The smug leftist

john oliver

That face when a hypocrite self-righteously scolds the entire country for not being as progressive as he is.

Over the past decade we in the West have had to live with a chattering, self-righteous left-wing elite that has somehow attached itself to mainstream culture, and in America, they are best represented by late night “comedians” such as Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, and of course, John Oliver. You may remember that I recently wrote a post in which I defended him from the more dimwitted members of the right (e.g. Jack Posobiec) who were acting like SJW’s in calling for him to be fired. Let the following be known – I still hate him!

I only defended him because my principles demanded it. It doesn’t change the fact that he is a liar, a hypocrite, and a devious propagandist. At this point, his entire raison d’être is to try and be more anti-Trump than his peers. Indeed, he has been one of the most ardent critics of the Trump administration, and in his criticism he has come to exemplify the smug liberal problem (Samantha Bee may deny it, but they really are the problem). Of course, like all the smug liberal elites, he doesn’t even practice what he preaches, and it turns out that John Oliver and his wife had purchased a $9.5 million Manhattan penthouse, using a tax loophole used by Donald Trump himself a few decades ago. And to add insult to injury, he did this months before his episode on the wealth gap.

The loophole I’m talking about is the 421-a tax exemption, which was designed in 1971 in order to encourage new development in vacant or underutilised property locations. Apparently Donald Trump wanted to use it in 1980 in order to turn the Bonwit Teller building into the famous Trump Tower. When the then-mayor Ed Koch wouldn’t allow him to, he sued the city, and won a $50 million tax exemption, and thereby established that all new developments could be written off under that provision. Years later, John Oliver, who condemns the wealthy elites on a regular basis, not only used that same rule to buy an expensive penthouse, but to do so he also hired Proskauer Rose LLP, a law firm that specialises in helping the wealthy find tax breaks.

I knew John Oliver was a liar, but this surprised even me. There you have definitive proof that John Oliver is a snake with no guiding principles, and that is because he is a neoliberal corporatist. He has to feign his left-wing stance in order to keep his career afloat. It should be fairly obvious that he and his ilk are rich enough that they would stand to gain from Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts. He’s not even the only one to directly contradict himself. Take Samantha Bee, a woman generally known for barking on about how white people have “ruined America”, but her husband opposed a move to relocate their children’s school to an area that would make it more accessible to black schoolchildren (and claims that his opposition isn’t racist).

Of course, do we really expect the likes of John Oliver and Samantha Bee to have any principles? They’re the smug leftists, the bourgeoisie if you will. All that stops them from being true aristocrats is the fact that they probably weren’t born with blue blood. In the end, they only care about their self-centred, frivolous wants, even as they have the gall to criticise other rich people for the same kind of behaviour. Come to think about it, that whole progressive shtick is probably a scam too. I wonder how many wealthy socialites they know? If they’re celebrities they’ve surely attended a number of high-class parties that only the rich and famous will ever be invited to. As for that crap about caring for the poor, I wouldn’t be surprised if they cracked jokes about poor people with chortling laughter.

They’re all the same, and I guarantee that this anti-Trump crap is just for ratings. When John Oliver did his first anti-Trump rant, he got far more online traffic than anything else he had done prior to that. What that tells me is that he’s all too aware of what drive traffic to him, and he’s capitalising on that in order to further his career. They’re all liars, and the people who still watch them and take him with a little more than a grain of salt are either idiots who have never ventured outside cable TV, or their leftists themselves who buy the propaganda. Either way they’re a diminishing audience. TV as a medium is dying anyway, and in its death throes you still have the vestigial kings and queens of late night “comedy” attempting to preserve their hold on the public consciousness, and failing because on the Internet, the people can reveal how the really feel about the smug leftists who constantly talk down to them.

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Why fire anyone? Screw the FCC!

I’ve always hated Federal Communications Commission, not just as an institution but the mere idea of it. How is it that the US constitution enshrines your right to say whatever you want, but somehow that right is not extended to TV? As someone who values free expression the FCC appals me, and it should appal all supporters of free speech whether you’re left-wing or right-wing. So it bothered me when the whole #FireColbert fracas showed up. Apparently the failing agitprop artist Stephen Colbert made a lame quip about Donald Trump’s mouth being fit only for being “Putin’s cock holster”, which is about the edgiest thing he’s said in years.

