journalism all shapes sizes john oliver


It’s not an exaggeration to say that some of the best journalism available comes every Sunday night from a British comic on HBO.  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver consistently delivers insightful, hard hitting news commentary while being hilarious at the same time.  There is really no way a show that features a man seated at a desk explaining sometimes truly complex issues uninterrupted for 25 minutes should succeed.  But it does.  I think that is a testament to its quality.

The most recent episode illustrates the point.  It centered on the Rehab industry.  And as usual, it  exposed the flaws and sleaziness in an industry that ought to be taking care of vulnerable people, not exploiting them.  I don’t  know if there’s a Robert Murray of the Rehab world ready to file a frivolous libel suit over this.  But we’ll see.

I also note in the show Oliver’s shot at California’s public records law.  It is slow to the point where even if the records are produced, they are stale to the point of uselessness.  Oliver compares it to a pregnancy test that takes 8 and ½ months to give results.  Having done a lot or public records work in Ohio, I can assure John that the situation isn’t much better here.  But I will almost certainly steal that analogy.