Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - Episode #1.5 - full transcript

This week's topics include the rise of the far right political parties in Europe, the Ukrainian election, Afghanistan, Net Neutrality, Australia's hard-line right-wing Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

EPISODE 5

Welcome to Last Week Tonight !
I'm John Oliver.

Thank you for being with us.
Quick recap of this week.

It began with Europe reeling

from the results of the
European Parliamentary elections.

A political earthquake. That's how,
at least one European law maker

described the unprecedented surge
of far right and anti-EU parties

that swept to power
this weekend.

There was a surge
of far-right parties in Europe ?

In terms of
"phrases you don't want to hear",



that is up there with "it's malignant"
and "we're losing cabin pressure".

Because lest we forget,
when Europe goes far right,

they go far right
through Belgium.

And in case you think
I might be exaggerating,

take a look at Greece's
"golden dawn" party.

The party campaigns
with the slogan "Clear the Filth".

The filth, its code
for African and Asian migrants.

We may do the Hitler salute,
but our hands are clean.

Wait !

Your hand cleanliness
is not people's chief concern.

If you're gonna start a sentence with
"we may do the Hitler salute but ",

you have to end it
with something better than that.

"We may do the Hitler salute,
but only to show how tall a llama is".

It's about this tall.
From my chest, just about there.



These guys have seats
in the European Parliament now.

This is one of their flags.
That's basically a jaunty swastika.

If Hitler was alive he'd sue them
for trademark infringement.

And he was a real Nazi
about intellectual property.

The worst thing is, these guys won't
be lonely in the European Parliament.

They'll be joining
Hungary's Jobbik party.

Let's check in
on one of their rallies.

The May Day festival
for supporters of Jobbik,

Hungary's ultra far-right
political party.

Just three years ago,
it exploded onto the political scene

on an anti-semitic,
anti-roma, gypsey ticket.

Okay, couple things.
A, that's terrifying.

B, quick sidenote:
why do neo-nazis always like metal ?

Is there anyone in to anti-zionist
conspiracy theories "and" smooth jazz ?

Hey there, we are groove step.

We're here to denounce the
mongrel races, but first: let's jam.

This is a little quiet storm
off our new album: pure bloodlines.

Give it up for Neil Whiteman on drums.
Real name. Can't make it up.

In less alarming news,
Ukraine chose a new leader

with million of voters
heading out to the ballot boxes.

Before you judge, you don't know
the context of that clip.

Maybe they were just overexcited
or thought it was an electoral pinata.

Of the votes that weren't destroyed,
who emerged victorious ?

Ukrainians elected Petro Poroshenko
as their next president.

He's a pro-European billionaire.
Who has been nicknamed

The Chocolate King
because of his candy business.

That's right, they've elected
the owner of a chocolate factory.

Ukraine is now in the hands
of the Willy Wonka of eastern Europe !

Come with me and you'll be
in a world of pure annihilation !

Congratulations Ukraine,

you may have gone from least whimsical
to most whimsical country on earth.

It was a big week for Afghanistan.
The American soldier whose been

in the hands of the Taliban for nearly
five years now is coming home.

And what of all the other
us troops still there ?

Over the last couple years

the president has held firm
with his planned deadline.

By 2014, this process of transition
will be complete,

and the Afghan people will be
responsible for their own security.

By the end of 2014

the Afghans will be fully responsible
for the security of their country.

We will have them
all out of there by 2014.

And this week he announced a plan to
almost completely stick to that plan,

for all but just under
ten thousand troops.

President Obama has a new plan
to end America's military involvement.

His plan calls for 9,800 troops to stay
in Afghanistan after this year ends

and then about half
of that by the end of 2015.

By December 2015,
just under five thousand troops.

The plan actually goes beyond that.
By December 2016, it says we'll have,

a thousand troops, tops,
but basically we're out.

Not like out-out,
but you know, pretty much out.

And finally, by March 2017,

300 uniforms on mannequins
but no actual troops

except for five troops,

and 7,000 heavily-armed
Americans on tourist visas.

Essentially, after twelve
and a half years over there,

it might be fairer to say that
America's current official policy is:

"we are about to leave Afghanistan,
and we always will be."

