John Oliver devoted nearly the entirety of Last Week Tonight‘s runtime to a push for vaccination. In doing so, he took aim at two of the biggest leaders of COVID-jab misinformation out there, Joe Rogan and Tucker Carlson. As to the former, the host didn’t need to invest too much time, given that Rogan already felt the backlash after saying that healthy 20-somethings shouldn’t take COVID vaccines (and Rogan wildly backtracked, declaring himself to be a “f*cking moron”). It’s a declaration that satisfied Oliver, who agreed: “Stop listening to what Joe Rogan tells you, he’s a ‘f*cking moron,’ and those are his words, not mine.” With Tucker Carlson, however, Oliver recognizes that there’s much more work to be done, which is the case in general with the fear-mongering, conspiracy-sowing Fox News host.
Last Week Tonight viewers know that Oliver’s quest to dismantle Tucker’s grip on a decent-sized chunk of America is a long-term project, including a recent deep-dive into why Tucker’s status as a white supremacist is undeniable. On the subject of vaccines, Oliver knows that he’s not likely to convince anyone who believes Tucker’s rantings. In fact, Oliver is now urging his viewers to do the necessary work of attempting to change their loved ones’ minds. However, Oliver had some cutting criticism to offer while (around the 9:00 minute mark) handing out more nicknames to Fox News’ lead anger-bear.
“The reason we still see mask and distancing recommendations is that the CDC is being cautious and wants to be sure that it is not spreading bullsh*t around during a global pandemic like a frozen dinner duke with a TV show.” Oliver declared. He later offered, “I hope that answers at least one of your gape-mouthed bad-faith wonderings, Tucker, you scrunch-faced fear baboon.”
Frozen dinner duke (Tucker is a Swanson frozen foods heir) is one for the ages, and in between the above two nicknames, Oliver reasoned, “It is genuinely weird to see someone hosting a show on a supposed news network and ending every sentence with a question mark, especially when answers to most of those questions are out there for anyone who cares to know.” He added “That the CDC still recommends wearing masks indoors around vulnerable, unvaccinated people does not mean the vaccine doesn’t work. Clinical trials found that the vaccines are spectacularly successful at preventing people from getting serious disease. As for whether they protect you from spreading the virus, the trials weren’t designed to assess that, but evidence has so far indicated that they drastically reduce transmission.”
The entire episode is (as always) worth watching for the multitude of arguments that Oliver offers for anyone who would like to gear up on ammunition to convince their stubborn uncle that Tucker and Joe know don’t what they’re talking about. Most importantly, though, “get the f*cking vaccine!” is what resonates.