John Oliver Explains Why The Orlando Shooter Failed In A Powerful Segment
In a powerful introduction to his June 12 episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver responded to Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed in what is being described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Oliver is usually all snark and satire, but last night he seemed to feel what so many of us are right now: Simply dumbfounded by the horror of what happened, and all too aware of the inadequacy of words to respond to this devastating act of violence. Although nothing can soften the profound tragedy of the killings, Oliver points out that, in one key way, the killer has failed: Though the crimes themselves were acts of hatred, people’s responses in the wake of the killings have shown intense love.
“Right now, this just hurts,” Oliver tells his audience. He seems acutely aware of the incongruity of hosting a comedy show after the horrific events that occurred in Orlando in the early hours of June 12. “The worst thing is, this pain is so familiar,” he continues.
In Paris last November, terrorists seemed to target places symbolizing everything that is wonderful about France—culture, music, restaurants. And in Orlando earlier this morning, a gunman attacked a Latin night at a gay club in the theme park capital of the world. And for the record, I will happily embrace a Latin night at a gay club at the theme park capital of the world as the ultimate symbol about what is truly wonderful about America.
“I’m sure there will be much more to say about Orlando going forward,” he says, “but for right now, on a day when some dipsh*t terrorist wants us to focus on one man’s act of brutality and hatred, it might be worth seeing this video, which was posted to Twitter today.” He plays a clip posted by Florida-based writer Steve Helling, showing more than 600 people waiting in line to donate blood.
“[The video] shows hundreds and hundreds of people this morning lining up around the block in Florida waiting to donate blood,” Oliver explains. “And it kind of reminds you that that terrorist dipsh*t is vastly outnumbered.”