Watch John Oliver Call Out All Of Western Media For Ignoring The Largest Elections Ever

“The last time you heard a rags-to-riches story about a tea-selling Indian kid, you threw a fucking Oscar at it.”

1. Last Week Tonight, John Oliver’s highly anticipated late-night talk show, premiered on HBO yesterday.

HBO / Via

2. And he spent nearly 10 minutes of it lambasting American and British mainstream media for what he considers a grave error: ignoring the ongoing Indian elections.


3. He pulled out half a globe, demonstrating that Western media outlets pretend the Eastern hemisphere doesn’t even exist.

4. He summarized the electoral process, comparing it to the United States in its simplicity, and pointing out several other compelling reasons the world should care.

5. First and foremost: its scale and global importance.

6. But also all the weird twists and brilliant innovations that it has dealt to the regular democratic election process.

7. Oliver gave easily digestible descriptions of the candidates, beginning by talking about prime ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi.

8. And then, while telling the front-runner Narendra Modi’s life story, he pointed out the media’s ludicrous behavior with this hilarious comparison:

9. Oliver hinted to HitFix in an interview last week that this, and other international stories, would be a focus of the show.

“If something happens at the start of the week and it’s been picked apart then I think we’ll be gravitating away from that story and doing something else. Generally we might look internationally to stories. We very nearly did a big section on the Indian election this week that was the biggest exercise in democracy in human history. It’s a big deal, but not so big of a deal that you could tell from any coverage whatsoever over here… It’s hard to overstate. More people are going to vote than voted in the last six U.S. elections combined, and yet there’s something about that tantalizing pinging plane that is pertinent to lazy journalism.”

10. Watch the hilarious, informative, and completely spot-on segment in full here:

11. Never change, John Oliver.

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Rega Jha is the editor of BuzzFeed India and is based in Mumbai.
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