Ethics Dunce: HBO’s John Oliver [UPDATED]

I’m being kind and restrained here. John Oliver is a lot worse than an Ethics Dunce. I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

The video above was Oliver’s final show this season on HBO. It is a full half hour of insults and hate directed at the President-Elect of the United States of America. Some of his insults and ridicule are based on substance, some appear to be  pure bias and stupidity. I almost bailed when Oliver, to the bleating of his all blue, all juvenile audience, implied that being endorsed by the head of the KKK obviously disqualifies someone to be President. Unpack the logic in that contention.

Mostly, however, it is a vicious ad hominem assault on the newly elected President of a level of unfairness and disrespect that has never been directed at any previous President Elect in public. Never, because Americans have always realized that the slate is cleared when someone becomes President, and that the individual inherits the office and the legitimacy of that office as it has been built and maintained by it previous occupants. He (no “he or she” yet, sorry: not my fault) becomes the symbol of the nation, the government and its people, a unique amalgam of prime minister, king and flag in human and civilian form.

That immediate good will, respect for the Presidency, and forgiveness of all that went before has made the transfer of power in the US the marvel of the world, and has kept the nation from violence and division. It is part of our strength as a society. It is part of the election process, and a vital one. John Oliver is intentionally tearing at that process.

I don’t want to hear about the Jester’s Privilege. Oliver’s goal isn’t to be funny, and it isn’t satire: he’s fueling hate against our new President, and perhaps fear and violence as well.  There’s nothing constructive there, or “all in good fun.” This is a fact: any comedian who launched into that kind of rant against Barack Obama in November of 2008 would have been permanently shunned, and probably ruined. It doesn’t matter that Obama “didn’t deserve it.” He, like Trump, was President-Elect. What he, like Trump, deserved was respect.

In John Oliver’s own country, Great Britain, where the free speech  is not nearly so robust as here, an equivalent attack on the Queen by an American comic would prompt a diplomatic incident. [CORRECTION: In the original version of this post, I referenced a news item that Trump had announced that he would seek a return of the Churchill bust that Obama had allegedly returned to the U.K. in 2009. I had the original story of the bust’s return in my files dating from 7 years ago. It was in error. Trump may have made the statement, since he believes bad sources even more than I do. It doesn’t matter: he” find the bust in the White House if he looks for it. I apologize for  the error. This would have been fixed much earlier, but I’m flying cross country, and the in flight internet wasn’t working.] As with the insufferable Piers Morgan in his CNN disaster, I don’t care to hear smug foreigners tell us how superior they are, and how little they respect our leaders. This arrogance and rudeness personified. This is our President, and you’re our guest. Behave.

You smug jerk.

132 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Leadership

132 responses to “Ethics Dunce: HBO’s John Oliver [UPDATED]

  1. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but “has made the transfer of power in the US the marvel of the world”, is unfortunately not what you perhaps want it to be.

    We, “the world”, spend very little time marvelling at America, except to marvel at your belief that you are the “greatest” country in the world which apparently we all marvel at.

    Where you begin to claim any knowledge or expertise in ‘ethics’ is also fairly unclear?

    Sort your political system out, guys. It’s a joke. There’s no red or blue, it’s all purple and confused.

  2. Guido

    That’s a load of crap. The slate is not automatically cleared. He is judging trump on his words and those who voted for him on their deeds. Stop being an apologist and use some objectivity. Oliver is smart and funny. He is using logic and reason to make jokes and like millions of other Americans, he’s worried about what may happen to our country under this president.

    • It is a long ad hominem attack. There is no substance there. It is only abuse. He can worry all he wants, not that he should care, since he’s jut visiting to collect a pay check.

      Read the blog on Trump. I am not apologizing for him in any way, never have. Like most of these comments, you are making assumptions that are unwarranted and a lazy way of avoiding a substantive rebuttal.

