who said a thing you don't like should feel bad. That will murder your thesis.

    John Oliver should probably do one show every season covering corrections to things he got wrong. It's not exactly mandatory, but it would be nice. Anybody trying to excuse a dude for being wrong because he was just trying to get a laugh is stupid and not watching this anyway and I'm not sure why you think that such an individual would devote half an hour to a video like this in the first place. If you want to boost engagement (and if you want to do this for a living you need to – those numbers up there are not sufficient to that cause) it would be better to hit a topic with some controversy (which you try to do here, so kudos) but where you can expect a substantial number of people with whom the claim would be controversial to engage (big miss on that one – this is like trying to explain why pick up artistry eats to a forum full of incels).

    This is a decent start. Topic choice was………let's go with something less than the greatest and the meat of the essay has some logical and rhetorical problems, but overall format and theory of approach works. Seriously, though – you need to practice your delivery. The herky jerky stop and start thing feels very, very uncomfortable. Maybe make a couple quick videos but keep them private and only show them to your harshest critics to get comfortable doing the language in front of a camera while casually and unobtrusively glancing at your notes that I'm guessing you were keeping to your left, knowing that your audience will be at least somewhat hostile. It may also be a coincidence, but in case you're a ContraPoints viewer, you need to stop that for a while, because your current style feels very derivative. This is something that I do all the time – if I expose myself to any sort of media for any significant amount of time I'll adopt the mannerisms and linguistic style of the presentation almost involuntarily. If I watch Internet Comment Etiquette, I start phrasing things like Eric. If I watch Hbomberguy, same thing. Jim Sterling? Same thing. If you've got your basic goals down and your general method of approach figured out, I think that the best thing you might be able to do for yourself is not watch another video essay from another human being for a while – maybe three to six months – until you get your own style nailed down.

  4. While there have almost certainly been incidents where the writing team could have done a better job fact-checking, for the most part I think I try to appreciate Last Week Tonight in the manner it was intended to: Comedy that helps bring attention to various issues of the day, but then expects its audience to do the heavy lifting in terms of research. They unfortunately aren't always given the time to re-visit a topic as often as some of the writers would probably like.

    There's definitely journalistic value to be derived from the programming, but I don't think that necessarily makes John Oliver himself a journalist — He's the mouthpiece for something like 9 or more writers. Only one of them is himself, and we don't know how much of it is his views alone. I do think referring to him as something along the lines of a commentator seems reasonable.

  5. Ahhh, my god! I am subbed! Congratulations! You've got a Socialist on your hands now. ♥️😂🌹✊🏽

  6. John Oliver is not a journalist, he's just taking up the amount of space, influence and platform that actually belongs to RT America, Al Jazeera, pressTV, the Real News Network and Democracy Now. ♥️

  7. This was fine but repetitive. You made the point that he shirks responsibility by calling himself a comedian not a journalist and the harm that precedent could and is doing to journalism and after 20ish minutes I started skipping through to see if you said anything else in the rest of the video and… not really. You could edit this down to be more efficient.

  8. Simply count up all the times he's said, "this is serious" and whether or not he's a journalist seems pretty clear.

  9. I wonder if it's a legal dodge. Satire/comedy can get away with more editorializing then "News" can and I think that as a "joke" he can say things that if he was a journalist may be slander.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I used to study journalism, and it was repeated extensively to not editorialize, to never say (or print) anything that can't be proven, to couch your conclusions, and never have an opinion in the piece itself.

    I agree that he's doing journalism in a comedy show. But I wonder if the legal department has a different opinion to protect the show, network and talent form lawsuits that would stop the show.

  10. LWT is odd to me because even though I'm sure it's beholden to its corporate overlords, it still frequently manages to bring light to some important topics that rarely, if ever, get the attention they deserve. So I applaud it for that. But then, what's the point of delving into these issues in this way just to dismiss it as comedy? Let's be honest, the comedy writing is hardly the appeal of the show. It's not that great. They want to have it both ways, informing the public and influencing the discourse while washing their hands of culpability. I don't know how much blowback they expect to receive by not playing it off as a joke for entertainment purposes only, but I would think any entity that wanted to pursue legal action against them would not be deterred by this anyway.