And now, this !

And now, after resigning,

Jay Carney tells one last pack of lies
to the White House Press Room.

It's been an amazing experience,
just so fulfilling.

I've answered several times,
but I'm happy to answer it again.

C'mon, Ed. John, I get it !

Ed ! Again, go look at the facts.
John, can I finish ?

Everyday in here,
with you, has been a privilege.

Okay, hold on, John !

Guys !

It's an important interaction
that takes place here.

The president did not communicate
with Jay-Z.

I decided the time had come
to shave, so...

And no matter
how tough the briefing is,

I walk out of here
having been glad to stand here.

I gotta run.

I give up.

I think we're done here, thanks.

Moving on.

Our top story tonight
concerns the internet.

Aka, the electronic
cat database.

But first,
let's take just moment together

and appreciate
how amazing the internet is.

You can use it to file your taxes...
Apply for jobs...

You can go online right now
and buy a case of coyote urine.

Do you know how difficult it
used to be to obtain coyote urine ?

You literally have to give
a coyote Gatorade and just wait !

It was a mess !
The system was a mess.

But if you've turned
on the news lately,

you may've heard some worrying
references to the internet changing.

Federal communications commission
agreed to move forward on a proposal.

It could change
the way we use the internet,

at risk the basic principal
of net neutrality.

Net neutrality.

Yes, net neutrality.
The only two words

that promise more boredom in the
English language are "featuring Sting".

And hearing people talk about it
is somehow even worse.

As anticipated the notice proposed
to ground the net neutrality rules

in section 706
of the telecommunications act of 1996.

My God, that is the most boring
thing I have ever seen !

That's even boring
by C-Span standards !

I would rather read
a book by Thomas Friedman

than sit through that hearing !

I would rather
listen to a pair of Dockers

tell me
about the weird dream it had.

I would rather sit down with my niece
and watch Caillou

a children's show
about a bald Canadian child

who lives a life
devoid of any incident.

Fuck you, Caillou !
Grow some hair and leave the house !

Find out what the worlds about !

But here's the thing. Net neutrality
is actually hugely important.

Essentially, it means that all data

has to be treated equally,
no matter who creates it.

It's why the internet
is a weirdly level playing field

and startups
can supplant established brands.

That's how Facebook
supplanted Myspace,

which supplanted Friendster,

which supplanted
actually having any friends.

Do you remember
physically having that ? It was awful.

You couldn't tap people's faces
to make them go away.

The point is, the internet
in its current form is not broken.

And the FCC is currently
taking steps to fix that.

FCC is endorsing new rules that could
clear the way for a two-tier system.

The rules would open
the door for the first time

for internet providers
like Comcast and Verizon

to charge tech companies to send
content to consumers more quickly.

Netflix, for example,
might pay a premium

to ensure that its customers
can stream movies more reliably,

at a cost a start-up competitor
might not be able to afford.

No, this cannot happen !

How else is my startup streaming video
service, Nutflix, going to compete ?

It's going to be
America's one-stop resource

for videos of men
getting hit in the nuts !

You don't even know you want it yet.
That's why it's brilliant.

Ending net neutrality
would allow big companies

to buy their way into the fast lane,
leaving everyone else in the slow lane.

Telecom companies would prefer
that you put it a slightly different way.

When you say fast lane and slow lane,
it's a good illustration,

but what you really
should talk about

is a fast lane for everybody
and a hyper speed lane for others.

Bull. Shit.

If we let cable companies
offer two speeds of service,

they won't be Usain Bolt,
and Usain Bolt on a motorbike.

They'll be Usain Bolt
and Usain "bolted" to an anchor.

And telecom companies will say
they would never slow down

a website's speed in order
to get more money out of them.

But let me tell you a little story.
Comcast was negotiating with Netflix.

This graph shows Netflix
download speeds on various providers.

That black line
plummeting downwards

was their speed on Comcast
during the negotiation.

See if you can guess when Netflix
agreed to Comcast's demands.

I'll give you a hint:
it's right there.

That has all the ingredients
of a mob shakedown !

