Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 1, Episode 15 - Episode #1.15 - full transcript

Focuses on the shooting of Michael Brown and police militarization in Ferguson, MO. John also discusses the topic of equal pay for equal work.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
Welcome, welcome, welcome to "Last Week Tonight."

I'm John Oliver.

Just time for a quick recap of the week.

If you haven't watched the news at all this week,

You've probably had a much nicer time than the rest of us.

We will be talking about the terrible events in Missouri
later in the show,

but before we make you sad, please let us make you happy.

In the world of sport, a new star emerged this week.

WOMAN: 13-year-old ace Mo'ne Davis is officially the first
girl to pitch a shutout

in the 68-year history of the
Little League World Series.

And the strikes keep coming...

MAN: And she picks up her first strikeout
of the game.

WOMAN: and coming...

I love this girl.

The best part of Mo'ne Davis is not that she happens
to be female,

it's that she also happens to be awesome, waving her
fingers after strikeouts--

which, by the way, is absolutely what I'm going to do after any
successful joke in the future--

and also displaying
remarkable self-confidence.

I want my curveball
like Clayton Kershaw's

and my fastball like
Mo'ne Davis, so...

Ha ha ha!

JOHN: Yes!

How is she that self-confident
at 13 years old?

I'm not that self-confident now,
and I have a TV show.

But of all the wonderful things Mo'ne Davis did this week,
this is my favorite. 9

WOMAN: A ton of media attention surrounding you
coming into this game,

but you have handled it
so well.

Has it been hard for you?

Not really.
I can always say no, so...

Ha ha ha!

That's, like, my special
weapon for the media.

This girl is incredible.

Saying no to dumb questions from the media is a special weapon
that everyone should use.

"Oh, who are you wearing?"

"What do you think of
the 2016 candidate?"


"If you were a tree,
what tree--"

"No, no, no, no, no!"

Moving on to overseas news now,

and there were some strange developments concerning
Iranian men's testicles.

Iran may be on the verge
of a baby boom.

Media reports say Parliament has banned vasectomies for men and
similar procedures for women,

after Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree to increase
the population.

Wow. The Ayatollah has given
vasectomies a vasectomy-ectomy.

And he's actively encouraging
the country to procreate.

That is one hell of a pickup line.

"Hey, baby, uh, want to come up to my apartment and
fully obey the Ayatollah?"

And the thing is, they're not
even stopping there.

WOMAN: The ban would also make it illegal to
advertise birth control.

Violators would face fines
and prison time.

Prison time for advertising
birth control.

Good luck with that

"Oh, what are you in for?"
"Murder. How about you?"

"I tried to get the word out
about a ribbed condom."

This is especially bad news for
contraception mascots like

Iran's famous
Ivan the Living I.U.D.

"Hey, kids, I'm made of copper,

and if used as directed, I work for 5 years.
Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!"

And finally this week, Crimea.

It has been 5 months since
it was annexed by Russia,

and last weekend there was
a celebration concert

featuring pretty much the last person that
anyone was expecting.

Freedom to believe in
what you believe in.

No man has the right
to condemn another man

for believing
what he believes in.

Thank you.

In case you're wondering, that is not Bono having
an allergic reaction.

That is Steven Seagal,
and incredibly...

and incredibly,
that wasn't even...

that wasn't even the weirdest
annexation-themed entertainment

that the people of Crimea experienced because
the day before,

a Russian motorcycle gang
called the Night Wolves

produced a dramatic retelling of the Crimean crisis,
and it had everything.

Dancers forming a flaming
swastika? Check.

Robots vomiting red paint onto
their drums? Check.

Man running around
on fire? Check.

Guy doing motorbike tricks in front of confused violinists?
Check, check, check.

The whole thing looked like Leni Riefenstahl hired
a colorblind pyromaniac

to choreograph
a Spinal Tap-themed

Cirque du Soleil performance
at the request of Satan himself.

