On Sunday, John Oliver kicked off the latest episode of Last Week Tonight by updating his audience on the latest developments in what he’s called “Stupid Watergate II,” or the ongoing Trump-Ukraine scandal.
“This week saw Trump desperately try to shift the narrative away from the allegations surrounding him to conspiracies surrounding the Biden family—although in doing so, he hit some ridiculous roadblocks,” Oliver explained.
The HBO host then threw to Trump’s infamous “LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH!” tweet shouting-out the oft-ridiculed Canadian rock group—a tweet that linked to a video espousing a right-wing conspiracy theory concerning the Bidens set to Nickelback’s hit tune “Photograph.” After the band filed a DMCA takedown notice, however, the video was disabled on the social-media network.
“It’s true: Twitter removed one of the president’s memes because Nickelback complained. And that’s a sentence that somehow suggests the news is now being written by an algorithm designed to generate random shittiness,” joked Oliver.
“And if that wasn’t sufficiently stupid, the very next day, during Trump’s customary screaming-next-to-a-helicopter time, he decided to answer a question on what he wanted Ukraine to do like this,” the comic continued, cutting to a clip of Trump proclaiming, “[Ukraine] should start an investigation into the Bidens. Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens.”
“Holy shit! So instead of denying that he privately solicited dirt from a foreign power he publicly did it, and then asked another foreign power to get involved too, which is just making it worse,” Oliver said. “It is bad enough that Trump seems fixated on a right-wing conspiracy theory about the Bidens, but what makes it far worse is the extent to which he has abused the power of the presidency to pursue that belief.”
“He’s the president. He has real power, and when he abuses it to keep himself in power, that’s a big problem,” Oliver concluded. “This is a case where, when the president does it, it has to be illegal—and for good reason, because unfortunately, not every foreign government will be as brave and willing to stand up to Trump as fucking Nickelback.”
Meanwhile, streams and sales of Nickelback’s “Photograph” have soared in the wake of their takedown stand.