Netflix, nice show
about life in a ladies' prison.

Such a shame if something were
to happen to your connection there.

So frustrating that would be.

And it's not
just anti-corporate hippies

who think that abandoning
net neutrality is a bad idea.

Net neutrality movement
is leery of big corporate players

but in this debate,
it's on the same side as some of them.

Google, Facebook,
Netflix, Amazon

all signed on to this letter
supporting net neutrality.

What's being proposed
is so egregious,

activists and corporations have been
forced onto the same side.

That's basically Lex Luthor knocking
on superman's apartment door

and going:
"I know we have our differences,"

"but we have got to get rid
of that asshole in apartment 3-B."

"He's loud Sup,
he's just too loud."

And you might wonder,
well look if everyone's against this,

how is this even
possibly happening ?

Consider who would benefit
from this change. Cable companies.

Verizon wants
a two-tier system so badly,

they sued the government to force
the rule change that's being discussed.

These companies
have Washington in their pockets

to a conveniently
almost unbelievable degree.

Comcast has spent $18,810,000 million
in lobbying last year.

That's more than
any other company

except for Northrop Grumman.

To be clear, the ranking of
"who buys government influence" is...

Number one:
"military industrial complex."

And number two:
"provider of Lizard-lick towing.

I could show you
the troublingly cozy relationship

between cable companies
and Washington in any number of ways.

I could show you the president
golfing with the CEO of Comcast.

Or saying at a fundraiser
at a cable executive's house

that he'd been there
so many times,

"the only thing I haven't done
in this house is have Seder dinner."

But perhaps
the most succinct way is this...

The president
has picked Tom Wheeler

to be the next chair of the federal
communications commission.

Yes. The guy who used to run
the cable industry's lobbying arm

is now running the agency
tasked with regulating it.

That is the equivalent of needing
a babysitter and hiring a dingo.

"Here, thanks for stopping over.

Make sure they're in bed by 8, there's
20 bucks on the table for kibble.

So please don't eat my baby."

With the fact that they're practically
overseeing their own oversight,

it's hardly surprising cable companies
are basically monopolies now.

A federal study found
that 96 percent of the population

had access to two or fewer
cable broadband providers.

It's almost as if they've agreed
to stay out of each other's way.

Like drug cartels.

But hold on,
that's not fair.

If hypothetically a cable
company like Comcast

were planning to merge with
a company like Time Warner

it's not like their CEO would sit down
and mark out who had which turf.

Both in video and in broadband
we don't compete with Time Warner.

They're in New York.
We're in Philadelphia.

They're in L.A.,
we're in San Francisco.

You can't buy a Comcast in New York
or a Time Warner in Philadelphia.

There's no reduction in competition.

You can't reduce competition
when nobody is competing.

You could not be describing
a monopoly more clearly

if you were wearing a metal top hat
while driving a metal car,

after winning second prize
in a beauty contest.

And maybe it's because
of their lack of competition

that they get away
with providing such shitty service.

We pay more for our internet service
than almost anybody else on earth,

and yet the download speeds
we get lag behind Estonia.

A country where, from the looks of it,
they still worry about Shrek attacks.

Is it any wonder that, in a massive
recent customer satisfaction surveys,

Comcast and Time Warner Cable
came in dead last.

And when you look at the companies
that were scored better than them,

people were basically saying, yes,
Bank of America took my home.

Yes, Taco bell gave me diarrhea.
And sure, GM tried to kill me.

But Time Warner and Comcast
are "the worst". They are the worst.

I know the cable companies
will say:

"They support
"net neutrality protection"

or they remain
"committed to the open internet",

or "just the tip."

But let me remind you:

they also say they'll be at your house
between 2 and 6 tomorrow afternoon,

and does any part of you really
expect them to fucking turn up ?

And yet our government
looks set to end net neutrality

and let these companies run hog wild,
and we're just going to let them.

And you know why ?
It all comes back to this:

It seeks comment on ways to construe
additional language in section 706

and even suggest
using 230B to broaden

the scope of the commissions
usurped authority.