  3. Jim B.

    Hilarious. Oliver makes jokes about horrible things Trump has said or done, and you say president pussygrabber deserves respect. Give a little, get a little.

  4. THE Bill

    I will give the President elect the same respect he gave others during the campaign.

  5. The Truth

    This arrogance and rudeness personified. This is our President, and you’re our guest. Behave.

    **Oliver is a citizen you SMUG jerk, not “our guest”.

  6. Tim

    John Oliver is smug? He made fun of himself during that piece. Also, if you’re going to style yourself as a journalist, even if of the variety of internet hacks with no editorial oversight, you should be aware that dissent is a privilege. You criticize limited freedom of speech in the UK, not sure where you made that up from, but this article advocates limiting freedom off speech primarily based on the grounds that John Oliver is a foreigner. How very consistent with Trump’s worldview…

    • Do you even know where you are commenting? I am not a journalist, I’m an ethics specialist. John Oliver is obviously smug; self-deprecation is not a antidote to smug. He’s smug because, having never served in any function remotely as challenging as Trump’s new job or old ones, he presumes to mock the man personally from an ignorant point of view.

      I did not say that Oliver didn’t have a right to do this, but that it was wrong. If this basic distinction escapes you, then educated yourself before commenting again.

      Yes, there is limited freedom of speech in the UK. I didn’t make it up. You are just ignorant. Don’t write about things you are ignorant about, at least not here.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Freedom of speech in the UK goes only as far as the powers that be says it does. You see, Tim, unlike the US, Ireland, and Canada to some extent, the UK has no written constitution nor any other document guaranteeing fundamental rights. Pretty much anything can be changed by a court or by Parliament. The UK, and its smug, smarmy, obnoxious celebrities with their unctuous accents and penchants for either cutting remarks that would get you punched out face-to-face or crude and profane insults, have nothing to teach us about freedom of anything.

  7. Eric Monkman

    I cannot imagine that an American insult to the British Queen would cause much of a diplomatic incident. If the British Foreign Secretary telephoned the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James to complain, I presume said ambassador would politely remind the Foreign Secretary of a certain limerick he composed about the President of Turkey and then hang up.

  8. GC

    Is being smug, dumb and obnoxious a prerequisite to being a late night journalist?

  9. Errol Macy

    You must be to young to remember all the vitriol when Obama took office.
    Just saying this is America we have the right to an opinion about our president.

    • This goes in the “too lazy to read the post” file. There was no vitriol against Obama until after he became President, certainly not from comics, who still won’t mock him as they have every other one.

  10. Llama

    This has NEVER happened to ANY other president in the history of the US… https://youtu.be/QBMgn81kbRQ

    • Great video. That’s from Obama’s re-election, and thus COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to the post. See. he was already President then.

      Still waiting for that illusive video showing any comic, ever, insulting a President-Elect on TV, at length.

  11. Jenny

    It as an ethical assault on a Preside t the likes of which has never been seen before? Were you absent from this nation when President Obama was elected? The slurs & accusations started long after he was duly elected by the people, and most often from his peers & other professional politicians. And let’s not forget those thrown by the current President elect Donald Trump. John Oliver is an entertainer. If we’ve learned anything from this it’s to do your own research. If you’re truly concerned about ethics, you’ve got your work cut out for you – stop watching the entertainment shows and watch the new administration.

    • No, in fact I am correct, Jenny. Yours is selective and false history. I’m assuming this sentence—“The slurs & accusations started long after he was duly elected by the people, and most often from his peers & other professional politicians.” —is a typo. Because it is correct: the criticism started AFTER he took office, as has always been the case. Not long after, either.

