John Oliver is on a hot streak of publicly shaming people who deserve public shaming. This week, he set his sights on the owner of a football team.
The U.S. Patent Office just announced the Washington team would be losing its trademark for being disparaging to Native Americans. That's a step in the right direction.
Now if only more people would share this so people could know why it's a really good idea for a change. Maybe the public scrutiny would teach the Washington team's owner that he needs a little bit more compassion in his life. (And besides, he could milk the hell out of the rebranding and get lots of good press.)
John Oliver:Finally, this week, the President made a long overdue trip.
Brian Williams: President Obama focused on the struggles of Native Americans today. He made a visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. With his visit today, he becomes only the fourth sitting president ever to visit an Indian reservation.
John Oliver: That is pretty amazing. Only the fourth sitting president to visit ever. I mean, technically, if you count non-sitting presidents then Andrew Jackson did visit a lot, but you really shouldn't count that. He did visit, but you shouldn't count it. During the visit, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced they'd be making $70 million available to improve tribal housing conditions, including money for mold removal to which the Native Americans presumably said, "Oh, finally! OK, we are officially square. It was touch and go for a few centuries there, but at the end of the day all we wanted was our mold removed."
Actually, there is one other thing the Native Americans wouldn't mind if we did and it concerns the football team for some reason not yet formally known as the Washington Redskins. They still haven't changed their name despite the launch just this week of a new, emotionally powerful advertizing campaign.
Narrator: Seminole, Seneca, Mohawk, and Creek. Mills, Will Rogers, Geronimo. Unyielding, strong, indomitable. Native Americans call themselves many things. The one thing they don't ...
John Oliver: Wow. I mean, for the average American that ad should target 1/16th of your heartstrings and make the rest feel extremely guilty. The strongest possible pushback you can have after watching something amazing like that is, "Yeah, but... you're right, you're right. We've got to change the name. You're right". But one person remains unmoved and unfortunately he is the only one that matters.
Reporter: Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, has held firm under some protest that he will not change the nickname of his team.
Reporter: "Washington Redskins is more than a name we have called our football team for over eight decades. It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect."
John Oliver: Oh, well, that's fine then. I had no idea you had an ancient, eight-decade history at stake here. You are clearly a proud people who have suffered greatly. Please accept my apologies, oh Chief Runs Without Moral Compass. It's getting increasingly hard to make a good argument for keeping the Washington Redskins' name. If only there were some emotionally affecting way to convey that.
Narrator: There are many positions that can be defended. Steven Tyler still got it. Cauliflower is the king of vegetables. Camping is actually fun. Music you never tire of? Mariachi. Weasels make the cutest pets. You should leave that fourth voicemail. Every flight needs more babies. If you don't learn to play the recorder, you're fucked. Philadelphia is the cultural capital of America. If you want to get laid, become a magician. Nancy Grace seems nice. But the one position that can't be defended is this.