Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 3, Episode 19 - DNC vs. RNC - full transcript

Highlights of US Democratic Party convention 2016.

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

SEASON III
EPISODE 19

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

Thank you for joining us.
Time for a quick recap of the week.

And we begin with the 2016 election.

Or as you probably know it, America's
shit salad fuckstravaganza 2016.

It was the Democratic National
Convention this week

more on that later,
but as of right now,

polls suggest that this race
is extremely tight.

Even tighter than the perfectly
normal grip that this father has

on the hips
of his own adult daughter.



There is no doubt: the stakes
of this election are incredibly high,

which is why what happened
this week is so important.

On Friday, just over 100 days
before the 2016 election,

3 courts in 3 states struck down
three attempts at voter suppression.

A triple victory for voting rights.

Yes, a triple-crown victory !

And now,
as per triple-crown tradition,

democracy will be drained
of its seed and promptly shot.

Yes, a string of voting restrictions
were struck down this week

in Wisconsin, Texas,
and most notably North Carolina,

birthplace of Charlie Rose,
Vince McMahon, Gallagher, Fred Durst.

Or as I like to call them,
"the real Mount Rushmore."

All states were criticized for enacting
laws with a discriminatory effect.

But the 4th circuit had particularly
strong language for North Carolina.



The court called it
the "most restrictive voting law"

"North Carolina
has seen since the era of Jim Crow,"

saying the law's provisions,

"target African Americans
with almost surgical precision."

Targeting African Americans
with almost surgical precision.

That is not a phrase you ever want
to hear outside of a marketing meeting

for "dark and lovely healthy-gloss
shea butter relaxer."

It's okay for me to tell that joke.
I'm pretty sure that joke is fine.

I'm about 80% confident
we have no problem there.

When you hear what North Carolina's
voter-ID law contained,

it is hard to disagree
with that court.

The law required voters
to show certain photo ID's

that white voters
were more likely to possess

and eliminated
other voter-access tools

like same-day registration
and a full week of early voting.

Scaling back early voting eliminated
one Souls to the Polls Sunday,

where African American churches
provide transportation for voters.

It's true,
they limited "Souls to the Polls".

Which is not to be confused
with my charity foundation,

"Soles to the Poles",
which sends shoes to Polish people,

despite the fact they haven't
asked for them,

and have repeatedly
asked me to stop.

Now to be fair: at the time,
politicians in North Carolina

were insistent that this bill
was passed for good reasons.

David Lewis chaired the elections
committee when that bill passed.

He says it makes
the voting process fairer.

Even if you want
to attest or believe

that we did something
for partisan advantage,

it certainly wasn't done
with a racially discriminatory intent.

That is an amazing pushback:

"I'm happy to let you say we did this
to disenfranchise Democrats."

"But not black people."

"Please paint me as the
correct kind of asshole."

"Please do me that good."

"Good day sir.
I said good day !"

Unfortunately, as the court
pointed out, race was a factor,

given that, before the law passed,

legislators specifically requested data
on voting practices by race,

and then
"upon receipt of the race data,"

"the General Assembly
enacted legislation"

"that restricted voting
and registration in 5 ways,"

"all of which
affected African Americans."

And think about that:

they didn't go with their gut and
"think" it would be discriminatory.

They got the spreadsheets,
crunched the numbers,

and they knew it would be.

I don't know how you did it,
North Carolina,

but I think you officially
moneyball'ed racism.

Forget "first in flight".
Your new state motto should be

"North Carolina:
ignorance at its smartest."

But for now,
let's move on to Turkey,

AKA, Diet Syria.

Two weeks ago,
Turkey was nearly rocked to its core.

All hell is breaking lose in Turkey
right now.

Explosions and gunfire
rocking the capital of Turkey

where reports of a military coup
started breaking just a few hours ago.

They declared Martial law.
Police were shooting at helicopters.

Wait, shooting at helicopters ?

Turkey, I don't want to tell you
how to defend yourself,

but if the fourth "Die Hard"
taught me anything,

it's that you don't shoot down
helicopters with guns.

You simply do this !

Is that so hard ?
Is that really so hard ?

Historically Turkey is no stranger
to violent military coups

this was their fourth
in the last sixty years.

