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Politics PopWrapped | Politics

Last Week Tonight Talks RNC And Campaign Songs

Ashley Perna | PopWrapped Author

Ashley Perna

07/27/2016 7:24 am
PopWrapped | Politics
Last Week Tonight Talks RNC And Campaign Songs | Campaign songs
Media Courtesy of HBO

Last Week Tonight returned after a long three week hiatus to tackle the RNC, and the controversial use of songs in a variety of political campaigns.

Host John Oliver began by talking about the 2016 election, calling it the "3-D IMAX Shit-Fit Dumpster Fire 2016". Before jumping into one of their main segments about the Republican National Convention, Oliver discussed Monday's Democratic Convention. Things for the Democrats aren't looking good, even before the start of the convention. The chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is set to resign, after a number of DNC emails were leaked, and Hillary Clinton's pick of Tim Kaine for running mate hasn't exactly reinvigorated the party, with many reporters and political analysts calling him "boring".

Last Week Tonight also provided viewers with a Brexit update. Former Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down, and Theresa May has taken his place. Unfortunately, one of her appointments left many feeling a bit worried for the UK's future. Boris Johnson, one of the driving forces behind the "Leave" vote, was appointed as foreign secretary. He was a surprising pick, not only because of his misguided Leave campaign, but because he's not known for his intelligence. In fact, he's insulted pretty much every country on the map.

The main segment covered the Republican National Convention, or, as Oliver put it, "the most apocalyptic  thing to happen to that city and bear in mind their river has repeatedly caught fire". The convention was decidedly unconventional, with many guest speakers focusing on Donald Trump's "success" as a businessperson.

While the focus of the convention was to have been on Trump's vision and ability to manage, the convention itself was hardly a great demonstration. Oliver highlighted Melania's "partially plagiarized speech", to Ted Cruz being booed off the stage, to the allegations that Trump knew the contents of Cruz's speech and didn't care.

Oliver best summed up the entire convention as "a four day exercise in feelings over facts". No where was this emphasis more evident than in Trump's acceptance speech, which dealt more with rousing emotion than setting out any actionable policy. In fact, much of his speech was fear mongering, and when held up to fact-checking, was found to be almost completely inaccurate.

What was even more surprising, was that the Republicans were at that point to begin with. After their last election loss, the put together a report aimed at expanding the appeal of the GOP to more voters. It included passages such as:

...many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country.


...we must emphasize...the importance of a welcoming inclusive message in particular when discussing issues that relate directly to a minority group.

The surprising thing isn't that the party was trying to be more inclusive and welcoming, especially of minorities, it's that "literally everything Donald Trump has ever said and done" is in direct opposition to those goals.

Check out the segment on the RNC below.

The show's final segment discussed one more mistake made by Trump's staff - Trump's song choice for his grand entrance on Monday night: "We Are The Champions" by Queen. Queen, for those who are unaware, was an amazing band lead by Freddie Mercury, a gay man. The Republican Party has attacked gay rights time and time again, making the use of this song particularly distasteful. In addition, the band themselves didn't authorize the song's use, taking to Twitter shortly after Trump's appearance to say that the use was "unauthorised" and "against our wishes".

Trump used yet another song without the permission of the band upon the convention's closing, while dropping "an almost sarcastic amount of balloons". The song? "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones, which was almost as appropriate as it was unauthorized.

The "billionaire" has used unauthorized music throughout his campaign, some incredibly inappropriate for the situation (such as using REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" before giving a speech on the Iran Nuclear Agreement).

Many other politicians have used music without authorization, even in this electoral race alone. Mike Huckabee used "Eye Of The Tiger" without obtaining consent from Survivor, and Scott Walker found himself in hot water with the Dropkick Murphys, who tweeted "we literally hate you" after his unauthorized use of one of their songs.

In response to this wide-scale unauthorized use of their music, Oliver invited musicians to "come together and take a stand". What followed was a star-studded, and hilarious, plea for politicians to "don't use our songs".

Watch the segment below. Last Week Tonight will return next Sunday at 11:00pm on HBO.

Best Lines:

Okay, we get it. Tim Kaine is boring. He's a white gym sock pulled all the way up.

Brexit, which was the name for both the UK's decision to leave the European Union and, I'm sure, at least one baby in Brooklyn.

Now, before you laugh, you cannot say Trump isn't a visionary. For a long time he was the only one who envisioned himself as a presidential nominee. He is essentially what happens if 'The Secret' gets into the wrong hands.

This is a graph of the violent crime rate, it's not a fucking Rorschach Test. You can't infer anything you'd like from it.

He just brought a feeling to a fucking fact fight.


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