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Excerpt: "'I'm used to a world where we're divided on things like abortion, or taxes, or government control of healthcare - polarizing issues,' Colbert said. 'Have we become a nation where colluding with a hostile foreign power to manipulate our election is a left-right thing?'"

John Oliver. (photo: HBO)
John Oliver. (photo: HBO)


Watch John Oliver, Colbert Talk 'Turbo-F--ked' Trump-Russia Scandal

By Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone

17 July 17


Comedians commiserate over Trump Jr.'s stupid emails, dearth of consequences

 

ohn Oliver and Stephen Colbert attempted to parse the seriousness and stupidity of the ongoing Trump-Russia scandal and Donald Trump Jr.'s damming emails on The Late Show Wednesday. While Trump Jr.'s decision to not just meet with a Russian representative promising damaging intel on Hillary Clinton, but tweet out the email exchange about the meeting on his own, bewildered Colbert and Oliver, the two were unsure if there would even be any consequences.

"I'm used to a world where we're divided on things like abortion, or taxes, or government control of healthcare – polarizing issues," Colbert said. "Have we become a nation where colluding with a hostile foreign power to manipulate our election is a left-right thing?"

"I don't know, but the very fact that you just said that sentence out loud shows that we are turbo-fucked!" Oliver cracked. "What I found amazing is [Trump Jr.'s] confidence in saying, 'This is nothing.' And I don't know what he's referring to there – the contents of the emails or the contents of his head. If it's the second, I agree, if it's the first, I fiercely disagree."

Elsewhere, Oliver spoke about how "Stupid Watergate" – the term Last Week Tonight came up with to describe the Trump-Russia scandal – has continually proven to be disconcertingly apt, while he and Colbert also commiserated over the frightening possibility that the Trump administration is simply too dumb to realize the magnitude of the scandal. The two hosts also discussed their trips to Russia and the nerve-wracking sensation of being constantly followed and watched.

"My producer found someone in his hotel room," Oliver said. "He was just there and he was near the window and he said, 'You called downstairs to have your window opened.' It's February, we're in Moscow, you have to try harder than that."


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+18 # Maybe 2017-07-17 14:09
So true! My first trip to Moscow was in February 1976. We were a group of ten from CBS, there to tape the 200th anniversary of the Bolshoi Ballet, with Mary Tyler Moore filming the entr'actes. It was the USSR then, totally Communist, and we, also, were followed everywhere by huge men in black coats and tall black fur hats. I went into my hotel room to find a man sitting at my desk with pieces of my telephone scattered about. He was completely unembarrassed at being caught, and said "Phone broken. I fix". I said there was nothing wrong with my phone, it was working perfectly. He put a small disk in the mouthpiece, screwed it back together and said "Now it work better" ... and he left. I can see nothing has changed.
 
 
+13 # Texas Aggie 2017-07-17 14:47
And they hit the truly most alarming point, that we are at the point where these questions are being asked.
 
 
+2 # ericlipps 2017-07-17 15:05
Some posters on this site will huff angrily that it's Cold War thinking to condemn Putin, or to criticize Mini-Donald for meeting with representatives of his regime in hopes of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, or will say it's nothing because apparently no such dirt was provided. I disagree.

For the favored son of the presidential nominee of one of our two major parties to meet with foreign nationals with connections to their country's government in order to obtain information damaging to his opponent is a devastating offense. It beggars belief to insist that no laws were broken and that therefore it's okay.

To put this in perspective, suppose it had been Chelsea Clinton meeting with those Russians in hopes of obtaining damaging information about Donald Trump. I suspect that the folks here (yes, RR, you included) who keep shrieking that there's nothing there and that the evil DNC and Hillaryites are persecuting poor Donald (both of them) would be chanting "Lock her up!" if not "String her up!"

And it's irrelevant whether any actual intel was passed. Accepting a promise that such material would be provided amounts to complicity in a foreign government's attempt to swing a presidential election to its favored candidate.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2017-07-18 09:30
I don't give a rat's about Hillary, except that she's pledged to 'help' with 2018 elections. Oh goody. That will be 'helpful'. /s

What we want is rational behavior from the left. The left is rabid for anything that might hurt Trump, and are leaving themselves vulnerable to manipulation and future electoral losses.

If Democrats are so convinced Russia hacked our election why is there not one bill introduced to secure future elections? No politicians are talking about fixing the process.

Instead the left is pushing for war.

Instead the left is buying anonymous statements from the CIA.

THOSE are the problems. Trump is a fool, in way over his head, accomplishing nothing and destroying the GOP.

