John Oliver kicked off the latest episode of his Emmy-winning series Last Week Tonight on Sunday by addressing how “The View [was] thrown into chaos after two of its hosts tested positive for COVID mid-show, leading to this incredible moment.”
He then threw to a clip of The View as a producer—live on-air—told co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro, “I need, uh, the two of you to step off for a second, and we’re going to bring you back later.” The incident happened right before Vice President Kamala Harris was set to join the women on the set for her sixth appearance on the show, and her first since making history as VP.
“So… shall I introduce the vice president?” Behar asked the producer, leading him to respond, “Yes.” When she began, another producer shouted out, “No!”
“Wow. That does not look great,” offered Oliver. “Filming a television show is basically like raising a toddler: It’s unpredictable, occasionally frustrating, and if you ever find yourself having to scream ‘No!’ someone is about to walk into a deadly situation.”
Oliver then segued to the horrifying news out of Del Rio, Texas, where a number of migrants—mostly Haitians—attempting to cross the border into the United States were met by border patrol agents on horseback who wre then accused of using their reins as whips on them. (Editor’s note: An agency investigation made public in July said the agents did not strike any of the migrants. However, the investigation found that agents used inappropriate force and language, and one agent admitted “twirling these split reins as a distancing tactic.”)
The images prompted White House press secretary Jen Psaki to go on CBS This Morning and say, “[President Joe Biden] also felt they were horrific and horrible. I don’t know anyone who could watch that video and not have that emotion… I think it’s important to know, this is not who we are. This is not who the Biden and Harris administration is.”
“Well, hold on there,” replied Oliver. “’Cause saying, ‘This is not who we are,’ about white people chasing Black people on horses is a bit of a stretch. Historically, we’ve been yes, and-ing that idea since 1619. If you listed the top three things that make America America, it would be regional sandwich differences, flyovers at halftime, and white people chasing Black people while on horseback. I’m not saying that’s what made America great, just what made America America.”
“As for ‘This is not who the Biden/Harris administration is,’ are you absolutely sure about that? Because from an immigration standpoint, there is not a ton of evidence that you are anything else yet. This administration’s record on immigration, particularly on the Southern border, has been deeply underwhelming. And this week, they’ve been all over the map because, while many Haitians were released into the U.S., we also sent thousands back to a nation that’s recently suffered an earthquake and a presidential assassination with no clear rationale for how those decisions were made. And it’s not great when our process for deciding who gets released and who gets expelled is as haphazard as finding the new host of Jeopardy!”
After her disastrous CBS This Morning appearance, Psaki told the White House press corps that the Biden administration had made a “policy change” in light of the scandal: It will no longer use horses in Del Rio.
“Hold on,” said Oliver. “Are you implying it was all the horse’s fault? Because, if I may quote myself after watching Burberry’s recent [Adam Driver] ad, if you’re only focusing on the horses, you are missing a lot.”
“The Biden administration promised a big shift when it comes to how we treat migrants at the border, but eight months in, where is it?”