April 11, 2022

It was maybe his best episode yet. Last night, John Oliver said that OAN has a legal bone to pick with him after DirecTV announced they would drop One America News Network. In case you live in a cave, the right-wing channel is known for its slavish pro-Trump coverage and commentary. Via Deadline:

Losing distribution from DirecTV, OAN is not going down without a fight as the owners are suing AT&T for $1 billion, claiming the company breached a non-disparaging contract.

The real surprise is when Oliver reveals he is mentioned in the lawsuit which states a few colorful things the late night host mentioned about the network throughout the years like. “They (OAN) are like Fox News with even less shame and even fewer scruples,” he said. He continues, “A ragtag band of fascists who are happy to give a platform to batshit election fraud theories from America’s most out of breath pillow fetishist.”

He has no regrets about saying any of those things. However, he’s most offended that they didn’t mention that he said one of their news anchors “looks like a decaf pitbull. I wanted that entered into the legal record.”

BUT! The main segment was about data brokers, and oh yeah, he's threatening presumably Republican congressmen with releasing their data from Jan. 6th. Via Rolling Stone:

Now, none of this is particularly new. Several of the news clips Oliver showed were eight to 10 years old. An unsettling example of a stalker finding and killing a woman after paying a broker $45 for her data was 20 years old. So why was Oliver devoting a whole show to it now?

Blackmail! He and his staff paid for the data of a subset of individuals with traits that a lot of Congressmen have, and who were online within five miles of the Capitol building (Editor's note: on Jan. 6th). Though Oliver was cagey about what they found, he indicated they were able to identify several specific lawmakers and their potentially problematic search histories. But he didn’t reveal anything more than that. Instead, he indicated that his preferred solution was for lawmakers to pass laws making the release of that kind of personal info illegal. In the meantime, Oliver had some advice for anyone on Capitol Hill worried about what he might do with their personal data.

“You might want to channel that worry into making sure that I can’t do anything,” he advised. “Sleep well!”

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