Watch the 'Last Week Tonight' host's new ad for 'The O'Reilly Factor'

By Nick Maslow
April 10, 2017 at 08:48 AM EDT
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As advertisers drop The O’Reilly Factor amid a sexual harassment scandal, John Oliver is trying to buy ad space on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program.

“To recap this story for you: Bill O’Reilly needs advertisers and Donald Trump needs to understand sexual harassment,” said Oliver on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. “And here is where we come in.”

In the wake of President Trump defending O’Reilly against sexual harassment allegations, Oliver explained that he’s produced a PSA to “educate Donald Trump to air during The O’Reilly Factor in New York and D.C.”

“We submitted it to stations on Friday, but weirdly, we haven’t heard back from them since — which is a little surprising, because we are one of the only advertisers offering to buy time on his show at the moment,” he said.

Starring Oliver’s recurring Catheter Cowboy personality, the ad highlights the dangers of sexual harassment, especially when there’s a “power disparity” between the two parties involved. “Yes, Bill O’Reilly, who scientists hypothesize is kind of a dense nebula of boner and racism, has been paying out settlements for alleged harassment for years, and the details are pretty disturbing here, with the victims claiming things like verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances, and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating,” said Oliver, summarizing a New York Times report claiming Fox News and O’Reilly have faced five sexual harassment lawsuits costing $13 million in recent years.

The report didn’t convince Trump that O’Reilly was guilty of wrongdoing. “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump told the Times on Wednesday. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

Catheter Cowboy, who helped Oliver explain the Republicans’ failed Obamacare replacement in March, ended the ad with a pointed message for Trump: “On some level, you gotta know, you’re blowing this. You’re sacrificing the chance to make society a better place on the altar of your towering ignorance and fragile ego. You are blowing this.”

Watch the clip above.

Earlier in Sunday’s episode on HBO, Oliver criticized the media’s “orgasmic” reaction to Trump’s decision to hit a Syrian air base with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Thursday. “Yes, a Syrian airfield this week was bombed by President Trump — two words that when presented in a sentence like this are as downright unsettling as ‘ham smoothie’ or ‘placenta kimono.'”

Then Oliver got serious. “But there are some serious questions that need to be answered regarding these airstrikes, which were in retaliation against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons to target his own people — which is undeniably horrific, but as many have noted, when Assad did the same thing four years ago, Trump’s reaction was significantly different,” said Oliver, noting Trump’s 2013 tweets about Syria during Barack Obama’s presidency.

“While it is natural to want to take some kind of action in response, it has to come in the context of a larger strategy or it’s close to worthless,” said Oliver, “because though the strikes seemed to make certain people feel better, what did they actually achieve?”

Oliver played news clips claiming that the air base was minimally damaged, allowing planes to take off less than 24 hours later. All things considered, Oliver is concerned, he explained: “Look, maybe a symbolic airstrike was strategically the best move for Trump, but I don’t think he’s thinking strategically, because there is no indication that he’s taken the time to answer some fairly basic questions, like: If this was a warning shot, what are we warning against? Do we only want to stop Assad using chemical weapons, or are we going to push for regime change? If he does it again, are we prepared to go to war to stop him? If so, are we prepared for how significantly this may deteriorate our relationship with Russia? And how will that affect our fight against ISIS?”

Watch the clip below.

Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.

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