Maybe you can fight City Hall

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    Might be able to add police militarization to the list as a slowly reforming prospect. Saginaw returned an MRAP a couple of weeks after it was publicly shamed on Oliver’s show and Obama just announced a modest set of reforms to the 1033 program (not HSA’s program which is where most of the money comes from now, just the Pentagon’s).

    If the tide turns further toward NSA reforms (or just flat out killing some of the programs by not re-authorizing them), “pictures of our junk” may be claimed as another scalp there.

    He’s been pretty busy.Report

  2. trizzlor says:

    I was all set to argue that your conclusion is too neat, but it actually does seem like interest in civil asset forfeiture peaked immediately after Oliver’s show:

  3. Kazzy says:

    I’m still not sure this is a ‘fake’ news show. A news/comedy show… sure. But what is ‘fake’ about it?Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Kazzy says:

      I agree. The Daily Show is fake news. Last Week Tonight is heavily sarcastic real news; except better than news, in that it focuses on longer-term political issues rather than just whatever happened yesterday.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I am going to dissent. People have been talking about these issues for years before John Oliver got his own show. Randly Balko made a career out of covering police over-zealousness. The New Yorker ran a major article on CAF a year or so ago. The issues have been covered in the smaller magazines, the alt weeklies, and the intellectual press, and pressure had been growing to do something.

    John Oliver shouldn’t get the credit for the change because he was the last to cover them or maybe the most major outlet to cover these issues. And New Mexico and Montana are only a drop in the bucket state-wise.Report

    • trumwill in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’m mostly with Saul. Particularly of Net Neutrality where to tide turn was already under way. I think Oliver does get more credit on asset forfeiture, but not as much as the post indicates because I think the tide was turning there, too. That One Is A Closer call, though.Report

    • He wasn’t the first person to talk about net neutrality either, not by a long shot.

      His strength isn’t being the first person to mention the issues he talks about. His strength is in popularizing them. People watch him who wouldn’t read political websites and in-depth articles.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’ll join with Katherine on this. There may have been folks who’ve talked about these issues for yeas and yeas, but there’s a point at which the tide turns. Point, Oliver. He’s also had several fingers in the current populist impulse to reduce military armaments deployed by domestic police for the purposes of “peace keeping”.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The difference is, you, me, and the rest of the dorks in the Internet who cares about public policy know who Radley Balko is. OTOH, I see multiple posts after each weekend from casual political (and even some non-political) friends who post about what Oliver has ranted about.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Also, Balko and the rest of the Reason crew are a bunch of rich white racist homophobes so we don’t have to pay any attention to them. But when John Oliver talks about it, that means it’s something that warm, empathetic, caring people ought to be concerned about.Report

  5. Meanwhile, Sepp Blatter is about to get elected to yet another term despite the fact that John Oliver has gone after him magnificently on multiple occasions. The lesson? FIFA is even more powerful than the government of the United States.Report