John Oliver opened Last Week Tonight on Sunday with an extended look at the National Rifle Association’s online video channel. It was in the news last week as Hollywood activists launched a campaign to pressure Amazon to drop the channel from its streaming service, which also is available on Apple TV and Roku. The role of NRA TV came into focus in the aftermath of the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school.
“With all of the discussion this week of boycotting NRA TV, we thought it might be worth answering the question, ‘What the f*ck is that?’“ Oliver said. “Because the truth is you may have actually seen tiny bits of its programming without even realizing it.”
To Oliver, the channel is basically “Fox News on a much lower budget.” But he notes that NRA TV does offer a wide variety of programming, including no fewer than three “Antiques Roadshow knockoffs” in which the participants “get progressively more and more aroused by the guns they’re holding.” In addition, Oliver says the NRA is making “a big push for women” with series like Love at First Shot, “a kind of QVC for firearms” intended to make women more comfortable with the idea of owning and firing guns.
There’s also quite of bit of hunting-focused content — but perhaps not what one would expect. “While the visuals are predictable beauty shots of nature,” Oliver said, “the voice-over takes a different path . . . less Planet Earth and more ‘deranged letter from a serial killer.’“
You can watch Oliver’s entire segment above. Let us know what you think.