    Also total aside but you're really freakin' pretty

  11. I think you can be entertainment and journalism at the same time. Even if something is just entertainment it can be very influential! So even his argument that he's a comedian falls flat in my eyes

  12. Great video! His denial of journalism, even when his crew researches a topic and investigates it themselves, is the most disturbing denial of responsibility and clear investigative journalism tendencies.

  13. Either you have a society, where the news has to be objective, or you have a society where news can be biased.

    The US have decided to go on the biased news road. That being said, if John Oliver have a factual error, you have the right to critizice him. If you want to critizice LastweekTonight for being bisad, you would have to scrutinize all other news scources the same way.

    But I agree that he is delivering information (being a news show)

  14. John Oliver sees himself as the shadow of John Sterwart, he sticks to his take because it is personally important for his attitude.
    He confuses his subjective comedy process with what the show actually does.

  15. If the joke falls apart when it isn't aligned with truth than the existence of racist jokes mean race is real.

  16. Excellent video, but if i had to criticise i'd just say that it didn't need to go for as long as it did. You tend to repeat yourself a lot right throughout, and I think that future videos will greatly benefit from more script editing, and chopping down your points to be more concise. not to say repetition is a total no-go, it just doesn't need to be too excessive. otherwise the points themselves are very strong and nuanced, and i really vibe with your sense of humour ^^

  17. Excellent video, but if i had to criticise i'd just say that it didn't need to go for as long as it did. You tend to repeat yourself a lot right throughout, and I think that future videos will greatly benefit from more script editing, and chopping down your points to be more concise. not to say repetition is a total no-go, it just doesn't need to be too excessive. otherwise the points themselves are very strong and nuanced, and i really vibe with your sense of humour ^^

  18. Last week has gone downhill since its debut. His opinions were so explosively viral, that he caused real change with his eye opening suggestions to the public. This caused concern among those who hate to be shamed, that some rules were imposed on his show. As for 'journalism', it's not practiced diligently in MSM. They are steered toward the comfort zone of their station owner. Oliver does real journalism, then he gets permission for what he wants to present. Then he adds the jokes. I begged him to do a deep dive into the TPP, but this was now too political.

  19. I think the "I'm not a journalist" thing that Oliver cites- in reflection of John Stewart before him- is intended to be respectful to professional journalists. It's intended as a show of humility before serious journalism. I don't feel he, or similar comic journalism shows, are trying to dodge responsibility, evidenced by the fact that the top shows of this type are meticulously sourced and fact-checked. I agree with you- it absolutely IS journalism. And, like John Stewart, he is almost universally respected as a journalist, even if he eschews the title, and I don't think for a minute that if he completely screwed up, got the facts wrong, twisted the facts, or got them flat out wrong, he wouldn't be called to the carpet for it.

  20. 😅Watching foreign shows helps global bumpkin like to catch breath of fresh international air.

    Remembering context of surrounding society wasn't dealt in this. After learning how pathetic american news are on average, I became less judgemental and stopped knee-jerk "Hah, gaze upon the American baboon, only able to consume entertainment rather than any sort of knowledge!". With sea of far-right radiohosts, and Fox not-news, actually reality based (left/moderate right) media have souls to fight over. Being more approachable and less heavy has it's merits.

    "Don't talk about politics" widely practiced social custom, the inborn reluctancy to talk about serious things is hard to shake off. +THERE IS INSANE CONSTANT LAWSUIT-THING, comedy cop-out protects them and HBO to certain and very important degree.

  21. Garbage is different then significant flaws. New title the many problems of last week tonight, the glaring flaw of last week tonight. Instead y’all made some clickbait

  22. I don't believe that John Oliver denies the John Oliver effect exists. It looks to me like he know it's there, but doesn't feel like a show like his should have that much of an effect.

    As for when he talks about the state of journalism, he did mention multiple times that he has a lot of admiration for journalists. However, a lot of news channels are more and more polarized, editorialized, and reporting before getting the facts because they need to always be the first. There's a reason the public is less trusting of news sources. It seems to me that this is more in line with what he means when he speaks about the "state of journalism".

    He is, however clearly both a journalist and a comedian IMO.

  23. Your argument is largely semantic in nature; comedians have always been part of the political discourse, and you can make largely the same point about many of the most famous comedians in the past 50 years.

  24. 19:20 Thank You!!! That’s what I’ve been telling people. I’m not watching porn, it’s a tutorial.🤫😚

  25. Thinking about this attack on journalism and the position Assange is in himself… You're right this is serious. No one gets to say who isn't a journalist as soon as you do that you might as well have Goebbels place his hand on your hand to write your piano piece.

