If anyone was not already acquainted with the standard fare offered up on Fox every Saturday during their so-called "business block" where they spend week after week trashing unions, the poor and the working class in general, they got a pretty good dose of what watching those shows on a regular basis is like if they caught John Oliver's opening segment on The Daily Show this Thursday.
Oliver started things off by showing the viewers some of the coverage of the ongoing strikes and protests by fast food workers who are demanding a living wage and asked "how can these fast food workers even be sure their company can afford to give them raises?" After showing a clip where they talked about the fact that McDonald's made $5.5 billion in profits last year, Oliver responded.
OLIVER: Okay then. To be honest, I didn't realize the Golden Arches were literally 24k gold. Also, just to be honest, that $5.5 billion isn't all from food sales. Two thirds of that the Hamburgler made by speculating on cattle futures and totally legal. That's an incredible thing. He didn't commit a crime.
After pointing out that raising the minimum wage would be good news for everybody, including the businesses that raised the wages themselves since it puts more money into the economy, Oliver asked what the argument against raising it is.
Cue the haters over at Faux "News." We've covered this stuff here time and time again with these same pundits fearmongering over raising the minimum wage, telling striking workers to get two jobs, shilling for Walmart or claiming that raising the minimum wage "rewards mediocrity," which The Daily Show featured in this segment as well. Media Matters did a nice rundown of their attacks on minimum wage workers here as well: Right-Wing Media Promote Minimum Wage Mobility Fantasy.
It was nice to see this hate-filled coverage of theirs take some shots somewhere besides liberal blogs for once. After showing Greg Gutfeld saying that doubling minimum wage salaries turns that "rung into a hammock" Oliver responded.
OLIVER: Exactly. You remove the incentive. If you raise the minimum wage, people will never stop working in the fast food industry. They'll get so comfortable in those hot kitchens, in their acrylic uniforms, relaxing in that grease fog, smelling like processed meat no matter how many showers they take. It's luxury. It's luxury. That's his point... kind of.
Of course the story of the fast food workers strike is also going to be boom business for these same stupid stuff on television industry. Well, not so much an industry as a company. But when you think about it, they actually work very much along the lines of the fast food business model. They sell you something that looks appetizing, but leaves you feeling nauseous for hours afterwards.
Next,Oliver took on The Five's Andrea Tantaros and her ridiculous claim that if the economy were strong, McDonald's would be paying higher wages:
OLIVER: Yes, because that's how capitalism works. Companies always pass on higher profits to their lower level workers. That's a fact. That's just a fact.
Oliver went on to correct Neil Cavuto's really bad math when reminiscing about what he was paid when he worked at Arthur Treacher's for minimum wage, what those wages would be worth now and for him pretending that these fast food workers are all teenagers. Of course, as we already discussed here, that didn't make a bit of difference to his cohort Charles Payne.
He wrapped things up by responding to some footage of Fox's Tracy Burns ranting on about raising the minimum wage being akin to Socialism:
OLIVER: That's terrifying what she just said. Who would have thought that the line between capitalism and Communism in America is a double-digit minimum wage. I have to say, that woman looks familiar. I think I've seen her expressing sympathy for low-wage earners and the poor before.
BURNS: $250,000 is not rich. You've lived in this city long enough to know that. It's not rich for a family of four sending kids to college. It actually is close to poverty.
OLIVER: That's right. That's right. She's right! She's right! If you want to earn Tracy Burns' sympathy, come back when you are making a quarter million dollars a year. Then you'll know what poverty is really all about.