John Oliver, host of the HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” announced that he had purchased an ad on the Fox News show “Hannity,” directly targeting President Donald Trump. His ad will support the Iran nuclear deal and mock National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Oliver called the Iran deal a “huge achievement,” adopting the rhetoric of former President Barack Obama and the Left that the deal would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. He then noted that President Trump, Bolton, and “Hannity” host Sean Hannity all oppose the deal because it cannot realistically prevent the Islamic theocracy from developing such weapons.
“Unless Congress or our European allies figure out something that they can sell to Trump as some kind of ‘fix,’ it seems that he is going to reimpose sanctions on May 12, and if he does that, this deal would collapse, and the damage of that would be longterm and potentially irreversible,” Oliver said. He suggested that reversing the Iran deal would alienate moderate Iranians and damage U.S. credibility on the world stage, perhaps even undermining the North Korea negotiations.
Iranians are already fed up with their government — which has engaged in torturing women who refuse to wear face veils — and a sort of revolution took place in Iran at the end of last year. The Iran deal sent more money into the hands of the regime in exchange for mere promises. That money helped prop up the wealthy elites and fostered anger among others in Iran. If anything, moderate Iranians would probably be happy to see the U.S. again freeze the regime’s assets.
Furthermore, Trump’s opposition to the Iran deal has been clear since the 2016 election. His similar muscling with North Korea has arguably helped bring that rogue regime to the table. Rather than helping the negotiations with North Korea, Trump’s caving on the Iran deal would weaken his aggressive stance on the world scene and possibly undermine his efforts with North Korea.
Even so, Oliver announced that he had actually given a great deal of money to Fox News in order to reach President Trump with a pro-Iran deal message. His ad featured a cowboy who uncritically stated that Obama’s Iran deal would secure ten years without a nuclear weapon, while rejecting the deal would result in “zero years,” and that “zero is much less than ten.”
Hypothetically, if the Iran deal truly were the silver bullet Obama and Oliver suggest it is, Trump would not erase the 10-year figure by reversing the deal three years into its implementation. The comparison should not be between ten and zero, but ten and three.
Oliver’s ad did not stop there, however. The cowboy also mocked Bolton, saying, “Also, do you really want to listen to a guy with a mustache like this?”
The HBO host has purchased ads on Fox before. His earlier spots featured a “catheter cowboy” in a smug attempt to educate the president about the nuclear triad and the “necessity” of healthcare subsidies.
Perhaps ironically, Oliver’s decision to advertise on Fox News — and especially on “Hannity” — proves a smart market decision. In the first quarter of 2018, “Hannity” took the crown in the Nielsen ratings, and Fox News had four of the top five prime time television news shows. Even during MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s interview with former FBI Director James Comey, Fox News beat MSNBC in prime time last Thursday.
Watch Oliver’s ad below. It starts around the 20 minute mark.