      • Jack Marshall because you choose not to hear comments you can dispell. Before you start. I am a black man. I am college educated. I am a army vet. I work for everything I own. I am an American. I don’t support blm because I believe all lives matter, just want white America to REALIZE that equality and the pursuit of happiness has not been distributed fairly. I can say more but to the point. Donald Trump has shown his prejudice by his ignorant rants. Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants. No Caucasian can say their ancestors are native to this country. I fought for this country for all race and religion and gender. He has not served, will be the commander in chief but spreads hate. I find Oliver funny, enough that I can hope this country won’t get worse because if white pride claiming it’s their time. When wasn’t it the white man time and when was America great for everyone,

        • “Jack Marshall because you choose not to hear comments you can dispel. Before you start.”

          See, Terry, you are fortunate I bothered to read the rest of your comment when you begin like that. When someone comes up to me in the street and slaps me in the face before starting a conversation, we don’t have a conversation. I always respond to comments I disagree with, whether I can dispel them or not, unless they begin with ad hominem insults, in which case I might just ban the commenter. Bu the way, I think you wanted to say, “choose not to hear comments you can’t dispel.”

          Thank you for your service. But the rest of your comment–

          Donald Trump has shown his prejudice by his ignorant rants. Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants. No Caucasian can say their ancestors are native to this country. I fought for this country for all race and religion and gender. He has not served, will be the commander in chief but spreads hate. I find Oliver funny, enough that I can hope this country won’t get worse because if white pride claiming it’s their time. When wasn’t it the white man time and when was America great for everyone,

          —is immaterial to the issue in the post.Your gross generalizations are as bad as anything Trump or Oliver said. Ethics Alarms doesn’t dispute the substance of what Oliver did, but the method and timing, after the election and before Trump had been able to do anything as President. That was the post. Essentially you are saying, like the “Hamilton” defenders, “I don’t like him, so he deserves to be treated unfairly.” That’s not ethics. That’s hate and spite.

          And your facts are wrong. Trump has never expressed negative positions regarding Mexicans, only lawbreaking Mexicans who don’t belong in this country. Nor has he ever expressed negative opinions about immigrants, only illegal immigrants, who ask for those negative views, like all lawbreakers, but worse, since most lawbreakers don’t have the gall to insist that they have a right to break the law.

          He has expressed fears about Muslims, since they have been killing people.

          I have no idea what the last sentence is trying to say, but I get the gist. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with John Oliver.

          Do better next time. Thanks for writing.

        • Terry L Thompson said, “No Caucasian can say their ancestors are native to this country.”

          You’re wrong!

          I’m considered Caucasian and I have Cherokee ancestors.

          P.S. Thanks for your service.

  12. Jennifer Anderson

    Americans realize the slate is cleared?? Did you sleep though the Obama administration?

    • This is an idiotic comment, Jennifer. I wrote that the slate for the Trump Presidency is clear. What he did before is not the act of a President. Obama’s approval rating, as completely unqualified and inexperienced man entering the Presidency, was about 70%, and he didn’t get anything like 70% of the vote. The 8 years after he was President elect, see, is not apples to this orange: the “honeymoon” period Americans have always given new Presidents. Can you understand that? Is that too complex for you to grasp?

      See, Jennifer, I don’t run my blog the way others do. Really stupid, ill-considered comments like yours are not welcome, because they just pollute the discussion. You can’t make good ethical decisions using bad data. Think before you write. Do better, or get lost.

  13. Andrew

    So eight years of disrespect, complete lack of good will, even outright hatred of our current commander-in-chief what, didn’t happen? Please.

    Their job isn’t to be coddled, it is to earn their constituents’ approval. Oliver is letting Trump know where the American people are, and maybe giving him an idea of the work he needs to do.

    • One more comment that makes me wonder if people actually bother to read the post, or are just too Trump-crazy to understand it.

    • “Their job isn’t to be coddled, it is to earn their constituents’ approval.”

      Nonsense. Their job is to manage the executive branch of the government and complete the tasks outlined in the Constitution.

    • “Oliver is letting Trump know where the American people are,

      Silliness.

      The election let Trump know where the American people are: less than half begrudgingly support him, less than half were going to begrudgingly support Hillary, a good percentage outright rejected Hillary by not even voting.

