Brow Beat

John Oliver Explains How Trump Is Somehow Ruining Even Weather Forecasting Now

If you thought that a Last Week Tonight segment about the weather—you know, that thing you and an acquaintance make light chitchat about when no other topic immediately presents itself—might be a Trump-free zone, think again. But before talking about the president, John Oliver explained the tensions between the government’s weather forecasting agency and the private, for-profit companies that use its information to make their predictions.

For instance, the Weather Channel started naming winter storms despite the National Weather Service’s policy against doing so, in part because it could dull the impact of naming hurricanes. Not to mention that if a graphic is poorly designed or a meteorologist is standing in just the wrong spot, winter storm Janus becomes … something else. “Hey honey, the news is saying anus is getting bigger and it’s gonna be dumping all over us for the next three days,” joked Oliver.

The president doesn’t come up until around 12 minutes into the segment, but when he does, it’s not to be praised for his own amateur weather predictions. Trump has been trying to appoint Barry Myers to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service. But Myers, formerly the CEO of AccuWeather, lobbied against the agency making its potentially life-saving information more directly accessible to the public because it hurt AccuWeather’s bottom line, and Oliver is not convinced by his promises not to use a government position to help the family business—nor impressed by reports of rampant sexual harassment and discrimination at AccuWeather under Myers’ watch, something the company denies.

Myers’ nomination has been stalled since 2017, which you’d think would prompt Trump to find a different candidate. But as Oliver points out, that would require the president to “do stuff,” “know stuff,” and “think workplace harassment is a bad thing.”