They should be hosting the quadrennial
"World Coup" tournament,

featuring unstable regimes
from around the world,

organized, of course, by FIFA.

But this most recent attempt
surprised everyone.

President Erdogan
was even on vacation at the time,

and tried to address the nation
using an unconventional medium.

President Erdogan,
who was on vacation,

spoke first
via Facetime on Turkish TV

and called for his supporters
to take to the streets.

He used Facetime.

Erdogan tried to hold his nation
together with the same technology

your mom uses to make you
wish her dog a happy birthday.

"Happy birthday, dog.
Can I please talk to my mother now ?"

The coup turned out
to be short-lived,

and in the last two weeks,
Erdogan has been taking his revenge.

They've called it rooting
out the virus.

A wave of arrests
over the past fortnight

against the alleged coup plotters
and those who backed them.

Journalists, diplomats, NGOs,
even Turkish airline staff have

been detained or dismissed.

Journalists and diplomats,
you would expect.

But detaining airline staff ?

Erdogan is clearly
just settling personal scores.

A flight attendant refused to give him
the entire can of Schweppes in 1999,

and now the entire industry
is in prison - it's bullshit.

As of yesterday, over 10 000 people
have been arrested,

and more than 60 000 have been
detained, removed or suspended.

Erdogan points the finger of blame
firmly at this man, Fetullah Gulen.

He's a Muslim academic
and a one-time Erdogan ally,

although Turkey's leaders now
insist that he's a grave threat.

Turkish prime minister recently
compared Gulen and his supporters

to a virus and a medieval
cult of assassins.

What ?!
A medieval cult of assassins ?

If you want to ruin
the reputation of your enemies,

maybe don't make them
sound outrageously awesome.

"Fettullah Gulen ?
Don't listen to him."

"He's like a monster truck
wearing aviator sunglasses"

"or a wolf
that plays the electric guitar."

"I don't see the appeal."

And if you are wondering
how Gulen is still alive,

he actually exiled himself
17 years ago,

and has been living
in the last place you'd expect.

One of the world's most powerful
Muslim preachers

lives behind these gates
in a compound

located in the small, leafy town
of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Yes, the alleged instigator
of the Turkish coup

lives in rural Saylorsburg,
Pennsylvania

among, I'm guessing,
tree-lined streets, Lyme disease,

six Wawas, and a taffy museum;
I'm guessing.

And while Gulen denies
any involvement in the coup,

I do not envy him. Because you
do not want Erdogan as an enemy.

Remember, this is a man who has had
his genitals stomped on by a horse,

and lived to tell the story.

If anything, that horse was going
around injured for weeks afterwards.

And in international politics,
there is one hard and fast rule:

there is no more dangerous enemy
than a man with a horse-proof dick.

And now this !

And now, Last Week Tonight asks:
"How is This Still a Thing ?"

This week: tanning beds.
How are they still a thing ?

If you go by TV and movies,

tanning beds are only used
by 3 types of people:

psychopaths,
asshole Rob Lowes...

I can't stop saying bro, bro.

And potential murder victims.

But tanning beds are still used
by a surprising number of people.

There are more tanning salons in US
than there are Dunkin Donuts:

there are more places
to get medium-roasted,

than there are places
to drink a medium roast.

In fact, tanning salons
are a 3 billion dollar industry,

impressive, considering that
they only began in the 1970s,

when the modern tanning beds
were introduced

by German scientist and creepy
man spreader, Friedrich Wolff.

And their popularity
is even more impressive

when you consider
what they can do to you.

CDC says thousands of people
were sent to the ER last year

after getting hurt in tanning beds.

Researchers are certain tanning beds
and UV radiation cause cancer.

The World Health Organization
recently added tanning beds

to its group one list
of cancer causing substances

the same group as cigarettes.

Basically tanning beds
are the product of deviant sex

between a cigarette
and a sleeping bag.

Press like this
would destroy most industries,

luckily,
tanning beds have trade groups

who fight regulation with every UV
damaged fiber of their being.

We need ultra violet light.

To say UV light is harmful
and should be avoided

is like saying water causes drowning
and you should avoid water.

That's international Smart Tan
Network Vice President

and industry magazine
cover-boy Joe Levy.