And you know what?

It was phenomenal because say
what you will about Russians.

You might not want them running
Crimea, but on this evidence,

you definitely want them running every Super Bowl
halftime show in the future.

And now, this.

ANNOUNCER: And now, people on TV
saying what people are saying.

Sooner or later, you have to
believe what people are saying.

I mean, we can
pull out a montage.

People are saying we're
against immigrants.

People are saying
buy, sell, hold.

People are saying, "Yeah,
guys, what'd you think?"

People are saying, "Hmm,
on second thought,

we probably should have
chosen the other guy."

People are saying something
to me, and I said,

"But you don't know
what I've been through."

People are saying they have
tiny little tattoos

on the back of their neck.

People are saying,
"I need to fly.

It's Fourth of July.
When do I go?"

People are saying, "Listen,
even with this insulin inhaler,

it's still not gonna sell."

People are saying, "Why
bother having laws at all?"

It's just stuff people
are saying.

Moving on...

Moving on.

Our main story tonight
concerns the past week's

terrible events in Missouri.

FEMALE ANCHOR: An officer shot an 18-year-old man outside an
apartment complex

in Ferguson, Missouri.

MALE ANCHOR: It is unclear at this hour what led
to the shooting,

but witnesses say
the teenager was unarmed.

MALE REPORTER: Angry confrontations between

and police in riot gear...

the same anger and outrage that exploded into a chaotic night
of looting and violence.

This whole story is
depressingly familiar,

and there are so many unanswered questions
regarding why an officer

would shoot
an unarmed teenager.

What is absolutely clear is that the police have handled
everything since then terribly, *

and the tone-deafness
began with this.

many times Brown was shot,

St. Louis County Police
Chief Jon Belmar said...

It was more than just a couple, but I don't think it was, uh,
uh, many more than that.

Just--just think about what he's saying there--not much
more than more than twice.

Could you try
and minimize this any more?

"Look, listen, everyone, only very many more than
one bullet was fired,

so everybody calm down,
shall we?"

The police then refused for days to release the name
of the officer involved,

and when they eventually did, they packaged it with a DVD
extra that no one wanted.

At the same time, they released
video of Michael Brown allegedly

carrying out a store robbery minutes before he was
shot and killed,

and that has sparked
new outrage.

Yeah, of course it has
because it's irrelevant.

If the police wanted to distract
everyone with a video

that has absolutely nothing to do with
Michael Brown's shooting,

they should have just released
"Ghostbusters" instead.

It's exactly as relevant to everything that
happened afterwards.

But the more the week went on,

the more you got the sense that
those in charge in Ferguson

don't have the best sense
of how their community feels.

Just listen to the mayor.

We've never seen
this kind of violence.

We've never seen this kind
of frustration or tension

between the races.

I've always been proud
to say that to people.

I know we've always
gotten along,

and I know our community
still gets along very well.

"Oh, we're absolutely
famous for it.

"Presumably, that is why I,
the mayor of Ferguson,

"am currently on national
fucking television.

Presumably we're talking about how well our town is getting
along right now and always has."

The thing is, if you ask around in Ferguson, you get
a slightly different story.

MAN: The cops' harassment
is frequently.

It's all through the day.
It's all through the night.

Then they're not beating us physically, they're
doing it verbally. $

Here's the thing the mayor
doesn't understand.

As a general rule, no one should
ever be allowed to say

there is no history
of racial tension here

because that sentence has never
been true anywhere on Earth.

Even in Antarctica...
even in Antarctica,

there is tension between emperor
penguins and gentoo penguins.

"Fuck you, gentoo penguins, flapping over here,
stealing our fish.

Not you, chinstrap penguins.
You're cool."

"You guys are good at math."

So which one of these two men is right about what life as
a young African-American

in Ferguson is like?

Well, to answer that, let's
look at the police force.

