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John Oliver Returns to Out-News the News--by Ignoring Trump


If it were up to John Oliver, this sentence will be the last time "Last Week Tonight" and "President Donald Trump" are mentioned in the same story. It's not that he doesn't want to take on the administration. Far from it. But he also knows everyone from CNN to his former coworker Stephen Colbert is already doing that on a daily basis, and covering Trump's tweets just won't cut it for a weekly show. Instead, he's going to double down—not on the news, but on everything else.

In other words, Last Week Tonight can focus on things that matter. While cable news and online reporters struggle to report on Kellyanne Conway's most recent TV appearance or fact-check the latest Sean Spicer press conference, Oliver and his team of four researchers can quietly spend months on a single 20-minute segment about something that will be incredibly important months from now. They did that nearly a year ago when they covered the phantom menace of voter fraud, and they intend to do it again.

It just won't be about the new administration. "We're very anxious to not make it all-Trump, all the time," Oliver told a group of journalists in New York earlier this week when asked about the plans for Season 4, which launches Sunday. "During the week the obvious stuff has been taken away, the carcass has been picked clean. There's a benefit to us of being pushed into covering things that no one else in their right mind [will]."

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