Not only does he believe
that tanning beds don't cause cancer,

he suggests that by boosting
your vitamin D levels,

they can prevent cancer.

A new Georgetown University study
is showing that higher vitamin D levels

in a clinical study

are associated with a twofold
reduction in risk of breast cancer.

Yeah, except that's not
what the study really said.

It found vitamin D could decrease
or increase breast cancer development,

in mice, yes, mice.

And besides, if you want vitamin D,

you don't need to pay to lay
in a bed of glass and mercury,

you could go outside for 10 minutes,
3 times a week,

or swallow some milk, fish,
hundreds of vitamin-D fortified foods,

or just a fucking vitamin-D pill.

So if turning your skin
into cancerous creme brulee crust

is the only reason
to use a tanning bed,

we have to ask: tanning beds,
how are they still a thing ?

Moving on ! Let's move on
to the 2016 election.

As it's known, a horrifying glimpse
at Satan's Pinterest board 2016.

This week was
the Democratic National Convention,

and after the bizarre Republican
circus that preceded it,

all they had to do was not appear
like a complete disaster.

And, yet, somehow...

Their party's chairman off the program,
an apparent Russian e-mail hack

and now a revolt
among Bernie Sanders supporters.

Welcome to day one
of the Democratic Convention.

That was day one ! Day one !

The DNC got off
to the roughest start that I've seen

since Fox 5's 2011 coverage
of the San Diego boat show.

I'm hanging out with my friend John.
Fox Five morning news starts.

And it starts right now !

That is basically what happened
on day one of the DNC in a nutshell.

Before Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
could even gavel in the convention,

a leaked email scandal
had forced her to resign

and Bernie Sanders supporters
gave her a rough reception

when she met
with her own state's delegation.

We know that the voices
in this room

that are standing up
and being disruptive,

we know that that's not
the Florida that we know.

Disruptive, borderline unhinged,
and getting ready to fuck up a vote ?

That is literally the only Florida
that we know.

The only way that could be
any more Florida

is if one of the Bernie delegates

was an aging,
heavily armed racist alligator.

Now, luckily for the Democrats,
things gradually got back on track

thanks to a series of stirring speeches,
beginning with the first lady.

Today, I wake up every morning
in a house that was built by slaves.

And I watch my daughters,

two beautiful, intelligent,
black young women

playing with their dogs
on the White House lawn.

Whatever your party affiliation,
that is a truly moving speech.

The only thing I would say
to the audience is:

maybe don't start your round
of applause directly following

the phrase "built by slaves".

Yeah, they did a lovely job.
They had to.

They had to do a good job.
They had to, that's why. Lovely.

The next day, it was Bill Clinton's
turn to fire up the crowd,

retelling his relationship
with Hillary, seemingly in real time.

On Wednesday,
Joe Biden spoke,

assuming the role of America's
motivational cattle prod.

We are America. Second to none.
And we own the finish line.

Don't forget it.
God bless you all.

May God protect our troops.
Come on. We're America.

Come on !
Once he has left the White House,

Biden is going to be the most
inspiring SoulCycle instructor.

"Come on ! Pedal ! You own
the finish line, Caitlyn !"

"Pedal like the wind !"

Biden was the warm-up man
for the President,

who occasionally lapsed
into a tone of actual disbelief

at what America might be
doing this election.

People outside of the United States
do not understand

what's going on in this election,
they really don't.

That's actually true.

The rest of the world does not
understand Trump's candidacy,

any more than the menu
at Guy Fieri's American Kitchen.

This... donkey sauce.
Is it made from actual donkey ?

Why do you do this to yourself ?
Why ?

Why ?

But the emotional highlight
was a speech by Khizr Khan,

a lawyer, immigrant and father
of a fallen Muslim-American soldier.

Donald Trump, you ask Americans
to trust you with their future.

Let me ask you:

have you even read
the United States Constitution ?

I will gladly lend you my copy.

Shit.

An American founding document
being used as a middle finger.

I did not know that
was technically possible.

It wasn't even the most devastating
part of Mr. Khan's speech.

Have you ever been
to Arlington Cemetery ?

Go look at the graves
of brave patriots

who died defending
United States of America.

You will see all faiths,
genders and ethnicities.