What does it look like in a town which is about 2/3

What is the makeup of your
police force; the number

and how many of them
are white?

I just want
clarification of that.

KNOWLES: Uh, they keep saying
3 are African-American,

but that's--I actually
believe it's 5.

There was 6, but one left
fairly recently.

We also have a Hispanic and two
Asian Pacific Islanders.

Exactly. "Look, it doesn't
stop there, guys.

"We got a couple of white guys

"who occasionally listen
to hip-hop music.

"I mean, Macklemore, sure,
but still.

"Also, we have
6 Norwegian-Americans

"who really enjoyed
The Lion King on Broadway,

so it's not--it's more
diverse than it seems."

But despite the presence of both
of the Pacific Islanders

and, of course, "the Hispanic"--

let's not forget him--the Ferguson Police do seem
to target minorities.

FEMALE ANCHOR: 86% of police
stops are African-Americans;

92% of police searches,
nearly 93% of arrests.

Even though they stopped more blacks, more whites
had contraband.

Yeah, of course more whites
had contraband.

They knew that if you look like
this, you don't get stopped.

If you're white in Ferguson,

you would need to be snorting cocaine directly
off your dashboard

to get stopped by the police,

whereas, if you're an
African-American in Ferguson--

like, say, Henry Davis here-- you may have a slightly
different experience,

because while in custody
in the Ferguson jail in 2009,

officers grabbed him and pushed him and struck him
multiple times. 6

They say they were provoked, although, oddly, "There is
no video of this incident,

despite the fact the jail is
equipped with video cameras."

And what is known, though,
at this point,

is that he was later charged with 4 counts of destruction
of city property

for bleeding on their uniforms.

And I've got to say, he was lucky that he wasn't
eating spaghetti

at the time of his beating,

or they would have upgraded
that charge to a felony.

And that is just
the local police.

The county police also have
had their share of problems.

A St. Louis County police lieutenant is without
a job tonight.

He was fired for allegedly
ordering patrol officers

to arrest black people
shopping in South County.

Oh, it wasn't just that he
ordered racial profiling.

It was how he allegedly did it,
with his colleagues claiming

that he said things like,
"Let's have a black day"

and "Let's make the jail cells
more colorful."

Now, let's be fair.
Let's be fair here.

"Let's have a black day" is an awesome thing to say
if you are Shaft.

And "Let's make the jail
cells more colorful"

is entirely appropriate if
you're an interior designer

with a folder full
of paint swatches.

However, if you're
a white police officer,

it's not ideal to say
either of those,

which is not to say
that all cops are bad.

They are clearly not.

Also, the people of Ferguson want and need
an effective police force,

but perhaps their relationship was best summed up by this photo
from earlier this week.

Not just ludicrously aggressive police facing off
against an unarmed man,

but also the fact that someone had clearly written "Fuck the
police" on the post box,

something that apparently CNN
did not notice when they

were using this photo during
all of their coverage.

So they didn't see it.

Now, you might also notice in
that photo that the police are

troublingly dressed like they're about to launch
an assault on Fallujah.

Well, it turns out that
that is no coincidence.

Since 1996, in response to the war on drugs,

the Department of Defense transferred $4.3 billion
in military equipment

to local and state police.

After 9/11, the Department
of Homeland Security

made additional equipment available
to local law enforcement

through federal funds for
terrorism prevention.

That's right, and this has
happened on such a scale

that it's enabled small towns
like Keene, New Hampshire,

to apply for a Bearcat,
a military-grade,

armored personnel truck,
which they needed because,

as their application argued, "The terrorism threat is far
reaching and often unforeseen"

and cited as a possible target
their annual Pumpkin Festival.

Specifically, this Pumpkin Festival, which is now
being protected by this.

And good luck easily
outmaneuvering that,

teenagers with baseball bats.

And if you are wondering what it feels like to have
a mine-resistant vehicle

on the streets of your town,

I give you a YouTube video of two dudes from
Saginaw, Michigan.