  26. I hate the fact that you are correct, but they can't rebrand without tanking their numbers. Good ol neoliberalism.

  27. I'm guessing there are legal reasons behind his consistent denials. He's certainly mentioned the existence of the show's team of lawyers, and since HBO is part of 60 or so other massive companies I'm sure there are teams of lawyers involved there as well.

    The part I don't know is why; whether it's to skirt responsibility/increased scrutiny by his viewers, whether it could be some part of their production company's legal strategy for the potential lawsuits his show could induce, or if it's something more nefarious to do with corporate or state interests.

  28. #JohnIsAJournalist.

    I really didnt expect to agree with this video, especially because I just don't trust the "black is garbage and here's why" titles. But you got me. Even though I typically agree with LWT, just because they're "on my team" that doesn't mean it's not a dangerous approach. I hope this idea picks up among his viewers, maybe we can get him to change things.

    Also, the word "news" in English is not plural. In one point I noticed you said something like "The news are." but it should be "The news is." Not trying to knock you, obviously English isn't your native language, and as a single language speaker I'm in no place to knock anyone. Just figured you should know.

  29. You have very pretty hair.
    This was your first video I watched and I enjoyed it! I’m excited to see more of your videos.

  30. I was pretty on the fence, when I started the video, but you are right! I never thought about this part of the show, I usually just watch it to laugh rather than cry about American politics.

  31. How have I only JUST found you?! This was incredible, and you put my thoughts I've had for many years into words! Thank you Miss News Lady Comedian Lady!

  32. There is a difference between The Onion, political satire where things are discussed in outrageous context, ie Donald Trump's golden goose hairstyle actually golden goose; vs what Oliver and his comedian counterparts do – presenting actual news in a funny way.
    I think it was the Rational National who might have said it better.

  33. Main news outlets are sooo chasing it’s own tail. Unfortunately Last week tonight candy take on a serious topic.

    forces other news outlets who should have already been digging into said topics. So when John brings it up its extra frosting.

    Right now we’ll in a cycle of the main journalists outlets playing catch-up to making public impact.

  34. I always read TDS and LWT (and Samantha Bee) as social and media criticism in a humorous format: i.e. comedy. I wouldn't consider them "journalism." Sure, they're informative, and I appreciate them being accurate, but I don't think any of them write off the importance of comedy. None of the quotes you used have him saying "comedy doesn't matter" or "comedy has no impact." He says he's not a journalist, he's a comedian. He doesn't say calling it comedy means it doesn't matter.

    The trap that you seem to me to be falling into is thinking you can't criticise comedy or the content of comedy. People like to play off the "it's just a joke" BS, but just because it's a joke doesn't mean it can't be criticised. Taking the premise that "just a joke" is an escape hatch to criticism is my essential problem with this video and a lot of other people who get that response and think it means they have to throw up their hands. Jokes and comedy have impacts and can be criticised, especially in order to interrogate the internet.

    All that said, I do think this is an excellent piece of criticism, I just disagree. I'm off to look at more of your videos and will probably subscribe.

  35. i love LWT and i think he brings up and makes alot of "boring" yet critical stuff enjoyable to watch which is really important but this was a good critique, well at least you had some good, valid points (: You could have cut the video in half tho <3

  36. Brilliant essay! First video of yours I watched and was just so happy. ❤️ You are very quirky and beautiful. love from Pakistan! 🤗
    Shows like LWT are usually categorized as "edutainment" ( i think) and there's nothing wrong with a show like that.
    But the central problem, as you pointed out, is the refusal to take any responsibility.
    Even if he is a "comedian" and his show is "just jokes", that mustn't absolve him of resonsibility at all. Comedians should be held accountable too.
    Anyways, looking forward to more content from you! ☺️

  37. I think what John Oliver was saying when he said hes not a journalist, is that he hires journalists to do the research, he just says it and cracks a joke

  38. At first I was definitely skeptical of your criticism towards Oliver and Last Week Tonight. However, in the end I came out understanding your argument and ultimately agreeing with you. I enjoy Last Week Tonight and won't stop watching it but I'll definitely research further into Oliver's topics since I usually always find them important. Anyways, great commentary! I'll be looking forward to new videos and past videos!