You have sacrificed nothing
and no one.

That engendered in me
a level of emotion

that I did not think was possible
after 16 months of this campaign

and 39 years on Earth
as a British person.

The truth here is, however incredible
the surrogate speeches are,

conventions are judged by
the performances of the two people.

So how did they fare ?
Let's start with Tim Kaine.

A human sweater-vest.

He's the portrait of a vice president
that came with the frame.

His speech was exactly as boring
as you would expect,

with the exception of his
impressively-bad Trump impression.

It's gonna be great, believe me !

We're gonna build a wall and make
Mexico pay for it, believe me !

We're gonna destroy ISIS so fast,
believe me !

What the fuck was that ?
That doesn't sound like him at all !

How is he going to win an election,
he couldn't win a game of Cranium ?

I don't know, is it Jackie Gleason ?
Brad Garrett ?

Mold whoever it is out of clay,
we have no chance here.

And as for Hillary Clinton, on
the night of her historic nomination,

she stood before the nation
in full Pitbull cosplay,

she had a stupid amount of
balloons dropped on her head,

and delivered a speech focusing on
the requirements of being president.

I sweat the details of policy,
whether we're talking about

the exact level of lead in
the drinking water in Flint, Michigan,

the number of mental
health facilities in Iowa

or the cost
of your prescription drugs.

Because it's not just a detail
if it's your kid,

if it's your family,
it's a big deal.

A kind of interesting approach.
Instead of soaring rhetoric,

the bulk of her speech
was basically:

I'm gonna micromanage
the shit out of this office.

I'm gonna get granular as fuck.

Drop the balloons
and I will count them all !

I'm all about the details.

It was definitely a restrained speech
to close a convention,

especially when you compare it
to the week before,

when Trump opened his mouth
and exhaled a swarm of locusts.

Now that both conventions
are behind us,

we should try and take stock
of what they have taught us

about the current state
of our two political parties.

The DNC showed the Democrats
to be a coalition of squabbling,

if fundamentally
like-minded Katy Perry fans.

And as for the RNC,

it showed that the Republican Party
doesn't seem to currently exist.

Because we didn't really get
a Republican convention this year.

There was a Cleveland-based
gathering of delegates,

featuring all of Trump's favorite
family members and Tiffany

and celebrities whose most
notable upcoming projects include

"The Emmy Awards In Memoriam
Reel"... probably.

Almost everything you would expect
from a GOP convention was absent.

Many prominent Republicans
chose to skip it,

as did both living
Republican former presidents.

And for the party of Reagan,
the tone was unusually negative.

Not only have our citizens
endured domestic disaster,

but they've lived through one
international humiliation

one after another !

What is he talking about ?

Only one major humiliation
from recent history comes to mind

and it's the one standing
behind that podium.

This left the Democrats
wide open to pick up the mantle

of "people who actually
like living here."

Don't let anyone ever tell you
that this country isn't great,

that somehow
we need to make it great again.

Because this right now is
the greatest country on Earth !

Yes !
The greatest country on Earth !

You hear that, Denmark ?
You go fuck yourself.

I don't care what
the World Happiness Index says.

Michelle Obama told me we're number
one and her arms make me feel safe.

The DNC felt like
the more patriotic occasion.

It featured America's greatest actress
dressed up like a plastic tablecloth

from the fourth of July,

and General John Allen
screaming at people.

To our enemies: we will pursue you
as only America can.

You will fear us.

And to ISIS and others,
we will defeat you.

Who are you shouting at ?
ISIS is not watching the DNC.

They watch "Braxton Family Values".
It's Thursday, fool.

That is a retired four-star
marine general

threatening vaguely enemies while
a crowd waves signs reading "USA !"

That is not something you expect
to see at a Democratic convention,

not because
Democrats aren't patriotic.

But because Republicans have
always done that louder and longer.

This whole two weeks
felt topsy-turvy.

It's no wonder that commentators
felt a little confused.

If you were a martian
and looked at these two conventions

and somebody asked you: "which
of the parties is the most patriotic ?"

You'd say the Democrats.

Okay, but if you were a martian and
asked which party seemed patriotic,

you would probably say:
"That's your question ?"

I'm literally an alien. Is there
nothing else you want to ask me ?