MAN: Holy shit, dude.

Super-armored, dude.

Damn! Look, he doesn't want
anybody to see him in there.

Dude, you can't even see
him! Dude! That's crazy.

Saginaw County Sheriff,

That's cool, dude. Look how big these tires
are compared to our--

It's taller than--

That's awesome!

Now, to be fair,
to be fair,

that is exactly how they reacted when a Chipotle
first opened there.

But the point is, listen carefully as one of them
suddenly realizes something. 4

Here's the thing:
no, it hasn't got that bad,

because unless you live
in downtown Kabul,

there is no practical need for
anything like that in your town.

Just ask the people
that it came from.

The Army itself, actually, in
a newsletter a few months ago,

recommended against using MRAPs
even at U.S. military bases.

You know, on paved streets in the United States,
they're actually unsafe.

They tear up the streets, they
have a high rollover potential.

Exactly. The only vehicle that should be tearing up
the streets of Saginaw

is Chad's souped-up
Honda Civic.

"Dudes! Dude, my car
is sick, dude!"

The police are not soldiers, so why, in this photo
from Ferguson,

are they wearing fucking camo?

They are northwest of St. Louis,
not northwest of the Amazon.

If they want to blend in with their surroundings, they should
be dressed as a dollar store.

And also, look in the photo at where their guns are pointed.

If you were actually in the military, you would know that
you are not supposed to do that.

In the military, we're trained on something called
escalation of force,

which basically means the only time that you are really
gonna point a weapon

directly at someone is when you're ready to
pull the trigger.

And instead of that,
we've seen in Ferguson

that police are just wandering
around with their

weapons up at all times,

pointing them at people that
obviously didn't pose a threat.

Whoa. Well, they don't currently
pose a threat, but, you know,

it's really all about
what they might do.

Now, they could, for instance,
join the police,

be given a gun they're not
trained to use properly,

and then wander around
pointing it at people.

That would be fucking

The point here is...

the point is, if you are a cop
in the United States,

you should dress for the job you
have, not the job you want,

because if you have all this equipment, it's going
to go to your head.

Look at Doraville, Georgia,
population 8,500.

The police there got a tank a while back,
and up until a few days ago,

this video was on
the front page of their website.

We're gonna stop a burglary
at Little Caesar's

We're gonna stop a burglary
at Little Caesar's

Aah! Aah!

The name of that song is--
and this is true--

"Die, Motherfucker, Die."

And it was a good choice
because, believe me,

that video does not pair well
with Simon and Garfunkel.

for fun and feelin' groovy

Now, that video was just
a training exercise,

but the problem is police departments don't just use
this stuff for training.

Thanks in part to this kind of
access to military hardware,

there has been a massive rise in both the number and the use of
police department SWAT teams.

NARRATOR: The number of SWAT raids have gone up by 1,400%
since the 1980s.

An estimated 50,000 now
take place every year.

MAN: Face down!

Face down!

Just keep that clip in mind
when I tell you

that 79% of SWAT deployments are now for executing
search warrants,

and most of those were
for drug investigations.

So, yes, if you are getting high in your dorm room right now,
you are not paranoid.

There is a SWAT team outside,

and they are
coming to get you...

all of which brings us back
to this week and to Ferguson.

So how do you
improve things there?

Well, you could de-militarize the police force to stop
things looking like this,

but that would just
change the optics.

The substance of the problem
would still be there,

as was embodied by a police officer on the streets of
Ferguson this week,

who was dressed
entirely normally.

The phrase "bring it,
you fucking animals"

is barely acceptable
during a zoo escape.

It's not even acceptable in the restaurant in "Mary Poppins"
where penguins are waiters.

"Bring it,
you fucking animal."

"Hey, don't treat them
like that.

"They'll piss in your soup.

They'll piss in your soup,
and you'll deserve it."