Why are we letting him destroy the DP? Why can't we be smart about this?

People who want actual evidence, or suggest we go after Trump and the GOP on policy rather than Russia -- we're not trolls. We're not treasonous. We're not morons. We want to win in 2018 and, more importantly, 2020.

You, eric, never stop telling us we need to dump Sanders, the most popular politician in the country. I don't think you're a troll. But I don't think your judgment is very good either.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2017-07-18 09:51
That's an excellent question. How much must the right hate the Clintons that they'd vote for Trump instead? And how much must they hate liberals that they'd rather be willfully ignorant about this clown than join us in stopping his worst policies?

Trump's 'strongly approve' numbers are dropping. Does anyone doubt he'll do something to anger even his base? How could he not? It's what he does. Retail sales are down. Confidence is slipping. But we are not poised to convert any of those people.

When Trump falls will those voters rush to join Democrats? No. The group we had a shot at, Obama-Trump flippers, won't join us. Independents? The unregistered? What are we doing to capture those votes? 52% of Americans think the DP's ONLY focus is attacking Trump.

The DP should be going after his policies, offering an alternate vision. We should have a better slogan than 'I Mean, Have You Seen the Other Guys?' Pathetic.

Democrats should be promising single payer at the top of their lungs. Why aren't they?

And liberals should have accepted the election results with grace and maturity -- and gotten to work. Hissy fits are not an effective recruiting tool.

Btw, what's happened to the resistance, the energy and focus of the Women's March? It's been co-opted by the establishment and smothered. We have marches to Impeach Trump instead of health care.

The left has always maintained they're smarter than conservatives. I see no evidence of it.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-07-18 11:21
This is a response to MD426, below.
 
 
+3 # dotlady 2017-07-17 16:11
Yes traveling in Russia used to be anxiety causing back in the 60s, and it still is now I guess. It's hard to grasp that these thugs of all nations live in a world of deals and profit-making, reaching out in all directions without national considerations or ethics. It's another world than most of us live in. They don't see anything wrong about it, just practicing business methods. Liquidating the world's resources and the people's belief in leadership or loyalty.
 
 
0 # margpark 2017-07-17 17:26
I guess it is better to laugh than cry. Meanwhile the Trump voters are all disturbed about the false news. "The fake media is making a big fuss about nothing."
 
 
-9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-07-17 18:23
This is the first time I've seen both of these guys. Of course I knew their names and a little about their reputations. I was pretty surprised at how low level their discourse was. Their reputations make them out to be smart. They just blabber the standard issue lines of the Wapo or NYT. I did not hear anything fresh perspective.

"this is something as long as we live in a world where something means anything."

This is Olivers attempt to turn nothing into something and then have something mean everything.

I'm just glad I don't have to watch these guys again. Not funny. Not smart. Just standard issue TV.
 
 
+11 # RLF 2017-07-18 05:43
If the Christian Right could convince themselves that Trump was a Christian then I'm sure they have no problem thinking he isn't in Russia's pocket...I think even Trump thinks he is not in Russia's pocket!
 
 
+7 # MD426 2017-07-18 05:47
The most stunning and frightening aspect is that Trump supporters don't believe this is important and simply don't care. I can't understand what kind of country they want to live in?
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2017-07-18 06:48
Max Blumenthal, a liberal writer and political analyst, cites examples of a lunatic left. Despite still not having any concrete evidence, Paul Begala called for 'blowing up the Russian intelligence agencies'. Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) calls this a 'political Pearl Harbor'. Thom Friedman wants the US to 'support territorial ISIS in Syria in order to hurt Russia'.

In a classic case of the tail wagging the dog we pursue a conclusion rather than waiting for actual evidence, and ignore important stories. The media has had to retract multiple stories and CNN fired a team for breaking journalistic standards.

He says this is 'a disastrous narrative that will have long term consequences for the left'.

In pursuit of this story, perceived by many as the quickest way to get rid of Trump, the left and msm have exposed themselves as irrational, desperate, dishonest and hypocritical -- doing the very things we predicted the right would do. But worse, the left is advocating for war, empowering the intelligence agencies and undermining journalism -- while NOT ONE POL is calling for electoral changes.

When asked what kind of reaction he gets from the left Blumenthal said, "I'm sure I'll be called a 'Putin puppet' as soon as I leave here."

He's right. So are Klein, Chomsky, Greenwald, Parry and others. Like lemmings headed for the proverbial cliff the left is self-destructin g -- while any attempt to dissuade them is met with accusations of treason.
 

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