John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman spar over sexual harassment allegations at a "Wag the Dog" Q&A



John Oliver is a perplexing figure of the highest order. He has more or less built up a politically correct empire from his "Last Week Tonight" show, which has become a YouTube trending topic on a weekly basis. He is the epitome of what is wrong with not just mainstream "news," but comedians taking a stab at politics. Yes, his show is generally well-researched and persuasive, up to a point, but the agenda is explicit, there are never two sides to a story when it comes to his show's talking points. Personally, I'm a liberal but a lot of the issues he covers make it seem too black and white, even though there are a lot more layers and sides to the stories. The facts, the evidence being brought forth are simply what MSNBC does these days, picking and choosing facts and ignoring others in order to push an agenda. I believe this is not an unpopular opinion, there are more and more detractors of Oliver's style, the tired formula, the way his jokes are delivered, people are starting to realize what this guy is all about. I used to really like the show and its expository pieces, but I find that recently it isn't just the blatant bias and one-sidedness that has turned me off it's also the dumbing down of topics to appeal to the "college left." 

Oliver was hosting a panel in relation to the 20th anniversary of "Wag the Dog," a great movie that has gained significant relevance in the last year of Trumpism. Robert De Niro was there, so was Dustin Hoffman, the latter of which had his own accusation in regards to sexual harassment last month, when writer Anna Graham Hunter wrote an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter alleging that Hoffman groped her and spoke inappropriately about sex in front of her when she was an intern on the TV movie Death of a Salesman in 1985." Hunter was 17 and Hoffman was 47.  Inexcusable behavior but not something that should probably be brought up post-screening in front of an audience that wants to hear  about the movie they just saw. And yet, that's exactly what Oliver did as he grilled Hoffman for over half an hour on the topic. The holier than thou attitude of Oliver rubbed me the wrong way, but you can make your own conclusions on this matter:


What's up with John Oliver?  Is he such an afraid-of-girls nerdlinger that he knows he has zero skeletons in his closet? I think most guys are pretty shy about getting on their high horse on this subject because they all have something in their past that might be misconstrued or could look "bad"... but not he! 

"This to me is some sort of turning point in this business. Oliver smugly and with the audience on his side attacks him. There is no risk. This is a moment where people who feel their own reputations are spotless can use "the bad ones" as pinatas to raise their public profiles. It's like confident right-wingers in the Hollywood 50's bashing the hell out of vulnerable "reds"--people who may have dabbled in the Communist Party because people were starving in the Depression. There is no distinction made between serial rapists and a guy who did some uncouth things at the height of his fame. Why? Because there NEEDN'T BE ANY--the purpose of the game is to play gotcha, to make the audience feel superior to these well-heeled, stammering old men. The worst is Oliver gloating, as if already reading the approving reviews in HuffPost and Vulture the next morning, that he "doesn't like" Hoffman's answers, as if he were picking out a brand of almond milk. All disgraceful; and we probably have not touched bottom yet." -Matthew Wilder

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