      “and maybe giving him an idea of the work he needs to do.”

      No, Congress should do that…like the Constitution says.

  14. Yossarian

    I think part of what is provoking such a strong response from people who are arguing that the President elect does not deserve special levels of respect (or a clean slate) is the very real fear that Trump is on the verge of becoming a dictator, not a President. It may not be based on reality, but there are many people who are very afraid. He has made comments about free speech that are extremely troubling to hear from someone with that much personality, and he has just been awarded the highest office in the nation. And of course there is the very popular narrative that his policies and supporters are so racist, xenophobic, and sexist that to even have voted AGAINST his opponent is an endorsement of evil. So even the spector of “free speech” criticism against him being unethical is getting extremely strong reactions.
    But Jack is not arguing that there should be a law against critiquing the President elect, he is arguing for social censure against public figures for using their very visible platforms to undermine the tradition of a peaceful transition. Social censure is a powerful tool, and one we should not use thoughtlessly. But it is not an attack on free speech.
    Elections are ugly, and by definition expose the differences in our priorities, our definitons of justice, and our beliefs about the direction of our country. But there are also unprecedently legitimized protests happening right now (sometime violent) to overturn the very process of electing our President based on the fact that the “wrong” candidate won! It is one thing to argue that the electoral college isn’t a fair way to determine who should be our President, but to do it only after the election is not just bad sportsmanship, it is a cry to overturn the very foundations of America. And we knew the rules when we voted, just as the nominees did when they ran. America is extremely divided right now, and we need to be having some very serious discussions about what happens next, but the only way things will improve is if we stop demonizing the other side as evil and start listening to each other, even when the divide seems so impossibly far.The press and much of mainstream media is fanning those flames right now, and we are seeing the very real consequences of that.
    I believe in right and wrong, and I believe that even the people I disagree with the most do as well. We won’t agree on how to solve the problems we face, and sometimes wont even agree on the definitions of the words we use to discuss them. But we do not pass our laws in isolation, and we don’t form our opinions about them alone either. We accomplish things by working together. That is why we are The United States. The best thing to come out of this mess is that more people than before understand just how important who we nominate really is. Hopefully next time we do better and put forward people that we can be proud to vote for, and not just against. But until we reach the next election, is it more important than ever that we work to build a better America, not burn it down in fear or anger.

  15. ABarton

    This may be the biggest load of rubbish I have ever read. First of all, while President Elects should garner new respect, all should not be forgiven for their past if they have completed near felonies actions.
    Second of all, all comedians launch at new presidents as it’s new content, just because Trump has more to aim at than most doesn’t mean they are being unfair.
    Finally as a British who lived in America it is just plain wrong and frankly a borderline offensive level of nativity to say that our freedom of speech is less robust than yours. Grow up and accept that criticism happens, and it is in fact a good thing for society.

    • Your comment is completely undermined by your last assertion.If Brits really think freedom of speech is vigorous in GB, then they have meekly submitted to the restriction of their rights. Here’s a good summation from Reason, the excellent libertarian publication. I was aware of all of this. You are either deliberately misrepresenting fact, or you are ignorant. Either way, don’t call me a nativist, jerk, when in this specific instance I am pointing out one (of many, but I digress) ways that the US is better off than the UK, and you don’t know what you are talking about.

      Brendan O’Neill, Reason, April 2015

      Freedom of speech no longer exists in Britain. The land that gave the world the Magna Carta, the Levellers, and John Stuart Mill—three of the key foundation stones of the modern conception of liberty—is now arresting and even jailing people simply for speaking their minds.

