John Oliver chastised Donald Trump during Last Week Tonight‘s Season Four premiere, criticizing the president for his media bias and casual disregard of fact-checking. “Faith and facts aren’t like Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton,” the comedian cracked. “When you confuse them, it actually matters.”
Oliver, the current Rolling Stone cover subject, opened his main segment with a brief rundown of Trump’s most egregious exaggerations, including statements on topics like voter fraud, Syrian Christian refugees and even the weather during his inauguration speech. “That is where we are currently at: We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it is a sunny day,” the host observed. “Trump has made it clear that reality is not important to him.”
Citing Politifact’s Truth-O-Meter, which found that 69.9 percent of Trump’s statements so far have been some degree of false, the host continued to explore the president’s rocky relationship with truth. One major problem, Oliver said, is that Trump gets a troubling amount of information from cable news, particularly Fox News, and websites like Info Wars and Breitbart, the latter formerly overseen by the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
“There is a pattern here,” Oliver observed. “Trump sees something that jibes with his worldview, doesn’t check it, half-remembers it and then passes it on – at which point it takes on a life of its own and appears to validate itself.”
To help reach the president with some unbiased information, Last Week Tonight created a series of TV ads scheduled to run on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News in the D.C. area. Styled as a cowboy-led catheter commercial parody, the clips sneak in important factoids about climate change, the unemployment rate and the name of Trump’s daughter Tiffany.