Monday, July 25, 2016

John Oliver on feelings over facts and Colbert on Trumpiness

I opened Marble Machine for a Saturday by writing "I'm just not feeling up to dealing with either Trump's acceptance speech or Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton's pick for Vice President today."  Today, John Oliver made the first part easier by dealing with it himself.

John Oliver discusses last week's unsurprisingly surprising Republican convention.
Thank you, Mr. Oliver, for doing that so I wouldn't have to.  Of course, that's why you're paid the big bucks.

Follow over the jump for how Vox and the Chicago Tribune responded to this segment and tied it to Colbert's "Trumpiness" segment.

Vox outlined the relationship between the country's external reality and the Republicans internal reality.
Throughout the convention, Republican speakers — including Donald Trump — argued that the crime rate was skyrocketing, unauthorized immigration is going up, the economy is getting worse, and terrorism is killing a record number of Americans. Antonio Sabato Jr., an actor who spoke at the convention, even said that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

None of these things are true: Crime has dropped since Obama took office, the number of unauthorized immigrants has fallen, the economy is growing, and deaths from terrorism are still, thankfully, very rare in the US. And Obama is a Christian.

But as Oliver suggested, speakers seemed completely unmoved by these facts. "What is truly revealing," Oliver said of Sabato’s comments, "is that his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. Because if anything, that was the theme of the Republican convention this week. It was a four-day exercise in emphasizing feelings over facts."
Those feelings include most Americans believing that crime is up, despite the statistics.  So why not tap into those feelings, even if they result in a convention and particularly an acceptance speech that portrays America, if not the world, collapsing into chaos?

The Chicago Tribune also reviewed Oliver's segment and connected it to something Colbert used to begin the week.
Oliver’s main, highly cogent point, that the RNC was “a four-day exercise in emphasizing feelings over facts,” was pretty much an extended supporting argument for Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” coinage, which on Monday, the first night of the convention, Colbert elevated to “Trumpiness.”
Oh, a segue!  Here's Colbert on Trumpiness.

Sensing that his timeless wisdom is needed at The Late Show, the character “Stephen Colbert” rides into the Ed Sullivan Theater in a blaze of glory, and sums up this inexplicable election season in one word: “Trumpiness.”
I'd laugh even harder, if it weren't for the conclusion of the Chicago Tribune's review.
And then there were Oliver’s versions of the now-standard jokes about Trump as a portent of the apocalypse.

“Trump may as well have been riding out on stage with the three other horsemen,” the host said, in one such reference.

Comedy writers know they should find something fresh to say. But apparently Trump as harbinger of end times just feels true to them.
They're not alone in feeling that way.  Yes, this is still a doomer blog.


  1. Thanks for the John Oliver clip. Hadn't seen that one.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. If you had posted that on the Coffee Party Facebook page, you'd have that comment hidden for incivility (or worse). Here, I will tell you that I am opposed to such talk, no matter who the president is! Next time you or anyone else posts such a thing, I'll delete it. Welcome to being as bad as the spammers!

    2. You know what, I decided to delete it after all. Good riddance!