Tuesday, July 21, 2020

John Oliver on coronavirus conspiracy theories

Last week, I quipped that I had to settle for Samantha Bee, the basic cable John Oliver, in Samantha Bee on 'Mask Hysteria'. This week, I have the real thing in Coronavirus: Conspiracy Theories.

With conspiracy theories about coronavirus proliferating, John Oliver discusses why we’re prone to believe, how to distinguish fact from fiction, and what you can do to help others.
First, that's as much of "Plandemic" as I care to watch, but it's enough to confirm my opinion that the documentary deserves to join Hillary's America and Trump himself in earning a Razzie nomination.

Second, I shouldn't be surprised that Trump is spreading conspiracy theories. He has a weakness for conspiratorial ideas. However, I am just as surprised as Oliver that Rush Limbaugh, of all people, understands how and why Trump spreads them.

Third, I'm surprised but relieved that Oliver didn't go down the QAnon rabbit hole, although he briefly mentioned a couple of the paranoid ideas that circulate there. The QAnon phenomenon deserves a show of its own.

Fourth, I'm glad Oliver and his producers got all these celebrities to make public service announcements about how to use critical thinking skills to evaluate what people read and see on the Internet. If more people did, fewer people would buy the bad ideas available in the marketplace of ideas.

Finally, this is not the only segment of the show about the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline summarized the episode's opening in ‘Last Week Tonight’: John Oliver Addresses Difficulties Of Reopening Schools Safely During Pandemic Despite What Trump Administration Says. I wish Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had uploaded this segment as well. It would have made a great comedic counterpoint to White House blocking CDC from testifying before Congress on reopening schools, a topic I'm sure I'll revisit. Stay tuned.

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