Watch John Oliver Talk About Internet Headlines and Then Hit a Piñata With a Stick

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 25 2014 11:59 AM

Watch John Oliver Talk About Internet Headlines and Then Hit a Piñata With a Stick

oliver

John Oliver usually uses his series Last Week Tonight as a platform to discuss serious issues: the American prison system, predatory lending, the militarization of police, income inequality. But in a brief bit published to the Web on Sunday, he shifted his focus to a far less insidious threat: piñatas. More specifically, Oliver used what he calls “the Trojan donkeys of diabetes” to illustrate the silliness of the hyperbolic headlines Internet writers often employ to describe his weekly segments.

“The internet does not know how to describe things anymore,” he laments, taking it upon himself to show the Internet what it would look like if he treated his subjects as violently as headline action-verbs tend to imply. It’s a target ripe for ridicule, and Oliver takes every opportunity: “What happens at the two-minute mark of this video,” he promises, “will amaze you.”

Advertisement

For the record, here are all the verbs we have used in headlines here at Slate when sharing Oliver’s videos, of which we are quite fond: explain (three times), hatesing, speaks, and (the crucial one) watch

Eliza Berman is a writer in New York. Follow her on Twitter

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.