  39. People who dismiss the influence of their content by claiming that "It's just jokes, brah" are perpetuating the idea that comedy is a lesser artistic medium whose emotional-intellectual range and power don't extend beyond cheering people up. Which is wrong. Which this video implies.

    Comedy can be serious shit, bruh.

  40. I love when I come into a video like "WAIT! What do you mean GARBAGE?", and halfway through I'm like "Ohhh…right, garbage" haha. You got a new sub 🙂

  41. One of the better comedy-news(ish) shows out there is Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas. It doesn't fix the main problem you have with Oliver's show (and I'd imagine with Sam Bee's or The Daily Show) regarding this hiding away under the pretense of comedy and shrieking away responsibility, but mostly because it's not very popular, I don't think. What it does very well, though, is incorporating a bunch of different perspectives on the subject so that it feel a lot more like a considered examination which reveals solutions (something which Oliver's show doesn't really seem to offer, except maybe grand calls-to-action). It helps a lot that there's a common theme for the whole season (the first one looked at policing, while second looks at education). This, of course, doesn't allow it to respond to current events in the way the other shows do and maybe makes it be less of a "junk food", but makes the format into something a lot more worthwhile.

  42. Is this swedish contrapoints?

    I don't really know why this popped out on my recommend but I really liked it and you make very interesting points here.

  43. This is an excellent critique of John Oliver/Daily Show. Thanks for crystallizing the many disorganized criticisms I have had floating around my head. I stopped watching his show because of his unwillingness to stand for some of the horrible segments he has produced (ex. Venezuela). Simply saying "I am only a comedian" is no defense. One disagreement though, I believe his Venezuela segment was positively harmful.

  44. This is pretty spot on. There are a lot of people who get their main news from shows like John. And I'm not criticizing that, for better or worse here, but just agreeing that this IS news to a large amount of his viewers. You can understand a lot of the big headlines from nothing more than the late night shows, and they shouldn't pretend that they don't have an impact.

  45. I agree with most of the points you made, but the title and some of the terminology you used are rubbing me the wrong way

  46. I agree with all of your points but I have to disagree with the title or the idea the show is now garbage. I feel a lot of “X is garbage and here’s why” just goes straight into calling something completely bad without you letting you get to that yourself. Him ditching responsibility is bad, the show itself isn’t really bad.

  47. I agree with all of your points but I have to disagree with the title or the idea the show is now garbage. I feel a lot of “X is garbage and here’s why” just goes straight into calling something completely bad without you letting you get to that yourself. Him ditching responsibility is bad, the show itself isn’t really bad.
    Subscribed now though, good job overall.

  48. John Oliver is funny as af and his show has helped expose many injustices. With the average attention span of a goldfish, today's America needs it's news spoon-fed with contstant jokes to keep them interested.

  49. Excellent points, you have a new subscriber. I didn't know John Oliver denied being a journalist(I've seen his clips, but never his interviews) – it's very strange just how adamant he is, as if he really doesn't want to accept that kind of responsibility. Sometimes, I do watch shows similar to his(Russell Howard's Good News/The Russell Howard Hour and Have I got News for You). Sure, I read news articles myself all the time – but, I don't watch many so-called 'actual' news shows – because they really do depress me. They lay it on heavy(and don't even get me started on how biased the BBC News sector for example is). But sometimes I opt for these comedy news shows because I'd like to get a feed of news stories – without feeling terribly depressed afterwards. Sometimes people like me just want a news update – with the comedy. They should be held responsible – because these creators certainly are aware of the power of media.

  50. The jokes serve as a supplement to the journalism, a sweetener for the main story, making the bitter truth reported easier to swallow. There is a quote that captures this idea much better, but I can't seem to recall it.

  51. He's a grinning version of 60 minutes who periodically goes on a tangent where he shows a photoshopped picture of a guy fucking a platupus

  52. I'd say at this stage, John Oliver and his contemporaries' content satirises real life more than they satirise the news. They are pointing out ridiculousness inherent in real life, and then discussing how to change it. There is very little actual discussion of new media in Last Week Tonight besides the occasional potshot at Fox News or CNN.

    There's not a problem with that, but I agree with Mia that these shows should own what they are.

