My problem with John Oliver in a nutshell

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

The article John Oliver, Dustin Hoffman have heated exchange over sexual harassment claims illustrates exactly why we should be very careful of whom we let carry our flag for us. Many people like John Oliver because he generally punches upward and he’s quite funny. His schtick is wearing a little thin, but he’s still pretty funny.

He took some time off of obsessing over every detail of Donald Trump’s life recently to interview Dustin Hoffman about sexual allegations.[1] When Hoffman said that “it didn’t happen the way she reported”, Oliver responded,

“It’s that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off. It is reflective of who you were. You’ve given no evidence to show that it didn’t happen. (Emphasis added.)”

Does Oliver even understand that he’s switched the burden of proof? That Hoffman is, in Oliver’s eyes, guilty until he can prove himself innocent?

When Hoffman asked Oliver, “Do you believe this stuff you’re reading?”, Oliver replied in the affirmative “because she would have no reason to lie.”

Oliver got his heart’s cockles warmed when someone yelled from the crowd “Thank you for believing women.”

Ah, a faith-based justice system. What could possibly go wrong?[2]

From the article Moral Market Suasion And Made-Up Law by Scott H. Greenfield (Simple Justice)

“For the moment, we’re under mob rule, and the mob has gone nuts. Seventy-five-year-old Garrison Keillor* will be disappeared by Minnesota Public Radio? Taub attempts to bring proportionality into the mix, while being an apologist for culpability based on anything that offends a woman, and thus flagrantly distorting law while pretending to apply it, But the mob doesn’t care. The mob doesn’t think. The mob has no conscience. Just blind, irrational fury and outrage.”

[1] NB: I’ve taken the citations from the article and have not actually watched the video. I didn’t want to.
[2] Perhaps we can pick our modern-day Torquemada (Wikipedia) by Twitter poll.