I’ve always been a news junky. Whether it be television, newspaper, or internet, I will nerd out on anything political or social in nature. However, over the past few years I find it increasingly hard to obtain substantial facts within the news arena on a reliable basis. Instead, we are relentlessly subjected to opinionated rants that ultimately lead to a lack of information and often times leaves a trail of confusion in its wake. Understanding my constant quest for knowledge, a friend referred me to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver…and I have been hooked ever since.
Not only is the overall structure of the show brilliant in the way he tackles, quickly but thoroughly, the past week in news (usually 3 main stories), his main story is usually an issue to which the public is massively unaware. Touching on topics ranging from Prisoner Re-entry, to the grotesque Medicaid Gap, and even the complete corruption within many organizations (personal favorites being the FIFA controversy and Televangelists, both of which left me in a complete mind-fuck accompanied by the immediate need to find out as much information as possible). The dichotomy between his sarcastic humor and the subjects he covers separates him from other comedians that cover political and social news. No matter the issue covered, he always manages to pull me in and retain my attention, which is something that formal news sources are continuously failing to do with the overall public.
This article is not meant to deter one from news forums, for that would prove to be regressive, but to call attention to a culture where important matters that directly affect us are often overlooked by the system that is suppose to provide said information, in favor of ratings. Call me a nutter, but interrupting a critical topic to cover Justin Bieber’s arrest is a tad bit flabbergasting.
While I do continue to read newspapers and watch the news, because let’s face it…staying as informed as possible is our greatest ally in this world that has taken on a ludicrous nature, I find myself being ever-increasingly aware of the problems within the news system. And while not all news sources fit into this commonality, the overall system has become a perpetual cycle of lunacy and establishment of fear, which sets a foundation of misinformation and social discontent.
What Oliver provides is a resource to social/political issues that are ever important and directly relatable to our everyday life. His sarcastically humoristic approach and meticulously researched topics makes for a captivating 30 minutes; I previously would have never thought there could be a legitimate comparison between breast implants and abortion laws that actually makes sense. His methodical take sets him apart; and while I find it rather unfortunate that news sources have become the continuing joke within our society, I can only be thankful that we now live in a culture where people like John Oliver use their talent to not only entertain but also inform.