  53. I watched this, right after a YouTube clip of LWT, so the timing was great to reflect on what you're saying. I agree, it's news – and if John Oliver says "he's only a comedian", i think it's coming from a place where he's concerned about how much clout his show actually has. Like "OMG people trust me more than actual journalist"… and i think it's actually terrifying for him. He should just own it as you say, but not doing so gives him an easy out when people complain.

  54. I’m going to say this right now, I’m halfway through, and I fundamentally disagree with you about the subject, However I believe that overall believe you have if nothing else created a compelling argument with a solid presentation.

    That being said I’m still subbing because I always appreciate more nuanced approaches to any subject

  55. I agree with the video but don't really get the junk food analogy. I mean, even if they try to remove responsibility, it's not like it's harmful to digest this media.

  56. Hahaha älskar introt men vart lite besviken på danmark (som vanligt då) – det borde ju stå Diaboli Daniae!

    Nu kanske det är liite mycket att läsa in en livslång brinnande kärlek för Ernst-Hugo i vad som eventuellt var en referens till Riket, men om det nu var meningen så känner jag att du behöver få ta del av detta mästerverk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2UP2X7yU9k

    Trans rights!

  57. I'm not surprised fans of LWT and similar shows respond with bigotry, because both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert – arguably the two people most responsible for creating this niche – spent YEARS making transphobic comments on TDS, TCR, even Colbert's Twitter. To my knowledge neither of them have ever apologized for any of it, and most of the fans didn't even blink. This is who they really are when the mask slips.

  58. 25:25 – indeed.
    Good stuff, Mia. Just found you via a mention from Olly Thorn's video on Sex Work… but found this video first, because a search for "Mia Mulder John Oliver" came up as suggested when I typed "Mia Mulder", and I was curious what that was about, too. 😀 [ahh, YouTube tangent rabbit holes…]

  59. "less attractive John Olliver"?
    how bout "mooooore attractive John Olliver"?

    (in everything but the accent)

  60. 19:21 i was just half listening at this point and scrolling thru the comments but this got me paying attention. good one, lol.

  61. I think there's a strong argument to be made that mainstream news is not so much boring as it strives to be "balanced" in a way that's currently very bad. CNN and MSNBC and whoever else try to give viewers the information uncolored by commentary or opinion, even if the information itself demands the taking of a moral stance, demands commentary, demands a critical lens. I.e. the POTUS is bragging about how he will accept foreign help against his opposition in the 2020 election; presenting that sort of brazen corruption in a balanced, distanced, dispassionate way strikes the brain as *bad*. We feel strongly about current news, and we prefer news sources that reflect our feelings on them.

    This is why John Oliver, Sam Bee and Trevor Noah are so popular. They can do away with the appearance of impartiality that mainstream journalists affect, and call out the bullshit as they see it. Hell, they don't even need to be fair or right about it. If the popularity of gutworms like T*cker C*rlson is anything to go by, people are partial to any sort of "news" program that offers a personal bias, especially one that matches the viewers' preconceived notions.

    Basically mixing in feels with your facts is the recipe to success in 2k19. I personally can't wait for the asteroid.

    (wrote this after listening to 21:20 to not lose my train of thought; apologies to Mia if you addressed this later on in the vid)

  62. Goddamn, your topics and stuff are great, but you repeat yourself and your videos would be so much better if they were slightly more streamlined!

  63. Imagine Adam Curtis being like… "Oh, no… I'm a documentary filmmaker, I'm not a journalist, I just want to question these positions of power."

  64. So Last Week Tonight is like … Desperate Housewives? I mean you may say you're a parody of soap operas, but when you get down to it you're a soap opera that's occasionally funny…

  65. Great content Mia! I just recently started watching your videos and I seriously am digging all of them. I've always been a huge LWT fan and I honestly agree with your criticisms of John Oliver. His show has a lot of influence and impact and he should definitely have responsibility and accountability for it.

  66. It’s interesting how many times in the last minutes of LWT there has been a call to action of some kind and yet JO states that he doesn’t think about anything beyond the 30 minute show. That’s got to be disingenuous in the least. I was actually really surprised that he said that considering how often it happens.

