The future of political satire is brighter than ever

With the retirement of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert from their comedy shows, many of us feared the loss of sharp political satire. But while The Daily Show itself has struggled to find its footing with its new host, alumni Samantha Bee and John Oliver, and also Seth Meyers, have been terrific in picking up the mantle. Of the three, Bee is the most consistently funny but all are analytical and informative.
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John Oliver on Brexit

On Thursday, the United Kingdom votes to see if it continues to be part of the European Union or leaves, the latter position being known as ‘Brexit’, a neologism that is a combination of ‘Britain’ and ‘exit’. I don’t really know much about the pros and cons of the issue except that the worst elements of British politics like the political party UKIP want a vote in favor of Brexit.
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The silly fuss over teleprompters

Of all the silly things that people in politics make a fuss of, one of the silliest is the use of a teleprompter. Somehow not using it when giving talks is considered admirable while using one is seen as a weakness. Some people are more skilled at using it than others and president Obama is particularly adept and yet that very skill has been used against him, as if it is a sign that he cannot think on his feet, whereas he has convincingly proved that he can at unscripted events like interviews and at press conferences.
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Parody of any TED talk

I have been getting increasingly disenchanted with TED talks. I keep getting sent links to them by people because the speaker supposedly says something interesting but quite often I find the talks to consist of overhyping something banal or exercises in self-promotion. I hear that the speakers are extensively coached and assisted in giving polished presentations which may explain why the talks seem to impress people more than is perhaps warranted.
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The debt recovery racket

On his show Last Week Tonight focused his attention on the dubious business of debt collection in which people’s debts to some institution are sold cheaply by that institution to agencies that then try and strong-arm people into paying them back, even if the debts have expired. Oliver shows how easy it is to set up a company that can purchase the debts of people.
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