Back in the ‘90s, there was a public outcry in America against cheap clothes produced in overseas sweatshops–often by children—but you don’t hear much about that anymore. Guess we must have solved the problem, huh? Actually, not so much. John Oliver devoted last night’s Last Week Tonight to explaining how things may have actually gotten worse.
Patent trolls, companies that buy up patents and file frivolous legal claims rather than creating any products or ideas of their own, account for 2/3 of U.S. patent lawsuits. The system is supposed to reward and protect innovation—how did it end up serving a bunch of useless bullies instead? John Oliver explains.
Look, nobody likes the IRS, but they're not the ones deciding how much of your money to take, or making nearly 600 changes a year to the U.S. tax code. As John Oliver explains on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, that would be our wise and efficient Republican-controlled Congress, which has slashed the IRS budget by 20% over the past 5 years.
Last Week Tonight is on break this week, but John Oliver still made a video to address the crisis that will strike all of us just two short days from now: April Fools' Day, that holiday beloved of monsters and sociopaths only, is on its way.
The Justice Department's investigation into the Ferguson, Mo. police department determined that, among other things, the department and local courts treated policing as a way to make money for the city, with a disproportionate share of that burden falling on black residents. But Ferguson isn't an isolated case: municipal fines are out of control in the U.S., and people who can't afford to pay are going to jail for them.
It's time again for March Madness, the NCAA's annual college basketball tournament/billion-dollar reminder that student-athletes still don't get paid a damn thing, despite the daily risk of injury and the fact that their labor generates ludicrous piles of cash for their not-technically-employers.
America's roads, bridges and dams are slowly crumbling on top of us, and there's no longer enough funding for routine inspection, let alone maintenance, of all this unsexy infrastructure. Enter John Oliver, who tried Sunday night to do for infrastructure repairs what he did last year for net neutrality.
With Jon Stewart's departure from the Daily Show sadly impending, some speculated that Comedy Central would make a sweet offer to the show's longest-serving guest host, John Oliver, to return to the chair full time. HBO has gone ahead and silenced that speculation, for better or worse, by signing Oliver to continue Last Week Tonight through 2017, Deadline reports.
Sports Illustrated recently laid off its final six staff photographers—the people who, y'know, illustrate the sports—due to "economic circumstances," promising that its "commitment to photography" would remain "as strong as ever." But as the magazine business continues to go full Titanic, you can still count on one print product to stick around: the Swimsuit Issue.
Although smoking has been on the decline for decades in the U.S., Big Tobacco is still thriving thanks to international markets and a willingness to sue any country that tries to regulate it. On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver called out Philip Morris International for suing the small countries of Uruguay and Togo (seriously, Togo) over laws requiring health warnings on cigarette packages.
Everyone was so caught up with the Grammys' surprise announcement that Beck released an album last year (who knew?) that the return of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight went down on Sunday with very little fanfare. It was a good one, though: Oliver looked into the shadowy, $24-billion-a-year world of pharmaceutical companies peddling their drugs to doctors.
John Oliver is not happy with the casting of Jamie Dornan as "epitome of male beauty" Christian Grey in the film adaptation of popular Twilight fanfic Fifty Shades of Grey. Specifically, he's hurt that no one even considered him for the role.
It's not that Net Neutrality is boring, it's that talking about it is boring, because it edges into so many disparate areas of our technological and day-to-day lives, and so many public and private areas of our ongoing concern in this country, that unless you have personal abiding reasons to care about a given aspect of it, it can cook down to just a vague mess of concerns, ideological and otherwise.