Former The Daily Show correspondent and fill-in host John Oliver has been spreading his wings for three weeks now on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and in his third outing, offered an example of the benefits of pay TV. In a bit demonstrating the logical extension of today’s negative political ads, Oliver took advantage of HBO’s nudity standards by producing a mock attack ad against “old, white, wrinkled dick” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that hits the nail right on the… head.
If you liked John Oliver’s turn as The Daily Show‘s fill-in host, then Last Week Tonight is right up your alley, but Oliver’s attempt to achieve balance here may give pause to some. Oliver also produced a mock ad against McConnell’s opponent, which features Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) slaughtering coal miners with a chainsaw. There isn’t even remote equivalence between Democrats’ and Republicans’ campaign ads, but on the other hand, neither is there equivalence in the mock ads that Oliver produced.
One look at the McConnell ad and it’s pretty obvious whose side Oliver is on. No one will come away from this bit thinking that Allison Lundergan Grimes is going to slaughter coal miners, but the Mitch McConnell spot has Richter-scale resonance. Spoiler alert: the ad features an actual old, white, wrinkled dick:
If this seems a bit over-the-top (as well as below the belt), consider the context in which this ad must stand out. Oliver prefaced the bit by running down some other recent batshit campaign ads, including Joni Ernst’s threat to castrate fellow lawmakers in DC, tea party senate candidate Bob Quast’s jokey ode to blowing the balls off of whoever raped and murdered his sister, Republican congressional candidate John Stone’s (R-GA) threat to go cannon-ballistic in the House if need be, and, for some reason, a 2012 campaign ad by Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) that was, itself, the basis for a recent attack ad by gun control advocates.
Throw in tea partier J.D. Winteregg’s “electile dysfunction” ad against Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), and it’s plain to see why Oliver had to resort to showing actual tea bags in order to outdo the stranger-than-fiction crop of current Republican campaign ads.