After a long three-month break, John Oliver returned to HBO for his 10th season of Last Week Tonight this Sunday. And the first thing he had to talk about were the bombshell text messages that Fox News stars were sending each other in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election.
Oliver began his season premiere by sharing details of those messages, revealed in legal filings around Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network, in which hosts like Tucker Carlson called Trump’s election lies “ludicrous” and “totally off the rails.”
“Wow, if I were a Fox viewer, I’d feel pretty betrayed by that,” the host replied. “This is like finding out that Big Bird regularly texts Elmo, ‘Fuck them kids,’ and Elmo agrees.”
According to Oliver, this filing “shows the extent to which Fox hosts did not believe the shit that they were selling, which is completely fine if you work for QVC and you have to fill an hour on why bejeweled squatty potty will change your life. But, it’s a bit more concerning when you pretend to be the news.”
And while Fox stars were apparently “terrified” of “losing their audience to more conspiracy-friendly networks like Newsmax,” Oliver thinks they were going about maintaining those viewers all wrong.
“We also face pressure to maintain our audience,” he joked. “It’s just that we do it the old-fashioned way: by having integrity, self-respect and the blind fortune of airing right after hit prestige dramas that people actually want to watch. It’s not difficult!”
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