While Last Week Tonight host John Oliver still insists he’s not a journalist, he did defend his show’s emphasis on accuracy during an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos on Tuesday night.
Oliver revealed that he only had two days to conduct his interview with former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in Russia, telling Ramos that while the discussion was not tense, everything around it was.
“I felt like we were being watched all the time,” he said of his meeting with Snowden, which aired last month. “That’s because we probably were.”
Ramos drew a laugh out of Oliver when he asked why Snowden chose to talk to him and not a “respected journalist.”
“You’re right — I’m not a respected journalist,” Oliver said.
“Are you a journalist?” Ramos asked.
“I’m not. I’m a comedian,” Oliver replied.
“But you’re doing the job of a journalist,” Ramos pressed.
“I’m doing the job of a comedian,” Oliver said. “So, I make jokes about the news. I’m pretty clear about the lane that I’m in.”
Ramos pressed again, telling Oliver, “You have more credibility than most journalists here in the United States and, I would say, in many other countries.”
“But that is more an insult to the current state of journalism than it is a compliment for the state of comedy,” Oliver responded.
Later, Oliver commended his show’s fact-checking department, crediting his show’s model to his time working as a correspondent for Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.
“We have very aggressive fact checkers and very thorough researchers, so that we’re not wrong,” Oliver said. “Because if you make a joke about something that is factually inaccurate the joke collapses.”
Watch the interview, as aired on Fusion on Tuesday, below.
‘They’re trying to gag Mueller’: Ex-White House attorney worries Bill Barr’s scheme will work
Attorney General Bill Barr is trying to "gag" special counsel Robert Mueller before his public testimony before Congress on Wednesday, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal worried on MSNBC on Monday.
"When you see these new reports that the Barr Justice Department continues to try to narrow what will come out of this hearing, what does that say to you?" MSNBC anchor Ari Melber asked.
"I’m extremely concerned. I don’t think it’s narrow. I think it looks like they’re trying to gag Mueller and trying to say anything not in the report is presumptively privileged," Katyal explained.
Watergate lawyer reveals the Mueller report footnote on ‘theft’ that Dems must ask him about
Former federal prosecutor Nick Ackerman brought a highlighted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's report during an appearance on MSNBC anticipating questions for Wednesday's hearing.
Host Ari Melber asked Ackerman to pick out the one page of the report that he would want to ask Mueller a question about.
Ackerman selected page 176, which relates to Roger Stone and the distribution of the stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee.
"It’s a fact, is it not, Mr. Mueller, if you look at that footnote — that your office considered charging people with the theft of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property, is that right?" Ackerman asked his hypothetical question to Mueller.
Republicans ‘are still scared Mueller might go rogue’: Lawyer who defended Trump official explains GOP’s fear
Republicans are terrified that special counsel Robert Mueller could harm President Donald Trump during public testimony before Congress, a lawyer who used to represent a Trump official explained on MSNBC on Monday.
Attorney Caroline Polisi, who represented George Papadopoulos, was interviewed on "The Beat" by Ari Melber.
The host played clips pointing out how hard it is for lawmakers to get information out of Mueller during congressional
"What's so interesting here, even in the face of all of this, they’re scared he may go rogue," Polisi explained.
"They’re still a little bit scared of that one percent possibility," she noted.