John Oliver was in rare form for the Season 4 premiere of his HBO show Last Week Tonight, ripping newly elected president Donald Trump as “a pathological liar.”
“Since taking office around 412 years ago, Trump has made it clear that reality is not important to him,” the British comic lampooned.
Oliver added fuel to the fire by showing inauguration day footage of Trump claiming his swearing-in ceremony as the nation’s 45th president was rain-free, thanks to God’s intervention, and compared it to actual video from the day.
“We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it was a sunny day,” he deduced.
In time, Oliver went on to insinuate that Trump’s proclivity to be willing to deceive so easily should have every citizen in the country trembling in fear over the prospect of him being commander-in chief for the next four years.
“Trump’s relationship with the truth is going to be of profound importance going forward because any policy discussion has to begin with a shared sense of reality and Trump’s reality can change within a single sentence,” he said.
If nothing else, Oliver reasoned we can now logically deduce the source of much of the new Republican president’s disinformation.
The veteran host compared some of Trump’s choice of language in certain, ranting social media posts to terminology used on Fox News.
“You would hope that as president, he would not be getting information from primary sources and briefings but Trump still watches a phenomenal amount of cable news,” he said. “His tweets frequently echo things that just aired on TV.”
Perhaps even more than Fox, the host surmised Trump appears to heavily rely on self-professed alt-right operation Breitbart News, which was once manned by current senior cabinet adviser Steve Bannon.
Oliver also noted Trump has been known to rely on the Alex Jones’ owned website Infowars as a news source. Jones is well-known for having promoted such crazed theories as water turns people gay and that the tragic Sandy Hook shooting was staged.
In Oliver’s mind, it’s all part of a pattern Trump has adopted where he seeks out theories that purport to his worldview, then uses the information as validation for his stance without ever vetting the credibility of the source.
Later, the host lamented, “If you get your news from similar sources to him, as many, many, many people do, he doesn’t look like a crank, he looks like the first president to ever tell you the real truth.”
When pressed about certain inconsistencies that have surfaced, Trump press secretary Sean Spicer has dutifully resorted to offering the retort all that matters is Mr. Trump believes it to be so.
Again, Oliver takes grand exception.
“This isn’t about belief,” he said. “It can’t be. Incidence of voter fraud is a verifiable fact and faith and facts aren’t like Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton. When you confuse them, it actually matters. Real people get hurt when you make policy based on false information. Billions will get spent on a wall that won’t work to prevent a crimewave that isn’t happening while refugees sit in dangerous situations to prevent Bowling Green-style massacres that never took place.”
Some have taken to referring to Trump’s masterful manipulation of reality and the facts as “gaslighting,” otherwise known as a form of psychological warfare wherein you manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity in order to conceal what’s truly happening.
As for Trump and his administration’s whole “alternative facts” campaign, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site Politifact recently calculated that the president only tells the truth approximately four percent of the time, compared with 17 percent of his statements registering as egregious lies.
Oliver hinted maybe at least part of the problem has to with the sources the president has come to rely on, and in the name of civic duty he has come up with a plan to help remedy the situation.
If Trump gets his information from cable news then that’s how to reach him, he reasoned, while offering a plan to air commercials that stand to educate the president on important issues, such as “explaining the nuclear triad, how to use appetizer forks, and what his other daughter is called.”
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]