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John Oliver on Host Gig: 'This Is Weird'

Host begins Daily Show stint with NSA bit

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 11, 2013 11:00 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Last night, John Oliver took the Daily Show host's chair for the first time, and he quickly pointed out the elephant in the room. "Let's all just acknowledge for a moment that this is weird," he said. "This looks weird; it feels weird; it even sounds weird." To make the challenge of temporarily replacing Jon Stewart even bigger, Oliver noted, he was faced with the enormous news of NSA snooping—when he had originally planned "a few harmless 'I'm British' jokes."

But he soon took on the story in a segment dubbed "Good News: You're Not Paranoid." "Thanks to a bespectacled whistleblower, we now know that the government has been actively collecting an unprecedented amount of information on that small, select group of us who either make phone calls or use the Internet. I bet the Amish are feeling pretty smug right now." As for oversight of the program, Oliver worried about the FISA Court, which didn't deny one of 1,789 surveillance requests last year. "So they never say no? It's basically American Idol with four Randy Jacksons."

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