With the nation reeling from the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in which a heavily armed far-right gunman massacred 11 people between the ages of 54 and 97, and the attempted assassination of the entire Democratic Party leadership, allegedly by a deranged Trump-loving mail bomber, a fired-up John Oliver assumed his duties as host of Last Week Tonight on Sunday.
Addressing his audience, the comedian lamented on the “particularly grim” week before segueing into the mail bombs targeting the Obamas, the Clintons, Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters, George Soros, Robert De Niro, CNN and a host of other Trump critics.
“It has been a time for sober reflection—or, if you’re Fox News discussing those package bombs, a time for wild speculation,” said Oliver. “Because before the suspect was even arrested, they were giving airtime to a truly ludicrous theory.”
Oliver then aired a montage of Fox News hosts welcoming—and even prompting—guests on their programs who floated “false flag” conspiracy theories about the bombing attempts, from Martha MacCallum to Geraldo Rivera, with the latter saying, “At the risk of sounding like a far-right-wing lunatic, I have to say that I believe this whole thing was an elaborate hoax.”
“Yeah, but here’s the thing about that: Sounding like a far-right-wing lunatic is not really a risk for the Fox News brand, is it? It’s more of a guarantee,” Oliver exclaimed. “It would be like if Tony Bennett started every song with ‘At the risk of making your grandma wet.’”
When the bombing suspect was identified as a far-right Trump-worshipping conspiracy theorist, Rivera tweeted an “apology”:
“Can I just say that ‘outsmarted myself’ is a brilliant way to say that you did something incredibly stupid,” said Oliver, adding, “Wow, I really outsmarted myself this morning when I accidentally ate kitty litter instead of grape nuts, I remember thinking as I chewed the clumps. I really am two steps ahead of me.”
And yet still, after the bombing suspect was revealed to be a hardcore Trump supporter who lived in a van plastered with photos of the president, several Trump supporters remained unconvinced—with some accusing the targets of sending the bombs to themselves.
“Barack Obama probably sent his to himself. Hillary Clinton probably sent hers to herself,” Arvil Runyon, a Trump supporter in a MAGA hat, told NBC News’ Ali Vitali.
“They probably had it done. They probably paid him to do it,” he continued, because they were apparently “trying to bring people—feeling—over to their side.”
“OK, I’ve got it: So Obama flew to Florida, mailed a bomb to himself in Washington, then flew back just in time to avoid it—all to frame this guy,” said Oliver, pointing to a photo of the bombing suspect. “Now, I’m not saying that that man’s theory doesn’t have any holes in it, but at least we can all agree: He really outsmarted Geraldo Rivera.”
The victims of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre, meanwhile, are: David Rosenthal, 54; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; Richard Gottfried, 65; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Irving Younger, 69; Daniel Stein, 71; Joyce Fienberg, 75; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Melvin Wax, 88; and Rose Mallinger, 97. They are gone but not forgotten.