John Oliver rips networks’ early election coverage: ‘It’s a complete waste of breath’
Last Week Tonight host John Oliver is in no rush to cover next year’s presidential election — and according to the Hollywood Reporter, he thinks the early speculative coverage is contrived.
“It’s like a subject screensaver for the news,” Oliver said at an event promoting his show’s upcoming season. “You know that if they’re saying, ‘Oh look, Jeb Bush is running,’ you know that’s the equivalent of just, nothing is happening in the newsroom, or we were tired.”
For his part, Oliver said he “couldn’t care less” about the election until next year.
“There’s no merit in it,” he explained. “Unless you’re in the same year as the thing you’re describing, it’s a complete waste of breath.”
Oliver also revealed that his show, which won critical acclaim for what former colleague Jon Stewart called its “random acts of journalism,” has added four more researchers to the staff. Oliver also indicated that the program would keep featuring extended segments.
“You have to have a pretty intense level of contempt for the American people if you think people will only watch something if it’s only two minutes long and you have someone getting smashed in the nuts at some point,” he said. “And I’m not saying I don’t enjoy two-minute-long, nut-smashing videos, but there has to be more. There has to be protein along with dessert.”
Last Week Tonight will return on Sunday, with a 35-episode slate — an increase over the first season’s 24-episode run. Oliver said on Tuesday that it was hardest for him to read about the Charlie Hebdo mass shooting in Paris while his show was on hiatus.
“That was an upsetting thing to see them go through,” he explained. “But we could look at that in six months or a year’s time and just do something about the overall state of satire in the world. I don’t really feel like we’ve missed anything, because we can come back to it.”