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Where's The Juice? Commercial Speech versus Truth in Advertising

In June of this year, POM Wonderful won "a round in a food fight with Coca-Cola" in the case about how a fruit juice blend is labeled. It's a case of commercial speech, to which John Oliver opined that "in Coke's defense, they only mislead us about what was in their juice. For years, POM Wonderful has mislead us about what is in pomegranates". Generally speaking, as long as the labeling isn't incorrect or harmful, it can make bold claims, to a point. For instance, you can't claim your cereal could improve kids' attentiveness and memory when it doesn't. Whatever you do, you shouldn't add new labeling to existing, even if it is to clarify that the product sucks less, or is asbestos-free. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 1, 2014 - 12 comments

A New Underground Railroad?

A group of American Quakers say they are offering a way out for some desperate Ugandans fleeing the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act. If their account is accurate, it is a remarkable feat for a handful of individuals with very little experience in international aid.... Most Ugandan activists and international human rights groups are discouraging LGBT Ugandans from fleeing, since they largely go to Kenya and wind up in enormous refugee camps that are often just as dangerous for LGBT people as Uganda itself.... But the stories of people fleeing arrest or attack tug at the hearts of foreigners who want to offer direct help to people in crisis. The complex reality on the ground makes that hard to do through established channels — and the donors may never know the individuals they’ve helped. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Jul 14, 2014 - 30 comments

iTunes, Assad, and Right Said Fred

John Oliver examines the music download purchasing habits of Syria's president, and engineers the momentary catharsis of mildly irritating one of the worst people on the planet. Right Said Fred performs their tribute to Assad.
posted by hippybear on Jun 9, 2014 - 17 comments

The horrrific 2014 GM rolling sarcophagus deathtraps are here!

What do the words "safety," ''chaotic" and "problem" have in common? They're all on General Motors' list of banned words for employees who were documenting potential safety issues. The revelation of the 68-word list is one of the odder twists in GM's ongoing recall of 2.6 million older-model small cars for defective ignition switches. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver weighs in.
posted by Room 641-A on May 19, 2014 - 78 comments

"An argument that has the characterizing flavor of bullshit."

The entire first episode of John Oliver's new current-events comedy show on HBO, Last Week Tonight, is viewable on its official YouTube Channel. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 28, 2014 - 99 comments

He's back

After a summer of John Oliver, Jon Stewart returns to host The Daily Show. (slyt) [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 4, 2013 - 57 comments

John Oliver: "The most formative comedy of my teenage years."

There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.
John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 10, 2013 - 64 comments

Jon Stewart Gets Serious

Funnyman Jon Stewart is taking a 12 week hiatus to direct a film adaptation of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari's book Then They Came For Me. John Oliver will take over hosting duties in his absence. Daily Show clip of Jason Jones interview before Bahari's arrest. Post - arrest Daily Show interviews. Previously
posted by rosswald on Mar 5, 2013 - 72 comments

The Bugle is in the bin.

After 176+ episodes, satirical podcast The Bugle with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman will no longer be published by The Times. [more inside]
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 on Dec 16, 2011 - 60 comments

Monday, 9:00 AM. Briefing meeting with Deparment Research Team Thirty-Two.

The Department. Regular listeners to The Bugle (previously) will have been missing their usual weekly dose of historico-politico-silliness. But there is a fallback. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Apr 3, 2011 - 10 comments

The Sachin Tendulkar of Cricketblogging

For me, this was a first experience of seeing India play at home, and of Sachin Tendulkar playing in front of his own people. I chose a good game with which to start. I can think of few, if any, experiences in sport to match watching Tendulkar succeed in a home game. Roger Federer may occupy a similar status of universally-acknowledged greatness within tennis, but I think it is fair to say that Switzerland is not quite as passionate about tennis as India is about cricket. If Federer were to simultaneously play tennis whilst hoarding gold and providing banking facilities for dubious dictators, perhaps the fervour of his support would match that for Sachin. But the Swiss population is unlikely ever to top the one billion mark.
Don't know a thing about cricket? Wouldn't know a wicket from a googly? Don't worry, you won't have to know a thing to enjoy Andy Zaltzman's World Cup Blog. He is traveling around Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka attending various games. Zaltzman is best known to the world for the fabulous podcast The Bugle which he does with John Oliver. Therefore it should come as no surprise that he also does a cricket podcast. And he tweets about cricket too.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 28, 2011 - 19 comments

Go Fox Yourself

John Oliver's "The Meter Is Running" is a loving* look back at the history of FOX News. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Apr 11, 2008 - 34 comments

The Bugle - Audio Newspaper for a Visual World

The Bugle is a topical comedic podcast by The Daily Show's John Oliver and fellow comedian Andy Saltzman. They style it an Audio Newspaper for a Visual World. Each weekly episode is about half an hour long.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 26, 2007 - 13 comments

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