There was a lot for John Oliver to cover during Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, including mail-in voting, the launch of HBO Max (“What the f*ck is that, by the way? Does anyone actually know? How do I get it? I’m on it and I don’t know”), and UFC president Dana White intentionally forgetting his name (it’s a whole thing). But he kicked off the episode by addressing the nation-wide protests over George Floyd’s death and police brutality.
Specifically, Fox News chud Tucker Carlson’s reaction to the protests.
“There is so much to say here — some of it complicated, much of it all too clear,” Oliver said. “Or, you know, you could just go on TV, open up your mouth, and let this shit fall out.” He then played a clip of Carlson whining about how “rioting is the one thing you don’t want. Ugly opinions, police brutality, officious birdwatchers, rude and entitled ladies walking their dogs in big-city parks — all of that is bad. But none of it is nearly as bad as what you just saw.” In Carlson’s mind, protests against the death of an unarmed black man are worse than police brutality. Oliver speaks for all of us when he says: “F*ck you.”
“OK, first: F*ck you, Tucker. Second, saying ‘officious birdwatcher’ is deeply offensive, because you’re either trying to both-sides that Central Park incident or insulting fans of this show, who proudly call themselves ‘officious birdwatchers.’ I am the ‘officious bird,’ they are the ‘watchers,’ keep their name out of your mouth.”
Oliver later added, “People like Tucker love to venerate order at moments like this, and that’s easy to do when order in its current form is designed to benefit and protect you. But it’s hard to overstate how clearly we’ve been reminded lately of the hostility of our existing order toward black people who’ve been killed by police on the street [Floyd], killed by police in their own home [Breonna Taylor], killed by wannabe police in the street [Ahmaud Arbery], and threatened with state violence while literally birding [Christian Cooper]. And collectively, that has just got to be some brutality bingo right there.”