NEW YORK, NY, NEW YORK, YORK, ENG — John Oliver, host of the HBO show John Oliver [And More Words Here], has made quite the reputation in the first season and a half of his show for taking on serious news topics with humor and informed reporting. That all ended on last Sunday’s show though when he covered Nebraska’s shockingly humane decision to abolish the death penalty.
The error came quick in John Oliver’s piece discussing how the Nebraska legislature had abolished the death penalty by overruling the governor’s veto by “human thumb” Pete Ricketts. For the record, we agree that Governor Ricketts is a human thumb, that’s not the issue we’re taking with this reporting. Nor do we take issue with Oliver’s characterization of Ricketts purchasing illegal-to-import murder drugs from a known drug-thief operating out of India who had already defrauded Nebraska taxpayers IN THE EXACT SAME SCHEME years earlier. No, what we object to is John Oliver’s sloppy reporting at the very beginning of his piece. Watch here and you’ll see the error he makes in the very first 12 seconds:
John Oliver clearly claims that we don’t know the difference between Nebraska and South Dakota (also known as Least Worthless Dakota). Well we want to assure Mr. Oliver that we DO know the difference and we DID notice the error. It is difficult to imagine how John Oliver will be able to move on from such factually inaccurate reporting. It is a shame to know that his show, which had been so good up till now, will soon join the garbage heap of other news shows brought down by similar news gaffes. Shame, shame, shame on you Mr. Oliver.