Brow Beat

John Oliver Asks Us to Do the Unthinkable: Pay Attention to Sean Hannity

Sometimes, we do unpleasant things because they’re good for us, like jogging, or out of a sense of obligation, like helping a friend move a couch. But at other times, we do unpleasant things because we absolutely have to, like cutting off one’s own arm after being pinned by a boulder in a remote canyon. Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News fits into that last category, because, as John Oliver laid out on Last Week Tonight, watching it is both painful and, unfortunately, necessary.

On the bright side, Last Week Tonight has done the watching for us and is ready to give us the highlights. Hannity may be a hypocrite and a conspiracy theorist, but as Oliver points out, he stands out among all of Fox News’ pundits when it comes to covering what Last Week Tonight has dubbed “Stupid Watergate,” the Trump-Russia scandals that are like Watergate, only stupider. Hannity’s response to the first year of the Mueller investigation so far has ranged from the usual whataboutism to accusing a “deep state” made up of Hillary Clinton, the FBI, and even some Republicans of conspiring against Donald Trump … which somehow led to him becoming president anyway. Or as Oliver puts it, “the shittiest conspiracy theory ever.”

As tempting as it is to just ignore Hannity (and heavens, it is tempting) Oliver urges his presumably liberal viewers not to tune out Fox News, because some of the people who are watching could prove crucial to whether Trump is impeached and eventually indicted. Oliver notes that the network is undermining the Mueller investigation using the same tactics as O.J. Simpson’s defense lawyers—and we all know how that turned out.