God, how are you still so dull !
And that's the problem:

The cable companies have figured out
the great truth of America:

If you want to do something evil,
put it inside something boring.

Apple could put "Mein Kampf"
inside the ITunes user agreement,

and you would click
"agree," "agree," "agree."

That's why advocates

shouldn't talk
about protecting net neutrality.

They shouldn't even use
that phrase.

They should call it:
preventing cable company fuckery.

Because that is what it is.

And it might actually compel people
to want to do something.

The interesting thing here is, there
might be something you can still do.

The FCC will be taking
public comment for 120 days.

That's right: the FCC are literally
"inviting" internet comments

at "this" address.

And at this point, and I can't
believe I'm about to do this,

I would like to address the internet
commenters out there directly.

Good evening, monsters.

This may be the moment you've spent
your whole lives training for.

You have been out there
ferociously commenting

on dance videos of adorable
three-year-olds, saying things like,

"every child could dance like this
little loser after 1 week of practice."

Or you've been polluting Frozen's
"Let It Go" with comments like

"Ice castle would give her hypothermia
and she dead in an hour."

Or, and I know you've done this one,
commenting on a video of this show,

"fuck this asshole anchor...
go suck ur president's dick...

ur friends with the terrorists."

Now, I don't know
what any of that means,

but I don't think its a compliment.

But this is the moment
you were made for, commenters.

Like Ralph Macchio,
you've been honing your skills,

waxing cars and painting fences.

Guess what ? Now it's time
to do some fucking karate.

For once in your life,
we need you to channel that anger,

that badly-spelled bile,

that you normally reserve
for unforgivable attacks

on actresses you seem
to think have put on weight,

or politicians you disagree with.

Or photos of your ex-girlfriend
getting on with her life,

or non-white actors being
cast as fictional characters !

I'm talking to you,
"Ron Paul fan 2016" !

And you,
"One Direction 4ever" !

And you,
"One Direction sux balls !"

We need you to get out there
and, for once in your lives,

focus your indiscriminate rage
in a useful direction !

Seize your moment,
my lovely trolls !

Turn on caps lock
and fly my pretties !

Fly !

And now this !

Fly !

America. Everyone knows
it's the greatest nation on earth.

And our leaders
are the greatest leaders on earth.

But did you know there are other
countries that are not America ?

And each of them
has a leader of its very own ?

Let's take a moment to meet one,
in our ongoing series,

"Other Countries' Presidents
of the United States !"

This week's leader: Tony Abbott,
prime minister of Australia,

the island nation famed
for its bouncing kangaroos

and bloomin' onions.

Its current leader: Hard-line
right-wing prime minister Tony Abbott,

who rose to power promising
to be pro-business

and religiously anti-immigration.

Literally, religiously
anti-immigration.

And Jesus knew that there was
a place for everything,

and is not necessarily everyone's
place to come to Australia.

Exactly ! Australia is for real
Australians, like Tony Abbott.

Who was born
in London, England.

It's that kind
of rhetorical consistency

that's won him the admiration
of his predecessors...

If Tony Abbott ends up
the prime minister of Australia,

You gotta say,
'god help us.' god help us ?

Tributes in song...

Fuck you Abbott,
fuck, fuck you Abbott.

And the love of Australia's children.

My mummy calls him
Tony Dumb-Dumb

because she thinks
he's so, like, dumb.

What is it about Tony Dumb-Dumb

that's led to his current
approval rating of 30 percent ?

Could it be that he's insulted
everyone else in the country ?

From women...

The housewives of Australia need to
understand is that they do the ironing.

To gays.

Homosexuality:
How do you feel about that ?

I'd probably feel a bit threatened !

To anyone remotely Irish...

This government's
a bit like the Irishman

who lost 10 pounds
betting on the Grand National

and then lost 20 pounds
on the action replay.

To elderly, cancer-ridden
phone sex workers...

Tony Abbott has been filmed
winking during a radio show.

I'm a 69 year old pensioner, three
chronic incurable medical conditions,

two life threatening and I work on
an adult sex line to make ends meet.

To incredibly this...

Tony Abbott has been called out

seemingly insulting a Queensland
soldier killed in Afghanistan.

