John Oliver Criticizes American Media for London Attack Coverage
"To say [the U.K. is] 'under siege' and that its people are 'reeling' is to imply that it's somehow weak enough to be brought to its knees by three monumental assholes."
John Oliver opened his Sunday night HBO show by speaking about the London terrorist attacks that occurred the night before, sending out his thoughts to everyone affected and wanting to set the record straight on how British people feel in the wake of the attacks.
"As a British person living in America, I feel compelled to address a certain theme that emerged through American coverage of this tragedy," said Oliver. He played a series of clips in which American news anchors talked about the U.K. being "under siege" and London "reeling." He said that in "no way" is Britain under siege.
“Is it upset? Yes. Is it pissed off? Oh, you f—ing bet it’s pissed off,” said the Last Week Tonight host. “But to say it’s 'under siege' and that its people are 'reeling' is to imply that it’s somehow weak enough to be brought to its knees by three monumental assholes. And that, as an idea, is insulting.”
British people were so irritated by headlines of British people reeling, they started a hashtag #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling. Oliver said he appreciated reading the tweets about things that "unlike terrorists actually do have the ability to rock them to their very core." Things such as accidental eye contact and when people make tea in the microwave.
Oliver called British reactions to the attack "an uplifting demonstration of quintessentially British defiance." He was heartened by a man who held on to his pint of beer as he ran away from the attack, describing him as a "walking 'Keep Calm and Carry On' poster." The reaction that held a special place in Oliver's heart, though, was that of a man who returned to the restaurant he was at when the attacks occurred so he could pay his bill. The man told a reporter that he was not frightened to return and would continue to drink gin and tonics and flirt with men because "that's what makes London so great."
"F— yes it is," said Oliver, bringing out his own drink and toasting to London.
Oliver's extended segment focused on Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. "Pulling out of this is a huge deal," said Oliver leading into clips of climate scientists talking about the serious danger the world could be in if current emissions trends continue.
He said that the Paris accord is intended to keep the global temperature rise below the dreaded 2 degree Celsius line, a threshold many scientists believe would be the point at which irreversible damage will be caused.
When the Paris climate agreement was signed, representatives from various countries could be seen celebrating the occasion as a happy moment, something Trump mentioned in his speech from the rose garden when he explained why he was withdrawing. Trump said the rest of the world was happy for the "simple reason" that the U.S. was now being "put at a very, very big economic disadvantage."
“They were happy because they secured a landmark victory for the future of the planet, you f—ing egomaniac," said Oliver. "The whole world is not secretly conspiring against the United States.”
Oliver went on to suggest how businesses shouldn't have taken out an ad in The New York Times to try and change Trump's mind, instead they should have bought an ad on a bucket of KFC. He also ranted about how Trump is incapable of finishing a thought, saying a goldfish would even be frustrated by Trump's inability to finish talking about China and instead getting derailed and talking about Miss Universe.