John Oliver is almost as disappointed in us as we are in ourselves. Sunday’s season finale of Last Week Tonight was only a half-hour long, so he had to narrow down what to rail against. There was so much to choose from.
Oliver asks the same question many of us have asked ourselves about President-elect Donald Trump—how the hell did we get here? He blames many of the factors with which we have become familiar via our our friends Facebook rants: Misleading polls that bred complacency, Clinton’s inability to appeal to poor and working class white people and, as he puts it, “Deep racism and/or indifference to it.”
Then he focuses on the media, particularly the way a system designed to catch a serial liar failed. Many outlets didn’t take Trump seriously at first, giving him billions of dollars of free press. CNN aired several of his rallies in their entirety, which CEO Jeff Zucker eventually admitted was a mistake. Oliver says, “Yeah, it turns out hindsight, much like the year we’re all desperately looking forward to, is 20/20.”
“There is no longer a consensus on what a fact is,” Oliver argues. “Trust in mainstream media outlets has been falling, and people can choose to get their news from echo chambers that validate their views.” He then points out our reliance on social media for information, which is full of false facts shared millions of times, among both Republicans and Democrats.
Though he ends with the tentatively hopeful note that we have to keep fighting every day, and offers a list of organizations you can contribute to that will be doing the fighting against the likely effects of a Donald Trump presidency, Oliver is clearly as done with 2016 as the rest of us. Starting at about minute 24, he presents us with a tribute to a year that will live in infamy. There are cameos from Amy Schumer, Weird Al, Larry David, Larry Wilmore and a whole bunch of people who got dumped in the last 12 months. Fuck 2016.