John Oliver's Ad Campaign Has Target Audience of One: Trump

TV host hopes catheter-selling cowboy can inform president on nuclear triad
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2017 7:37 AM CST

Betsy DeVos may now head up the Department of Education, but John Oliver has appointed himself educator in chief for the commander in chief. During the first show of his fourth season of Last Week Tonight on Sunday, the comedian and late-night host announced plans to keep President Trump in the know by reaching him "where he watches": via ads on cable TV, per the New York Times. "How did we get a pathological liar in the White House?" Oliver asked, before calling for "defining the reality of facts"—which on his end means running the Trump-enlightening spots that at first glance resemble a cowboy selling catheters during early-morning cable news shows the president may watch, including Fox News' Fox & Friends, CNN's New Day, and MSNBC's Morning Joe, Variety reports.

But the commercials won't be hawking catheters: They'll be promoting basic information from the "Being President 101" primer, on subjects including the nuclear triad and the makeup of urban areas—subjects Oliver fears the current president may not have totally mastered. "We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it was a sunny day," Oliver noted about Trump's Inauguration Day claim, adding, "Trump's reality can change within a single sentence." Oliver's new ads, the first of which he says will air Monday, follow in the tradition of what the Times calls his "quirky advocacy" over the last three seasons of his show, where he often implored viewers to take political action via their pens, computers, and wallets. (Oliver's Brexit rant was epic.)

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