After being told about
the complications with the firefight,

this is Mr. Abbott's reaction.

It's pretty obvious that...
Sometimes shit happens, doesn't it ?

Sometimes shit "does" happen.

Luckily, Tony Abbott
is a master of words,

and can talk
himself out of any situation.

Look, a soldier has died,

and you shouldn't be trying to turn
this into a subsequent media circus.

How's that turning it
into a media circus ?

Tell me, what's the context ? If it's
out of context, what is the context ?

You're not saying anything, Tony.

You deserve this response.

Yes, Tony Abbott knows:

one panicked, pants-shitting expression
is worth a thousand words.

And what a way with words
Tony Abbott has.

No one-however smart,

however well educated
however experienced

is the suppository of all wisdom.

But if anyone is the suppository
of wisdom, surely, it's Tony Abbott.

A man who always knows
exactly what to say, or not to say

and who's won exactly as much respect
from his constituents as he deserves.

- Good Morning Sir, how are you, sir ?
- Dickhead.

Finally tonight.

Finally: there were
a lot of competitions this week.

But if you were watching
the NBA or the Stanley Cup playoffs,

you might've missed the most
entertaining contest of all:

Tonight we go from 12 to 1

as we crown the 2014 Scripps
National Spelling Bee Champion.

The National Spelling Bee.
The Hunger Games of the mind.

It was filled with inspiring moments,
and not just from the winners,

but the fact that the losers
all went out with incredible poise.

Just look at this girl,
graciously waving like royalty,

and shaking the hands
of all her competitors,

before giving the greatest
post-defeat interview ever.

What's next for you as you take
on the next chapter ?

I'm going to go home,
take 24 hours,

and watch every horror movie
on which I can get my hands.

I love this girl.
"On which I can get my hands."

Even in her darkest moment,

she cannot bring herself
to end a sentence with a preposition.

I would love to see an athlete lose
with that kind of grace.

Have a quarterback
walk off the field saying,

"well, yes, they beat me,
but in the next game,

out is the direction in which
they should be watching.

I bid you good day.
I bid you good day, gentlemen."

Inevitably, most of the children
ended up making mistakes.

Although to their credit,

none made as big a mistake
as one of the officials did.

May I have the sentence please ?

Tabitha discovered

that while her milkshake
brought all the boys to the yard...

I'm sorry,
I was reading the wrong sentence.

"Sorry, the correct sentence is:

"Kurt enjoyed a dish
of vijayawada and bitter greens,

hard like a rock,
when you make that pussy pop.

Pop that pussy.

But the kids persevered through
that inexplicable moment,

leading to an uplifting
historic finish.

13-year-old Ansun Sujoe
and 14-year-old Sriram Hathwar

claimed a rare dual victory
at the nation's largest spelling bee.

The face-off ended in a tie,
after judges exhausted the word list.

After a week of terrible stories:

Military crackdown in Thailand,
VA scandal, Greek neo-natzis.

It was truly heartwarming
seeing two children

celebrating in a cloud of confetti.

And watch how long it took for
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo to ruin it.

It feels pretty good because
not only do I get the victory,

I get to share it
with someone else.

Between the two of you,

you're going to have to figure out
a way to decide who's better.

Is there any kind of other competition
that you're thinking up,

where you kind of meet in an alley
or a predetermined pizzeria,

and you just have it out
for your own sake,

mono a mono, at some point.

I think that we're both quite satisfied
with our performances yesterday,

so I don't think
that that's quite necessary.

Yes !

Chris Cuomo, I've got a question:
what the fuck is wrong with you ?

Who goes to a spelling bee

and, when there's a tie,
has the instinct, "finish him !" ?

There's a word for Chris Cuomo,
but I don't know how to spell it.

Kids, would you mind helping me ?

- "A."
- Yes.

- "S."
- Good.

-"S."
- Go on...

"H." "O." "L." "E."

That's correct.
That's exactly what Chris Cuomo is !

You're all winners !
Congratulations everyone.

Thank you so much for watching !
We'll be back next Sunday.

Have a great week, goodnight !

END OF EPISODE 5