That kind of statement betrays

an inability to see the citizens
of Ferguson as individuals

and instead treats them
as a threatening whole.

And that is a top-down problem
because last night,

this is how the governor of Missouri decided to
try and rebuild trust

between the police
and the community.

I signed an order declaring
a state of emergency

and ordering the implementation
of a curfew

in the impacted
area of Ferguson.

Oh, perfect.

So you took a community tired of
being treated as criminals

and imprisoned them all in
their own houses for a night,

and in doing so, employed the tone of a pissed-off
vice principal

trying to restore order
at an assembly.

If we're going
to achieve justice,

we must first have

and maintain peace.

This is a test.

The eyes of the world
are watching.

That is profoundly

"Look, let's see if you can all
remain quiet for 20 minutes,

and then we'll see if you can
all go and play outside."

If even the governor
can't distinguish

between the good and the bad
elements of the community

and has decided to punish
everyone equally,

then that should go both ways.

I know the police love their ridiculous, unnecessary
military equipment,

so here's another
patronizing test.

Let's take it all
away from them,

and if they can make it through a whole month without killing
a single unarmed black man,

then and only then can they get
their fucking toys back.

And now, this.

ANNOUNCER: And now...

I think I need to have
my ears fixed.

Did I hear this?

Did I hear you say they went
back some days later?

Did I hear you say that both parents worked
a graveyard shift?

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, wait, wait.
Did I hear you say house arrest?

Did you say that?

Sex every night?
Is that what I just heard?

GRACE: Did I hear that right,
or did my IFB just flip out?

All right, what did you say?

You had to say something then because I'd do a back flip
if I heard that.

Have you ever
smoked pot?

I'm sorry. What?

Finally, finally
tonight, women.

What do they want?

It's a question that's plagued no less an authority
than movie star

and noted humanitarian
Mel Gibson.

Uh, not to be confused with his
far less successful follow-up,

"Why Are Jews?"

But for most--
but for most American women,

one thing they might want is
to be paid the same as men,

and one prominent man
currently agrees.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Women deserve
equal pay for equal work!

Equal pay kicked off
your presidency.

It's become
really a theme,

one of the themes
of your time here.

Well, that's nice. Equal pay is not such
a bad theme.

It's certainly an improvement over previous
presidential themes,

including "Let's lock up all the Japanese" and "Destroy
the Seminole scourge."

Unfortunately, as is so often
the case for this president,

his laudable goal was muddled
right from the outset.

Today, the average full-time
working woman earns

just 77 cents
for every dollar a man earns.

Equal pay for equal work.
It's not that complicated.

Yeah, it shouldn't be
that complicated,

and as long as he hasn't overlooked something which
complicates this significantly,

everything should
still be on track.


female staffers in the Obama

White House were paid

less than 88 cents

for every dollar paid

to male staffers.

Well, that's OK, that's OK.

Maybe that just means
the president was 88% sincere

when he talked about equal pay,
which, if you round it up,

is basically 100% anyway,
so why is everyone complaining?

And with that,
all anyone could focus on

was not how to fix this problem
but how to quantify it.

The Labor Department itself,

the president's own
Labor Department

says it's 81 cents.

Federal study, for example,

says the disparity is more
like 88 cents for every dollar.

The studies do show
that when you do

the controlling,
there's about a 9% gap.

MAN: The wage gap is really
somewhere between 5 and 7 cents.

Women who do not get married
have virtually no wage gap.

They earn 96 cents
for every dollar a man makes.

Look, look, even if
96 cents is the number,

which it isn't,
it's still terrible.

Let me put this in terms
that are, perhaps,

easier to understand.

If someone takes
a dump on my desk,

the size of the dump
is not the issue.

I'm not gonna say,
"Well, how big of a dump is it?

"8 inches? 10 inches?

"Oh, just 3 inches?

"Well, that's almost like
you didn't take a dump

on my desk at all."

And this--

And so this is where
we are right now.