      A man has been investigated by the police for a hashtag he used on Twitter. Seriously. Never mind speechcrime, or even tweetcrime—now we have hashtagcrime, the criminalisation even of those snarky, ironic asides people pepper the internet with. The man in question, Stephen Dodds, committed the sin of taking a photograph of two Muslims praying at Anfield, the home ground of Liverpool Football Club, and posting it on Twitter alongside the tweet: “Muslims praying at half-time at the match yesterday. #DISGRACE.” That hashtag saw him become the victim of a furious Twitterstorm, the modern version of a tomato-wielding mob, and he was eventually reported to the cops. They investigated the matter for two weeks—two weeks!—before finally instructing Liverpool FC to take appropriate action against the evil hashtagger. Liverpool this week said it is deciding how to punish this man who dared to type the word “DISGRACE” on the internet.

      Aggravated Meanness

      2. A journalist, Katie Hopkins, has been reported to the police, and, bizarrely, to the International Criminal Court (ICC), for writing a column for the Sun in which she referred to the African migrants trying to get into Europe as “cockroaches.” Hopkins is known for her outré views. She’s been reported to the police before, for “hate crimes against fat people”! She said “fat people are just lazy,” which is apparently a police matter now. The police didn’t charge her over her fat-shaming, but they might well interrogate her over her migrant-bashing. Her cockroaches column caused the Twittersphere to go into meltdown; 285,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Sun to sack her (my preferred solution to Europe’s migrant crisis is to swap these 285,000 intolerant Brits who fancy they have the right to shut down writers they don’t like for 285,000 Africans who want to live in this country); and now the Society of Black Lawyers has reported Hopkins both to the UK cops and also to the ICC, demanding it investigate her comments “under the provisions of incitement to commit crimes against humanity.” Am I allowed to call this a DISGRACE?

      Shameful Bodies

      TwitterTwitterThe Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into the appropriateness of an advert for protein supplements which features a sexy woman in a bikini next to the words: “Are you beach-body ready yet?” The ads, which appear on the London Underground, have been vandalized by SJW feminists who claim they “body shame” the plump. More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition—again with the petitions—demanding the ads be removed because they make women “feel physically inferior to… the bronzed model.” And now the ASA, overlord of advertising in Britain, which has the power to expunge from the public sphere any ad it judges to be offensive, is heeding the feminist vandalizers and subjecting the ad to one of its stiff-lipped investigations. We wait with bated breath to see if this unelected institution will graciously allow the rest of us, the 64 million people of Britain, to keep seeing this actually quite pleasant ad.

      These three cases of the past week encapsulate the crisis of free-speaking in 21st century Britain. They show that no zone of British life is free from the peering eyes and always primed red pen of the new censorious set that longs to scribble out or shut down anything dodgy, eccentric, hateful, or upsetting (to some.)

      The cases confirm that everywhere from the new virtual terrain of the Internet (that hashtag guy), to the old-fashioned printed press (the Katie Hopkins case), to the public square itself (that bikini ad), speech is under threat from an unholy marriage of intolerant virtual mobs, censorious Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), and state institutions keen to censor stuff in order to protect the allegedly fragile public.

      And these cases aren’t one-offs. In relation to the Internet, numerous people have been arrested for tweetcrimes. In 2010, a man was found guilty of being “grossly offensive” after he joked on Twitter about blowing up an airport in Nottingham that was experiencing severe delays. He was fined £385 and lost his job. His conviction was finally quashed on the third appeal. In 2012, a student was imprisoned for 56 days for making racist comments on Twitter. Also in 2012, a 20-year-old man was sentenced to 240 hours’ community service for writing on his Facebook page: “All [British] soldiers should die and go to hell.”

      Other tweeters have been arrested and interrogated by police for making off-colour comments. In December last year, a 19-year-old man was arrested for making a joke about the truck disaster in Glasgow, when an out-of-control truck hit Christmas shoppers and killed six. The tweeter said: “So a bin lorry has apparently driven into 100 people in Glasgow eh, probably the most trash it’s picked up in one day.” For that, for doing what people have been doing for generations—making up stinging jokes in the wake of a tragedy—he was arrested. He was let off, but the police sent a chilling warning to us all: anyone who makes horrible jokes on Twitter we will be visited and given “strong words of advice,” they said.

