Making his return to HBO after winning the Emmy for Best Variety Talk Series on the eve of the 2016 first presidential debate – forecast to be watched by about 100M people – John Oliver took a long look at the scandal history of the two candidates.
Both candidates’ rank so low on trust-o-meter this election is “The electoral equivalent of seeing someone puking so you start puking and then someone else is puking and pretty soon everyone is puking 2016,” Oliver began.
Hillary Clinton, he said, is a “woman who, if she loses, will sit there motionless and not speaking until she eventually dies.”
He began with a sort of apology: “I do know that even talking about her scandals will irritate some of you,” Oliver acknowledged of his audience, “given that her opponent is an unambiguously racist scarecrow stuffed with scrunched up copies of Jugs Magazine. And that is a fair point. But not being as bad as Donald Trump is a low bar to clear.”
Years of political life have left the internet clogged with accusations against the former First Lady/Secretary of State/NY Senator; she’s been charged with ordering the murder of the children of Waco, being the “butcher of Benghazi,” and, Oliver’s personal fave, having confessed to being satan.
Clinton’s most famous scandals have been heavily litigated: Whitewater, where more than six years of investigations by three different prosecutors and multiple Congressional committees “failed to find sufficient evidence of wrongdoing,” and Benghazi, which merited eight Congressional investigations that “broadly concluded the State Department could have done more to increase security at the embassy but none found evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton.”
And then there is “the problematic issue of the Swiss file transfer” in which, Oliver said, “investigators found Hillary was in Zurich at the time of the transfer, and documents show she was aware the transfer took place, and yes, the Clintons did have something to gain financially from it.” But, the HBO late-night host continued, “the fact is the Swiss file transfer is something I just made up right now. But the very fact that for a second you kind of remembered it says something about the tone of coverage surrounding Clinton.”
Clinton Foundation and Clinton emails also came up.
Next, Oliver moved on to “America’s Wealthiest Hemorrhoid,” Donald Trump.
“If you are struggling with the idea of voting for Hillary because of all this, you need to take a long hard look at Trump…If you’re irritated by her lying, that is understandable. But he is quantifiably worse.”
Oliver walked viewers through Trump’s refusal to release his tax statements, unanswered questions about his business dealings, his insisting that giving his children control over his companies while he is POTUS is a “blind trust” because, as Donald Jr. promised George Stephanopoulos “It doesn’t matter. Trust me.”
Also: Trump Foundation allegedly using money given it by people for charitable purposes to settle lawsuits against Trump businesses to the tune of more than a quarter million dollars, according to the Washington Post. Trump having allegedly used foundation money to buy portraits of himself for one of his businesses. Trump University. Reports that Trump allegedly used undocumented workers to build Trump Tower, etc.
Oliver wound up his argument with audio visual aides, likening politicians’ ethical failings to raisins in a cookie. “They shouldn’t be there; they disgust people.” But, while Clinton’s ethical failings are like a cookie jammed with 10 disgusting raisins, while Trump’s ethical failings, Oliver insisted, are “a fucking raisin monsoon,” as raisins began to shower over Oliver and his set.