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John Oliver wasted no time on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight in going after Fox News Channel for floating “false flag” conspiracy theories related to the mail bombs that were sent to several of President Trump’s political opponents last week.
“It has been a time for sober reflection or, if you’re Fox News discussing those package bombs, a time for wild speculation, because before a suspect was even arrested, they were giving airtime to a truly ludicrous theory,” Oliver said.
He then cut to several Fox News clips of personalities including Geraldo Rivera pushing the idea that Democrats may have been behind the mailings as a ruse to drum up support for their own party ahead of the midterm elections.
In one clip, Rivera said: “At the risk of sounding like a far-right-wing lunatic, I have to say I believe this whole thing was an elaborate hoax.”
Chimed in Oliver: “But here’s the thing about that. Sounding like a far-right-wing lunatic is not really a risk for the Fox News brand, is it? It’s more of a guarantee. It’d be like if Tony Bennett started every song with, ‘At the risk of making your grandma wet….’ ‘What are you talking about, Tony? We all know that’s going to happen; it’s specifically what you’re here to do.'”
After a Florida man named Cesar Sayoc was arrested in connection with the bombs, Rivera tweeted an apology of sorts. “Never mind; outsmarted myself in conjuring false flag operation designed to hurt @realDonaldTrump & #GOP,” he wrote.
Oliver’s take: “Can I just say ‘outsmarted myself’ is a brilliant way to say you did something incredibly stupid. ‘Wow, I really outsmarted myself this morning when I accidentally ate kitty litter instead of Grape Nuts. I remember thinking, as I chewed the clumps, I really am two steps ahead of me.'”
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