On Sunday night, “Last Week Tonight” exposed the far-right agenda behind the broadcasting conglomerate Sinclair Media and ongoing takeover of local TV stations all over the country and examined the strange compulsion that drives President Donald Trump’s television surrogates to lie outrageously every time they open their mouths.
Currently, Sinclair owns 173 local TV stations around the country and is in talks to buy up Tribune Media, which would give it control of a massive corner of the U.S. market. Sinclair is known for forcing local stations to run segments favorable to President Donald Trump.
He showed clips from a series of “must run” segments from conservative commentators like Mark Hyman and former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn as well as a daily segment called the “Terrorism Alert Desk.”
The fact that Sinclair sends out opinion videos and orders affiliates to run them “in itself is highly unusual,” said Oliver. “As best we can tell, no other major owner of TV stations distributes its own commentary segments to run during local news — and Hyman’s opinions run hard right.”
Epshteyn, whose voice Oliver described as “Sylvester Stallone with a mouthful of bees,” has become Sinclair’s newest top political commentator. His appearances on behalf of Trump during the 2016 campaign featured such outrageous falsehoods that Oliver said it raises the question of whether Trump surrogates even know they are lying or why they’re doing it.
“Or are they driven by some vague instinct like a cat sits inside a box?” he said. “Why are you doing that? I have no idea. There’s just something inside me that tells me I should.”
Watch the video, embedded below: