“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is run by HBO, which is owned by parent company AT&T, leading the host to spend several shows pushing the envelope of what he calls his “business daddy.”
But revelations this week revealed that AT&T helped make OAN what it is today when a staffer suggested it to the CEO. The report led Oliver to reach out and ask for clarification from the large phone company about whether they are supporting the right-wing extremism that airs daily on the network.
One example Oliver found to be the most egregious is when an OAN host claimed that they have “proof,” which they don’t, that the 2020 election was tampered with and stolen. Oliver showed the video as the host says it is an act of treason and that anyone who worked on elections should be put to death. The host was shocked, talking about “Dolores,” a sweet elderly woman who volunteers at a random polling place, is now being given the electric chair by an OAN television personality.
While OAN may be calling for mass executions and “death to Dolores,” Oliver pointed to AT&T’s clever wording that “no senior executive” suggested OAN” and that they don’t fund the network or have any editorial guidance. None of those are the issues, Oliver explained.
“They also claim that the only reason OAN was on DirectTV was that the network had sued them,” said Oliver. “Okaaaay…. I guess the largest telecom company in the world got rolled by a rag-tag band of fascists. It happens.”
According to the numbers, “OAN would be nothing without AT&T,” said Oliver. The massive phone network provided 90 percent of the network’s income. But it was the division from editorial content that got Oliver particularly excited.
“DirectTV respects the editorial independence of our channels it carries. Just as AT&T is committed to providing editorial independence for every Warner Media show — including this one,” the company said in a statement.
“That is such a relief, especially the last part because I’d like to use that generous editorial independence to offer some constructive feedback to AT&T,” Oliver quipped to enthusiastic applause from his audience.
He then proceeded to take down the company for its terrible service and absurd new “gibberish” slogan. Oliver instead suggested their new slogan be, “All the business savvy of Quibi without the courtesy of committing corporate suicide.” Another option was, “AT&T, if you run a cable network out of the back of your headquarters and plug it into T-Mobile’s network while they aren’t looking, that’s legal, right? Asking for a friend.”
He went on to tell AT&T that they are a “terrible company and you do bad things,” along with another slew of insults and attacks.
See the full takedown in the video below: