RSN Fundraising Banner
John Oliver Delivers Emotional Plea to Trump and America in Wake of Dayton and El Paso Mass Shootings
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=34577"><span class="small">Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast</span></a>   
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 08:27

Stern writes: "The 'Last Week Tonight' host was close to tears, pinning some of the blame for the shootings that left 29 dead on the president's xenophobic rhetoric."

John Oliver. (photo: CNN)
John Oliver. (photo: CNN)

John Oliver Delivers Emotional Plea to Trump and America in Wake of Dayton and El Paso Mass Shootings

By Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast

06 August 19

The “Last Week Tonight” host was close to tears, pinning some of the blame for the shootings that left 29 dead on the president’s xenophobic rhetoric.

n Sunday evening, prior to airing the latest taping of his Emmy-winning program Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver addressed the audience with a message in the wake of the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, that have left 31 people dead and dozens more injured.

“Before we start our show tonight… as I’m sure you’re aware, America has just seen two mass shootings within 24 hours—in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. And while it’s still very early, I just feel like there are a couple of points that seem worth mentioning here,” the comedian said.

“First, when it comes to gun control, I know it can feel like everything’s been said before… but while the depressingly familiar numbness that we may be currently feeling can help you handle the pain in the short term, in the long term, it can actually be a real problem—because unless something hurts as much as it’s supposed to, nothing gets done about it. And something has got to be done here. And not just about guns,” he continued.

The late-night host then, with tears welling up in his eyes, pinned some of the blame for the shootings on the xenophobic rhetoric of President Trump, who kicked off his presidential run by branding Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers, and has since referred to migrants crossing the southern border as an “invasion” thousands of times.

“The El Paso shooting is currently being investigated as a hate crime, and the shooter’s manifesto featured anti-immigrant language that may well be familiar to you from certain cable networks and certain presidents,” Oliver explained, flashing a picture of Trump on the screen. “And clearly, white nationalism and anti-immigrant hysteria did not start with this president, but he certainly seems to create an environment where those kinds of views can fester and indeed thrive.”

He added, “In fact, just three months ago, as he was deliberately winding up a crowd with the image of 15,000 immigrants marching toward the border, this happened.”

Oliver then threw to a clip of Trump at a May rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, where he laughed away a comment from an audience member about shooting immigrants.

“How do you stop these people? You can’t!” Trump exclaimed. When someone in the rally crowd yelled, “Shoot them!,” he chuckled and responded, “That’s only in the Panhandle that you can get away with that stuff! Only in the Panhandle!”

“Yeah, but here is the thing about that: It is not only in the Panhandle where you can get away with that statement,” said Oliver. “You can now get away with it all over the country, and, as he just made painfully clear, in any room the actual president is in—which is absolutely appalling, and that is something we cannot afford to get numb to, because if that ever, for even a moment, feels like it’s become normal, we are completely fucked.”

Email This Page your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+8 # kyzipster 2019-08-06 11:09
The right-wing media will be almost singularly focused on the Dayton shooter's left-leaning political Tweets. Anti-police, pro-Antifa, etc. I initially thought this was probably fake news but it's looking like that's not the case. Few Trump supporters will be moved by the El Paso murders because of their media's ability to excuse it. Dayton providing the 'proof' they need to believe that both sides are the same.

The left-wing media focused exclusively on the anti-immigrant motivation of the El Paso shooter along with the connection to Trump and his bigoted rhetoric. That's exactly what they should be doing, but they will brush aside the Dayton shooter's political leanings. Granted, it doesn't prove motivation like El Paso, but if he had right-wing political posts on social media, the media would not hesitate to use this as proof of motivation, and that's how conservative media is portraying it.

Unfortunately, not much will change. I'd like to think this would put an end to Trump, he is getting worse, but I doubt it.
+5 # maindrains 2019-08-06 17:17
Nothing will happen. I don't even listen to the news of these shootings anymore. Sounds harsh but until the US gets real about guns and violence this is just going to happen again and again and again...
+9 # lfeuille 2019-08-06 17:34
Nothing will happen until Trump is gone. Appealing to him is useless. Better to concentrate on weakening him through impeachment.
-13 # BKnowswhitt 2019-08-06 19:05
Emotional arguments i could as easily blame the Left as they blame T for it all .. I don't blame either though .. no matter the politico .. what is in the 'heart' of the shooter .. the hate .. the evil disregard for fellow man .. no laws or gun control nor political party nor laws enacted .. death penalty for shooters .. give me a break most are dead once they are done .. this is a spiritual problem in a society that disregards God ...and places man at the center .. our society in it's totality is to blame if you blame outside forces .. but the evil lurks hidden in the world .. and shows it's ugly face once again .. Godless .. self focused people ..
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-08-07 07:50
It is important to talk about the gun culture and gun fetishism in the US, but it is probably more important to talk about the use of anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to these mass murderers. I don't know if the latest two were using prescribed anti-psychotics . I've not seen that written but there always almost no mention of the use of prescription drugs. To me, they are the more proximate cause of mass shootings than Trump or guns.

Oliver seems to only be a mouth-piece for mainstream ignorance. Mass shootings are the result of a combination of factors: guns and prescription anti-psychotic drugs as well as political extremism. These are not single factor events. Talking only about guns is a sure way to get nothing useful done.