With #FireColbert, I think it was both the left and the right willing to piggyback on this, and I wouldn’t feel the need to bring it up at all were it not for the emergence of a second FCC-related hashtag campaign, this time targeting someone who I cannot believe I am forced to defend here. This week, John Oliver did a segment where he again campaigns for net neutrality (which is actually one of the few things I agree with him on), in light of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back Obama-era net neutrality laws.

He launched a campaign called “Go FCC Yourself”, in which he urged viewers to send complaints to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, in the hope that he might reconsider his plans axe regulations put in place under the Obama administration. However, the campaign seems to have been marked by DDOS attacks against the FCC, which appear to have happened soon after the campaign. FCC executive Matthew Berry also took to Twitter to denounce the many racist messages and death threats that people have submitted seemingly through Oliver’s campaign.

Many people have lashed out against John Oliver on Twitter, including Rebel Media reporter Jack Posobiec, who accuses John Oliver of deliberately inciting “racist fans” to attack the FCC, as if the FCC did nothing wrong. Oh but it gets better. Now Posobiec wants you to think John Oliver is some sort of “racist hatemonger”. What the hell is he thinking? He’s literally playing the race card in the same way the SJW’s always done, and his followers are eating it up. In fact, various other right-wingers, in their zeal to get him fired, are now starting to sound exactly like the authoritarian leftists they despise. It’s not just on Twitter. On Milo Yiannopoulos’ post sharing an article I found, several commenters seem more interested in the fact that John Oliver is a leftist, than the dilemma posed by the FCC getting involved. They don’t care because John Oliver is a political opponent of theirs.

They don’t seem to be getting that this is the exact same problem, but because the FCC is targeting leftist comedians for “obscenity”, somehow it’s okay. I can guarantee however that if the FCC-compliant Steven Crowder did the exact same kind of campaign that John Oliver did, and people sent racist messages through it, he would likely come under fire from the authorities too, but everyone on the right would defend him. In fact, I suspect that most of these right-wingers don’t care about the FCC now that Donald Trump is the president, but if Hillary Clinton had gotten elected, then they would be the first to oppose the very existence of the FCC.

I really dislike having to defend John Oliver, but this time, he is actually innocent, or at least I think he had good intentions with his campaign, but he grossly underestimated what could happen with online campaigns. The problem here is that the campaign was a golden opportunity for people who wanted to screw with him. Think about it. The campaign was filled with bot accounts, and was apparently a conduit for DDOS attackers. This tells me that his campaign might have been intercepted by malevolent individuals who probably hate John Oliver to the point that they wanted to make him look bad, so they hijack his online campaign by sending DDOS attacks to the FCC, and flooding the comment section with racist bot comments in order to make it look like John Oliver was leading an army of racists, hackers and trolls against the FCC. That’s my theory at least.

Of course, nobody seems to be interested in the more important question – why does the FCC even exist? All it does is impose stifling regulations on TV and radio, and thanks to them, American cable television is so heavily regulated that nearly all of it is boring, offensively bland, and so formulaic that it it’s incapable of edgy, boundary-pushing content. Just about all the TV imported to Britain is forced to comply with these regulations, so for me, it’s no different to watching heavily regulated British television.

I think a lot of the controversy, particularly with regards to Stephen Colbert, could be resolved if President Trump did the noble thing, and simply axed the FCC. If he did that, not only would he save money by eliminating a pointless regulatory body, but he would also attract more supporters, especially from libertarians such as myself. Again, I don’t like defending people like John Oliver. I’ve gone on record denouncing him as a liar, and I consider him to be a hypocrite (which I’ll talk about in a later post), but I also believe that it’s wrong to try and get him fired because of something that offended you, which is what the left has been doing for the past few years. With Trump in power, am I going to have to sit here and watch the right turn into the left? I should hope not, but as the Trump years drag on, I worry that this may be an inevitable reality.

Why John Oliver is a liar

john oliver brexit

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you may remember that I already wrote a post about John Oliver last week, wherein I attempted to make the argument that John Oliver shouldn’t be trusted as a reliable authority on politics, given his status as a comedian, which requires him to poke fun at the issues. I knew that John Oliver was a progressive, and since he came from The Daily Show, that’s no surprise, but I was able to tolerate him, until his recent segment finally gave us critics what we were waiting for – a crack in his pretentious façade.