  67. I was willing to give Jon Stewart some wiggle room when it comes to this stuff because that genuinely acctually felt like the overarching idea of the show was that the 24 hour news cycle was failing the American people. The main formula seemed to be

    >bring forward subject
    >"so how did the news report on it?"
    > jokes
    >closing statement

    So even tho he reported on the news mostly I was acctually willing to accept his stance that "if people are comming to ME for their news then that means YOU are doing something terribly wrong and you need to fix it"

    But John Oliver is literally presenting the show around the subject. Like "let's take 30 minutes to talk about X" and then literally presents reports from other news outlets as groundwork for the points he's trying to get across.

    I like both shows and I'm not saying jon stewarts approach is inherently superior or dosnt have it's own problems when it comes to this subject but atleast Jon knew what he was trying to do while John just seems to parrot that talking point for the sake of being like his rolemodel

  68. Last Week Tonight is definitely a news show. I don't know who he thinks he's fooling. However, I think people forget that John isn't the one that comes up with these stories and does the research. He just presents it to us. If anything, his writers and creative team are the actual journalists.

  69. Hey Mia,

    Discovered you through Philosophy Tube, and I find your content very engaging and insightful. I agree with your main argument that LWT has journalistic implications, and that by refusing to take that responsibility, they give permission to bad actors who participate in a similar kind of discourse, to do the same in the name of comedy.

    However, does recognizing that LWT has a journalistic responsibility mean that they are journalists? I'm not quite sure to be frank. Because I would argue that all "influencers" with an audience have a responsibility to that audience. They can equally negatively and positively impact their lives.

    I admit that I consume a lot of comedy news, mostly LWT, Bill Maher (!), and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. However I don't think that makes me a political junkie or very informed.
    Political junkies probably like comedy news shows, but it's not what makes them passionate about politics. What makes them political junkies is all nerdy news they consume that others don't because it's "boring". They read tons of newspapers  & books about serious topics, they watch lots of documentaries and investigative journalism reports, a well as regular news reports. They consume lots of long form news that average person doesn't. They are generally very well informed compared to the average person who doesn't do that.

    I guess my point is there is a reason why a segment of the population watches comedy news but very little "real news". And it's not just because there's a lot of disinformation in "real news". I think it's also because even when real news is accurate, most people find it dry, boring, irrelevant. It's not engaging to them unless it's presented in comedy form.

    And that's potentially problematic, because although I believe that political satire can and often does elevate comedy by educating people, I am not convinced that making "real news" more entertaining elevates journalism. Quite the contrary. By "real news" I mean legitimate news outlets that are considered as such, even if they are not (especially in the US). That would include the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, the New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News (unfortunately), the Huffington Post, Vice, TYT, Democracy Now, etc…

    And that's precisely what many of these "real news" outlets are trying to do, which is to be more entertaining. Especially in the US. I don't know how much of it is a response to the popularity of political satire in late night television but it's been happening for decades now.

    Even if it was 100% accurate and never wrong or misleading, none of us would want to always have to consume the news in the form of entertainment such as LWT. We'd want a certain level of seriousness brought to issues.

    Which is why I partially understand why John Oliver refuses to acknowledge that he does the work of journalists, and that there is such a thing as the John Oliver effect, even if there absolutely is. I agree with your main argument but I fear that it puts us in a catch 22 situation.

    On the one hand by not taking responsibility, John Oliver gives permission to bad actors who do the same thing as him, even if it's poorly, to do the same and use comedy as a defense. On the other hand, I think that by taking responsibility, and claiming to do journalism, it gives permission to outlets that are supposed to be real news, to be entertaining too, and kind of make a joke out of issues we should take very seriously.

    When you have articles about trivial things like Kate Middleton's new hair cut next to a serious one about gentrification, it trivializes the news. And I'm shocked to have seen this kind of content on BBC News' website. When it comes to television or web video news, it's the same thing. You see a lot of screaming matches, and news anchors talking condescendingly to their audience or about someone else by throwing insults, or laughing hysterically, etc… Even if they are 100% right, who wants to consume journalism that way? Certainly not me.

    There is a difference between trying to make the news more entertaining vs trying to make it more engaging. To quote a blog I just read that differentiates the two, Entertainment's primary purpose is to create an enjoyable experience; engagement's primary purpose is to focus attention so learning occurs.

    Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with comedians and entertainers in general trying to do political satire, but I agree that even if they are "just entertainers", they have a journalistic responsibility. But because I believe that "real journalism" should not try to entertain because it belittles the profession and its responsibility, I am not quite sure I can call John Oliver a journalist yet. Maybe we need to find a middle ground?

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