      Various laws enable this police invasion of the online world: the Public Order Act of 1986, which criminalizes “racially aggravated” speech; the Malicious Communications Act of 2003, which criminalizes “offensive, indecent or menacing” speech in electronic media: these are the statutes the cops have used to colonise the internet.

      The war on Katie Hopkins isn’t a one-off, either. It follows hot on the heels of the Leveson Inquiry’s creation of a chilling, choking climate in relation to the British press.

      Launched by David Cameron in 2011 ostensibly to investigate phone-hacking at the News of the World, but actually having the vastly expanded remit of looking into the whole “culture, practice, and ethics of the press,” the Leveson Inquiry has created a situation where Britain might soon have a press regulator set up by Royal Charter—which would be the first system of state-backed regulation of the press in Britain since 1695.

      Even before that Royal Charter has been signed, Leveson has already, predictably, emboldened the petty censors in our midst who have long desired to silence offensive columnists, especially tabloid ones. As one agitator against Katie Hopkins admitted. “Leveson was a smack in the teeth” of newspapers like the Sun, he said, which should now feel less able to publish Hopkins’ and others’ “vicious… right-wing opinioneering.” In short: A state-decreed, judge-led inquiry is leading to the castration of the press, and we should be happy about that.

      As to the ASA’s investigation of the bikini ad—such topdown regulation of the words and images of the public sphere has become commonplace in recent years.

      The ASA has banned ads for hair products that were offensive to Christians (they featured nuns in suspenders); ads for an airline that had a woman dressed as a schoolgirl, on the basis that they could cause “widespread offence” (in fact, only 13 people complained about them); and even an ad for a supermarket that showed a girl taking the salad out of her hamburger on the grounds that it “condoned poor nutritional habits.” Censorship in the UK has become so psycho that even the presentation of hamburgers is now strictly policed.

      Over the past decade, our virtual world, our media, and our public spaces have become subject to ever-greater policing by both SJWs demanding bans and officials all too willing to ban. The end result is a nation which poses as liberal and modern yet where everything from pics of a woman in a bikini to naughty jokes can be subjected to official sanction, and where everyone becomes less sure of what they’re allowed to say and thus tends to shut themselves up to be on the safe side. Self-censorship: the worst kind.

      To this end, we sometimes haven’t even needed coppers or campaigners to force the closure of allegedly offensive words or art: institutions and individuals have silenced themselves in the face of hollers of complaint.

      Last year, the Barbican Arts Centre closed down a piece of performance art exploring slavery and racism after 250 protesters turned up on the opening night. ITV ditched a TV show featuring sexist comic Dapper Laughs after journalists and SJWs tweeted and petitioned against it. And numerous theatres have pre-emptively cut or changed plays that mention Muslims out of fear that Islamists will kick up a fuss. Free speech in Britain is being killed by police, officials, agitating mobs, and by us—by a culture of fear which encourages people to opt for self-silence over the possibility of causing a stir.

      Americans will, I hope, be aghast at all this. The one massive difference between you and us is that you have a constitutional guarantee of free speech that shackles the state, whereas we have a long history of brave battles for press freedom and free speech, yes, but no written-down surety that such liberties will be respected or protected. Which is why they can now be so casually trampled underfoot.

      And yet, Britain and America do share something scary in common on the new-censorship front: we both have new armies of the intolerant, growing groups of so-called SJWs and other agitators for the silencing of foul or simply old-fashioned views.

      This is especially the case on campus. On both sides of the Atlantic, universities have become hotbeds of the new intolerance. British student leaders have banned the pop song “Blurred Lines,” the Sun newspaper, and numerous controversial speakers, while American campus agitators demand trigger warnings on edgy (and not even edgy) literature and the disinvitation of anyone who offends them, and they harry and scream at anyone who holds different views to theirs: most recently the non-victim feminist Christina Hoff Sommers.