Like Barrack Obama before him, John Oliver decided on Sunday night to use his mighty platform to weigh in on Brexit, taking the side of the European Union. Once I found that out, I already knew that I wouldn’t enjoy this one bit, and you could accurately attribute this to my pro-Leave stance, but at least I came to my stance by carefully looking at both sides, and finding Brexit to be the logical answer. John Oliver, meanwhile, took to virtue signalling (a favourite tactic of his) and slandering anyone who dares speak out about immigration, all while missing the point of the Brexit debate.

Oliver started by referencing a New York Times article which claims that the UK only pays £190 million a week to be in the EU (which Oliver claims is a reasonable cost). In reality, neither Vote Leave nor John Oliver are exactly right. According to FullFact and Civitas, we actually pay just shy of £250 million a week, which would amount to £13 billion a year, and we get back a net investment of £4.5 billion a year. Even if the weekly spending figure is less than what Boris Johnson has claimed, it would certainly be better to invest that money back into our underfunded public services. If we didn’t have to pay as much money to the EU, then we wouldn’t even need David Cameron’s half-cocked austerity measures. Of course, John Oliver doesn’t care about that. He only seems to care about Boris Johnson’s resemblance to Bamm Bamm from The Flintstones (how very ad hominem).

He then tried to debunk the amount of regulations the EU enforces, and he’s apparently in disbelief that the EU has this many regulations, and later described worries over regulation as “a red herring”. What he doesn’t know is that the EU’s vast sea of pointless regulations have turned the EU into a protectionist trading bloc, nor does he mention the Common Fisheries Policy (which was mentioned in Brexit: The Movie, which he cited), which effectively destroyed the British fishing industry. He also refuses to mention how large corporations favour those regulations because they can afford to comply with them, while smaller businesses are often strangled by EU regulations. In other words, most big businesses and financial firms back Remain because EU regulations protect them from failure by eliminating the competition. Of course, John Oliver won’t tell you that because he’s a progressive, and thus he’s in favour of the globalist EU.

Starved for an adequate Remain arugment, Oliver then tries to proclaim that “Obama knows best”. He appears to be of the persuasion that what the global elites favour is ultimately best for Britain, but he leaves out the opinions of experts who believe that Brexit may not mean a British recession. Of course, rather than give air to dissenting experts, he has chosen to instead decontextualise Michael Gove’s argument in order to make him sound like an idiot. His point wasn’t about dismissing the experts, it was about ordinary British people tired of being told what to think, and what he and fellow campaigner Gisela Stewart were trying emphasise is that in this debate, the voice of the voter matters more, which I thought was a fine argument. However, John Oliver has chosen to address it with mindless ad hominem slurs, which is exactly what he used when talking about Leave’s biggest supporter – the UK Independence Party.

For my international readers, the UK Independence Party (colloquially abbreviated as UKIP) is a political party in the UK that advocates for the UK’s independence from the European Union, and for tighter controls on immigration. Its leader, Nigel Farage, is depicted as a racist by the mainstream media in our country, and John Oliver is no better in that regard. In trying to explain his point about UKIP by focusing on party members who have been caught saying racist comments, as if that’s all that matters. Of course he would, he’s part of the progressive witch hunt. I really don’t care about race, and that’s why I really don’t care about other people making racist comments, so if John Oliver thinks he can convince me to side with the EU because their enemy is somehow racist, then he has obviously failed. The fact that Farage is willing to stand by his party’s “bad actors” (so to speak) doesn’t prove he’s a racist. It shows that he cares about his own party members, apparently more than Labour does. In fact, I’ve watched Brexit: The Movie, and I haven’t heard Farage make one racist slur, or make a single political argument based on race. Apparently that’s now the domain of the “tolerant” leftists. I find that Farage knows far more about the EU than most of the people campaigning for Remain, and I bet John Oliver knows this, which is why he finds himself unable to present a logical counterargument, and in the absence of an argument, he resorts to calling UKIP voters bigots. I’m not a UKIP supporter, and even I find that disgusting.

He then moves on to highlight how “toxic” the debate has become, and what he means by that is that the debate is toxic for the Remain camp, who have lost every reasonable argument. In an attempt to prove his point, he cites the murder of Jo Cox, who was stabbed and shot by Thomas Mair, a man who was suffering mental health issues, and sought an appointment on the night before the murder. What he won’t tell you is that pro-Remain news outlets immediately sought to capitalise on Jo Cox’s death before she had even died. The debate become toxic because of the dirty tricks of Remain, and when they say the debate had become toxic, that’s the Remain camp trying to silence the debate so that the referendum may turn out in their favour. The fact that John Oliver is siding with those con artists is unspeakable. What does John have to lose when we leave?

