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After that remark, Oliver moved on to the turnover in the United Kingdom’s prime ministership. Oliver pointed to the fact that former Liz Truss was in the job for only 45 days, during which time the tabloid newspaper Daily Star had created a stunt asking which would last longer — Truss or a head of iceberg lettuce. After Truss resigned, a photo of the head of lettuce was projected on the outside walls of Parliament.
“Pretty good, right?” Oliver said. “From the challenge itself to the phrase ‘victorious head of lettuce’ to the googly-eyed and adorable blonde bomb. Every step was well-thought-out and beautifully executed.”
Oliver noted that Truss had fired senior staffers, including home secretary Suella Braverman, who breached security protocol by using her personal email for sending government documents. Oliver later pointed out that the new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, in fact rehired Braverman only six days after she’d been fired.
“Ultimately, Sunak is incredibly lucky that he’s following LIz Truss because the bar is so low right now,” Oliver said. “All he really has to do is not personally throw the economy into a tailspin and deliver a speech without leaving a weird pause for clapter.”
But Oliver then showed video of Sunak ending a speech by staring straight ahead and not saying a word for several awkward seconds, and then turning and walking off stage.
Oliver joked, “He looked like he was reading a teleprompter that malfunctioned by replacing his speech with the command, ‘Have a panic attack. Now.'”
Later, Oliver spent his main segment talking about bail reform. He showed a clip of New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea blaming bail reform as the cause of a crime wave, which was a contradiction of previous statements.
Replied Oliver: “Well, which is it, Dermot? Are the numbers not dramatic, or is bail reform 100 percent leading to more shootings? Because those things are mutually exclusive. The only place where ‘not dramatic’ and ‘100 percent’ can exist at the same time is in Kristen Stewart’s whole general vibe. She’s giving it her all, but she’s also giving us absolutely nothing. It’s totally amazing.”
Later in the show, he went on to talk about computer algorithms that assign a score to people detained in jail. A new system being used in New Jersey weighs factors such as previous convictions, not arrests or socioeconomic factors, to determine whether to let someone out of jail based on the likelihood of reoffending and skipping court, instead of assigning bail.
However, Oliver noted that these systems are not without inherent bias. Another system in Florida was found to be “particularly likely to falsely flag Black defendants as future criminals” and “wrongly labeling them at almost twice the rate as white defendants,” Oliver said, quoting a 2016 story in ProPublica.
“It was basically a racist computer, which I realize is probably Elon Musk’s next billion-dollar idea,” Oliver quipped.
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