The one equal-pay act
in Congress

has already been killed,

and there is seemingly nothing
on the horizon,

but to listen to some,
that's not a problem

because not only does
the gap barely exist,

if it does,
it's actually women's fault.

Women make
different choices

about what kinds
of jobs they seek,

they make
different choices

in reaction to marriage
and childbirth.

When those things,
those factors are taken

into consideration,
studies have indicated

that the pay gap all
but evaporates.


Women are paid less because
they choose to have children,

although, to be fair,
they didn't

technically choose
to be the sole gender

biologically capable
of pregnancy

with the notable exception,
of course, of seahorses

and Arnold Schwarzenegger
in "Junior," so that--

just let's be
balanced here.

The second popular argument
for why the wage gap

is women's fault
is that they choose

to enter lower-paying

When you compare
men and women

in the same positions
and with the same experience,

the same education,
there is no pay gap.

You need to look at,
yes, what the position is

and you need to compare
apples to apples,

not pick and choose.

OK, apples to apples.

OK, well, in which case,
I actually have

a question for you.

How do you like
these apples?

A recent study out
of Yale University

that is interesting,
where professors were

given the identical

one had the name John
on the top,

and one had the name
Jennifer on top--

and the male candidate

was rated
more favorably...


and they were offered,
on average, $4,000 more

than the female

OK, OK, so it seems we
either address the root

of this problem
and fight entrenched sexism

in our society,

or all women simply change
their names to John.

Sure, it'll be
confusing for a while,

but you'll have $4,000 extra
a year just to take

the edge off the confusion.

And also, don't
despair just yet

because apparently,
if women can just hang in there,

there is hope.

If you're unmarried
and childless,

between the ages
of 35 and 43,

the statistics show
you make $1.08

on average to every
male dollar.

So there you
have it, ladies.

If you can just
remain single,

not accidentally
have children,

and never turn 44,
you're gonna be golden.

Look, here's the thing.

Paying people less
for the same work

is clearly wrong.

Even monkeys know that.

Scientists actually ran a test where two monkeys

performed exactly
the same task.

One was paid with a grape
and the other

with just a cucumber.

Watch how the monkey
who got the cucumber

reacted when it realized
it was underpaid.

"Hey, hey, calm
down, monkey!

"You don't know what
the other monkey's experience

"and education were.

"You've just made different
choices in your life.

Besides, a cucumber is
virtually the same as a grape."

Now, some people are
always going to want to

pay women less,
even if it is, let's say,

83 cents on the dollar.

But if we're not going
to get legislation,

it should at least
be obvious

who is choosing to do that.

So, to that end, we would
like to suggest this.

a middle-aged man running

a financial firm

or a multinational conglomerate?

Do you find that
pushy female employees

have been nagging you
with unreasonable demands

for equal pay?

What if I told you
about a revolutionary

new product that lets you pay women just as much as men

without sacrificing
the sheer convenience

of paying them less?

Introducing Ladybucks,

dollars for female employees

that are worth just 83 cents
on the dollar.

Ladybucks is the new
currency for women

from the Federal Reserve

and the creators
of Playtex Gentle Glide 360.

Available in a variety
of colors and scents,

Ladybucks feature
America's most celebrated

female presidents,
like Geena Davis,

Julia Louis-Dreyfus,

and "Battlestar Galactica's"
Laura Roslin,

who only became president

after almost all
of mankind was destroyed.

It's an amount that
could be described as...


So why not try Ladybucks?

Show the women in your
workplace that they're

truly 0.83 in a million.

Ladybucks are
not for everyone.

Consult your lawyer
before using Ladybucks.

Use of Ladybucks may
result in class-action lawsuits,

adverse publicity,
failure to retain staff,

or being kicked in the dick.

That's our show.

We're off
for the next two weeks.

We'll be back
the first week in September

with a new episode.

Thank you so much
for watching.

Have a great night!