He also makes the false assertion that the UK would have to obey EU rules to get a good trade deal. He ignores the fact that Norway is not a member of the EU, and still trades with the EU without having to obey their rules. Switzerland is also wealthier and far more prosperous than any EU state, and it’s not an EU member. Of course, because John Oliver watched Brexit: The Movie, I would have thought that he’d know that. Given the amount of evidence available to him, I’m surprised he isn’t advocating for Brexit. Even if we can’t trade with EU states, we can still trade with more prosperous nations like Japan and America without any trouble.

He honestly believes that our country is about to do something insane. If anything, I think wanting to remain a member of a protectionist trading bloc that wishes to erase democracy is even more insane than wanting to leave it. If he wanted to make an objective case, why didn’t he mention the possibility of an EU army? Why didn’t he mention Greece being forced to accept unpopular austerity measures, or the time when Italy’s prime minister was replaced by an unelected technocrat, or the time when Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty and was forced to vote again? Why didn’t he mention the fact that the EU plans to work with Facebook and Twitter to censor speech that it finds objectionable? While we’re at it, how can he dismiss people’s concerns about immigration, when there is indisputable evidence to show that the EU’s reckless open border policy has led to terrorist incidents in Paris and Brussels?

Finally, John Oliver seems to think that it’s all about venting our desire to “tell Europe to go fuck itself”. We’re mad because the European Union is making it impossible to run the country as we the people see fit. We’re mad because the European Union is potentially making us vulnerable to terrorist infiltration thanks to its open border policy. We’re mad because our government is being controlled by a group of unelected and unaccountable wealthy elites. This is why the far right is gaining popularity in Europe, and unless we vote Leave, that tension is only going to get worse over time, and I fear it could lead to nationalist violence and revolutions across Europe.

Normally John Oliver is at least somewhat capable of making a reasoned argument wrapped in delicious comedy, but with his recent Brexit section, I don’t feel that way. I feel like I spent 15 minutes of my life watching an idiotic propaganda piece catering to privileged, middle class Americans who shouldn’t have any reason to care about our affairs. Honestly, this is why I would seriously consider siding with UKIP if Britain votes Remain, because they seem to be the only party with any shred of concern for the common man. What’s worse is that John Oliver might actually influence (primarily young) people in this country to sell out their own future.

I ask my British viewers, don’t believe John Oliver. He is incapable of grasping the true importance of Brexit, and that’s certainly the case if he has to resort to virtue signalling and ad hominem slurs in order to persuade you. He’s a liar and a charlatan, as all progressives are. I may sound a bit biased, but unlike John Oliver, I’m totally willing to be honest about that. Unlike that stuffy pretentious moron, I’ve got nothing at stake except the right to hold the leaders of the country accountable, and we can only secure that right, and the future of this country, by voting Leave on June 23rd. If you can’t stand liars like John Oliver, then Brexit is the sensible option. It’s our last chance to show those unelected technocrats that we aren’t willing to surrender our freedom, nor our dignity.

Taken with a pinch of salt

john oliver

If there’s one person who I haven’t subjected to scrutiny on this site quite yet, it’s John Oliver, the former Daily Show correspondent who left and launched his own show on HBO. As the host of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver became a widely acclaimed comedian who regularly receives praise from progressive news outlets like Salon (yes, THAT Salon), Huffington Post, and The Guardian (who regularly kisses his ass). To be fair, John Oliver is also popular with other outlets, and he’s become something of a household name in America. To be fair, I actually like the show. I like that John Oliver takes his choice of subject matter both lightly and seriously, with his longer segments being both witty and insightful…most of the time.

However, I think he deserves a good dose of scepticism, especially when you consider that he has an enormous platform from which he could espouse a certain political agenda. From what I can gather, John Oliver is clearly a progressive. Fortunately he isn’t the lunatic progressive we see amongst the social justice crowd, but I think there are moments that give away his particular political leanings.

For starters, throughout the show’s third season, he has placed particular focus on Donald Trump, especially now that he’s the presumptive nominee for the Republican party. In February, he ran a long segment about Donald Trump which was funny and well-argued. However, he made one fatal error – he ended it on the assumption that the source of Trump’s success is his name, and made a satirical campaign (Make Donald Drumpf Again) using the name of one of Trump’s ancestors, Friedrich Drumpf.