      America and Britain might be divided by a piece of paper guaranteeing free speech—you have one, we don’t—but we’re united by a shared new generation of aspiring speech-policers. And in Britain, it has often been the demands of these informal groups of heresy-hunters that have coaxed the state to take action against eccentric or outrageous speech. How long can the First Amendment hold out against America’s budding new censors? How long before the U.S. joins the U.K. at the funeral of free speech?
      ***

      Yeah, I stand corrected ABarton: Freedom of speech is so robust in England.

      • Chris

        I agree that the US has more robust freedom of speech than the UK, but I’m not sure what the point is of even bringing that up.

        “John Oliver wouldn’t like it if some American comedian came to his country and mocked the queen” is not an argument against his points, any more than “Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow Christians religious freedom” is an argument against religious freedom for Muslims here in America.

    • Jeez. I ordinarily give a huge benefit of the doubt and treat posts with rife grammar and spelling errors with some tolerance, since I have tons of errors myself, but when one is this BAD, it HAS to be called out.

      The only thing I understood from this gibberish with any clarity was this:

  16. In my opinion

    Re: Trump, he is the president-elect and I’ll give him a chance.

    As for respect, he needs to earn it. From many Americans, Obama didn’t receive any respect. I did not understand it until now. People hated Obama…fine, but don’t demand that I respect Trump simply because he’s the president-elect. Eight years Obama was hung in effigy by a neighbor of mine. Trump voters need to understand how we feel because you felt that way for eight years.

    As for John Oliver. He’s a satirist. It’s political humor, like a cross between Bill O’Reilly and Bill Engvall. It’s not meant to be news. No one, on the left or right, should take his show seriously.

    • Agreed: he need to earn it. But at this moment, he hasn’t has a chance to earn it (giving him a chance is all he should expect), and the disrespect being focused on him is also hurting the office. He is not Donald Trump, but the President elect. You can’t hate him and simultaneously admire the office. This is pure cognitive dissonance. For centuries, the Office has enhanced the occupant and given him a popular mandate as he began a frightening and vital job.

      The fact that individuals may have hated Obama after he had been President is irrelevant to the post. Obama as he was inaugurated in 2009 had a very positive approval rating, more than any President since 1952, except Kennedy.

      Oliver’s occupation has nothing to do with the propriety of what he did. Unless you can say that you would make the same argument if he mocked the Baltimore riots or the death of Gwen Ifill, you are missing the point entirely.

    • “As for respect, he needs to earn it. From many Americans, Obama didn’t receive any respect. I did not understand it until now. People hated Obama…fine, but don’t demand that I respect Trump simply because he’s the president-elect.”

      Rationalization 1 & 2

    • In my opinion said, “Trump, he is the president-elect and I’ll give him a chance. As for respect, he needs to earn it.”

      I humbly present these opinions regarding respect.

      1. The position itself demands immediate respect!

      2. The person has already earned the respect of those that put him in the position and that earned respect of his peers (in this case voters) needs to be respected.

      3. The person needs to earn additional respect for how they conduct themself in the position of respect that they have already earned.

      4. The person has EARNED a clean slate of respect from everyone just for earning the position.

      Thank you for considering these rules.

  17. Jack

    Let’s not forget that John Oliver begged Trump to run for president on August 5th 2013.

  18. This is turning into Applebee’s Waitress 2.0

  19. John Oliver has been, and will likely remain, a political hack that is a self appointed political tool spreading lefty propaganda via humor. Once in a while he will plug in a token smear of the left too.

    He isn’t the first comedian to be a political tool and he won’t be the last.

    I pay no attention to any of those political tools.

  20. Phlinn

    I find it incredibly hard to avoid throwing “Bushitler” in the face of anyone who points to the Obama years as justification.

    There is at least one previous instance of no honeymoon I think, South Carolina’s response to Lincoln’s election.

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