"How was your trip?"
for example

or "What was Tilda Swinton
like as a kid ?"

Usually, people's first question
for me is:

"Why is your penis made
of pure glowing white light ?"

The reason the Republicans
forgot to celebrate America this year

might be because they were too busy
celebrating Trump's claims

that he would fix whatever Trump
thinks is wrong with America.

Nobody knows
the system better than me.

Which is why
I alone can fix it.

When I take the oath
of office next year,

I will restore law
and order to our country.

I am your voice.

"I am your voice"
is actually a fair claim,

he does speak for some people.

Although you would hope
they would then react

the way most people do when
they hear their own voice:

"Shit, I don't actually sound like
that, do I ? That is horrifying."

The RNC taught us that a party
which used to be organized

around a set of shared principles,
is organized around one man.

And given that that is the case, his
judgment is the only thing important

when considering
who to vote for in November.

I would like to show you
something he said recently.

He has clearly said countless awful
things throughout this campaign,

any of which would
disqualify any other candidate.

This week, he declined
to release his tax returns,

lied about getting a letter
from the NFL

agreeing the debates shouldn't
clash with football games,

called Angela Merkel a moron,

implied Brazil brought
Zika Virus on themselves

encouraged a foreign power's
hack of his political rival.

Two of those didn't happen
but you're not sure which two

and that's kind of the point,
isn't it ?

Because Trump said thousands
of crazy things,

each of which blunts
the effect of the others.

It's the bed of nails principle: if
you step on one nail, it hurts you.

If you step on a thousand nails, no
single one stands out, and you're fine.

That is how Trump has managed to
say anything in his campaign,

seemingly without consequences.

Even with that caveat,

his response when asked about that
speech from Khizr Khan, stands out.

I saw him. He was very emotional
and looked like a nice guy.

His wife, she was standing there,
she had nothing to say,

she probably maybe she wasn't allowed
to have anything to say, you tell me.

She was extremely quiet and it
looked like she had nothing to say.

For a start: his wife has explained
that she chose not to speak

because she gets upset when she
sees images of her dead son's face,

you fucking asshole.

But I'm sorry,
please continue.

He said you have sacrificed
nothing and no one.

Who wrote that ?
Did Hillary's scriptwriters write it ?

How would you answer ?
What sacrifices have you made ?

I've made a lot of sacrifices.
I work very hard.

I've created tens of thousands
of jobs, built great structures.

I've had tremendous success.

- Those are sacrifices ?
- Sure, I think they're sacrifices.

No !
No, they are absolutely not.

They are self-serving half-truths
from a self-serving half-man

who has convinced half the country
sacrifice is the same thing as success.

The main takeaway from these
two weeks is that, incredibly,

we may be on the brink of electing
such a sociopathic narcissist

that the simple presidential duty
of comforting the families of soldiers

may be beyond his capabilities.

I did not think that was a part of
the job that someone could be bad at.

And now, this.

Some more highlights from
the Democratic National Convention.

To hell with
Trump's American nightmare.

We believe in the American dream.

The right wing has thrown everything
at Hillary, not only the kitchen sink,

not only the stove, but the
refrigerator and the toasters, too.

She'll fight for the macro issues,
and those macaroni-and-cheese issues.

Put down your Pokemon Go
for just a second.

We're naming Donald Trump
to our Dirty Dozen list.

Dirty, dangerous, denying Donald.

Shade, boy, bye.

They threw her down in this very
campaign. This campaign.

But she won't stay throwed.
No, she ain't gonna stay throwed.

I haven't really gotten
the bolo tie look to catch on.

She was the first person to call me
when my second child was born.

I don't know
what that says about my family.

The Hillary I know, she loves HGTV

and she can devour buffalo wings
whether on a car, plane, or train.

- Bernie !
- Hillary.

It's healing time. It's hope time.
It's Hillary time. It's healing time.

It's hope time. It's Hillary time.

It's healing time.
It's hope time. It's Hillary time.

It's healing time.
It's hope time. It's Hillary time.

It's healing time. It's hope time.

You better listen to me,
I said she won't stay throwed.

That's our show,
see you next week, good night !

LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

END OF EPISODE 19,
SEASON III