Aside from being very silly, it’s kind of childish. Friedrich Drumpf would likely have changed his name to blend in with American society, as many German immigrants would have done in Friedrich’s time. Also, it demonstrates a critical failure on Oliver’s part to understand why Trump is so popular. Trump’s supporters are drawn to him because he’s more outrageous than all the other candidates, and because they are tired of being betrayed and told what to think by the political class. That John Oliver doesn’t get this forces me to question his intellectual position. No wonder Americans decided not to make Donald Drumpf again. It certainly doesn’t help that he’s been relatively uncritical of the two Democrat candidates, though in a recent episode he did make the convincing case that Bernie Sanders would have lost even if you accounted for all the caucuses and other factors (sorry if I’m being rather glib, but the US primary system is seriously confusing even for me).

Throughout the show, John Oliver has given coverage to a wide range of news stories and topics of all shapes and sizes, from the more serious topics to the bizarre, and sometimes the pointless (such as a Gloria Steinem interview and the Queen insulting Chinese officials). On the longer segments, Oliver’s investigatory skills show a serious journalistic interest in various subjects, and they have had an impact on the outside world. However, there are a few that I would call into question.

For me, the most obviously questionable segment is the one he ran last year on online harassment. My main area of criticism is that he essentially bought into the narrative of Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn as victims of online harassment, and the mainstream media outlets praised him for it. He assumed that all her critics were misogynist trolls, and gave no coverage to why the GamerGate movement hated them in the first place. Sarkeesian, Wu and Quinn are all militant neofeminists who were hell bent on destroying gamer culture, and many of the comments they received were people who simply disagreed with them. What John Oliver didn’t mention is that they made a living as professional victims, with Sarkeesian and Quinn later begging the UN to censor online speech just to protect their feelings. Not only that, but he ignored the evidence that suggests that not only do men receive more harassment online than women, but also that Sarkeesian and Wu generated fraudulent harassment against themselves in order to get media attention. They’re total frauds, and John Oliver gave them a platform. This is no surprise, considering how the mainstream media is now in bed with progressive social justice activists. In a way, this highlights how corrupt the mainstream media is (and let’s face it, HBO is totally mainstream now).

Another segment I have a problem with is the one he ran about the migrant crisis, which saw him taking the side of the European Union, and attempting to explain the situation to Americans using the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Granted, the media coverage was still skewed one way or the other, but Oliver was part of that. Not only did he dismiss the idea that terrorists could take advantage of the migrant crisis without even giving it a fair hearing, but he also joined the rest of the mainstream media in picking on a camera woman who was caught kicking a migrant in the stomach (she was in the wrong, but that’s no excuse for mindless virtue signalling). I agree with his point that we shouldn’t treat people like garbage because of their religion, but he also ignored other factors, such as EU countries not being able to take in the amount of migrants that were coming in, and attempted to rationalise a reckless open border policy using the declining birth rates of EU nations. What he doesn’t know is that this was being taken advantage of by radical clerics such as Sheikh Muhammad Ayed, who called for Muslim migrants to breed with Europeans as a way of conquering EU states.

The whole segment, though hilarious, was essentially a masterclass exercise in virtue signalling, and on top of that, when the Paris attacks happened, he didn’t consider for a moment that the EU’s open border policy may have had something to do with it. Instead, he dedicated two minutes to yet more virtue signalling. He’s also a naive believer in the idea that ISIS is fighting a cultural war, when we can all see that they’re fighting an actual war, with real weapons. Of course, these facts aren’t mentioned because they’re inconvenient to Oliver’s clearly left-wing narrative, and any facts that contradict it would threaten his ability to position himself as the smug British man who’s always right about everything.

Of course, John Oliver is a comedian, and so you shouldn’t really be relying on him as a journalist, but many people actually take him seriously, and so do the progressive news outlets that like to kiss his ass. They take his comedic diatribes as gospel when it’s supposed to be entertainment, and John Oliver knows this. He knows that the Daily Show format he continues is capable of advancing a political position, and he uses it very shrewdly, pontificating a political position wrapped in objective journalism. The worst part about it is that he could easily dodge criticism by making of them, and his millions of followers will agree with him. As much as I like John Oliver as a comedian, I worry that he runs the risk of being a progressive demagogue, and once you become a demagogue, it becomes increasingly more difficult to resist the urge to use that power at its most dangerous level.