When President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler (a former top telecom lobbyist) as chairman of the FCC, he got a lot of grief for selling out his '07 pledge to protect Net Neutrality -- the founding principle long prized by open web activists that ISPs cannot privilege certain data over others, without which dire visions of a tiered and pay-for-play internet loomed. Earlier, weaker attempts at net neutrality had failed in court, and the new chairman looked set to fold. But after an unprecedented outcry following last year's trial balloon for ISP "fast lanes" -- including a viral appeal by John Oliver, a public urging by the president, and perhaps Wheeler's own history with the pre-web NABU Network -- the FCC yesterday voted along party lines to enact the toughest net neutrality rules in history, classifying ISPs as common carriers and clearing the way for municipal broadband. ISPs reacted with (Morse) venom, while congressional Republicans are divided over what they called "Obamacare for the internet."
Each week, the ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ industry observes a sacred ritual: Together, but not quite in sync, dozens of websites embed and then post the longest segment from John Oliver's HBO show, Last Week Tonight. That John Oliver's weekly video(s) will go viral is, at this time, a given. Whether or not the posts that embed those videos will go viral is another matter altogether. Each time around there are winners, losers, and mere participants. Here's what happened this week: "The John Oliver Video Sweepstakes" [more inside]
If there is any justice in the world, this will revolutionize the way you consume Supreme Court news. Fed up with the Supreme Court's refusal to allow cameras at oral arguments, John Oliver has proposed an alternative to existing television coverage that relies on artists' renderings of the justices. Oliver has released more than ten minutes of raw footage of dogs dressed up like the members of the Court, and has challenged news outlets to use the footage to create less-boring recreations of oral arguments. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver takes on the issue of civil asset forfeiture, including "Law & Order: Civil Asset Forfeiture Unit", a preview of how police procedurals could handle the topic. [more inside]
W-ORD Channel 7 News With John Oliver & Cookie Monster. In support of "Sesame Street's" newest vocabulary resource, "Words are Here, There and Everywhere," Mashable has teamed up with Sesame Workshop to encourage families to explore the wonderful world of words.
With a combination of humor and fearlessness, Last Week Tonight has done an unlikely thing: spurred action. John Oliver’s segment on net neutrality this past June perfectly summed up what his HBO show Last Week Tonight is so good at: transcending apathy. It’s an ingenious formula that’s making a difference in the real world. “Making a difference” isn’t hyperbole. The FCC’s website actually crashed from overwhelming web traffic the day after Oliver’s segment originally aired. The Atlantic looks at How John Oliver Beats Apathy.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, previously
- John Oliver on net neutrality, previously
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on FanFare
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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
After 176+ episodes, satirical podcast The Bugle with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman will no longer be published by The Times. [more inside]
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]
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.
John Oliver's "The Meter Is Running" is a loving* look back at the history of FOX News. [more inside]
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.