It has been one hell of a year for satirist and Daily Show alumni John Oliver. With his quirky brand of brilliant political skewering mixed with his penchant for humor, Last Week Tonight on HBO became one of the most heavily discussed shows of 2014. And what was one thing he did that people really took notice of? Shutting down the FCC, of course, which he did to make a point about net neutrality. The most amazing thing in all of this is that his statement may have indirectly inspired some legislators to change the way they listen to constituents. From The Stranger:
State Senator Cyrus Habib (D-Kirkland) credits that John Oliver segment with a bill he introduced in the Washington state legislature today. Habib’s bill would allow people from anywhere in Washington state to submit testimony to Olympia over the Internet, YouTube style. Instead of having to take time off work and drive hours to get in legislators’ grills, people could just record a video of themselves and hit “send” to TVW, Washington’s equivalent of C-SPAN. Then, theoretically, legislators would watch the citizen videos connected to the bills they’re considering before votes are held.
What John Oliver did, if this works out, is give an actual voice to every man and woman out there (in Washington state for now). A chance for the passive to become active in something that could greatly affect us all.
The sad reality is that the bill may be shot down, but it’s what this represents that should be so remarkable. We are getting closer to being heard and it’s ironically thanks to guys like John Oliver. Folks generally seen as comedians who were brave enough to shine a spotlight on things most wouldn’t.
We should all take a moment to raise a pint to John Oliver. Thanks for becoming the rational, yet hilarious voice of the people. We need as many of those as we can get.
Via The Stranger