Watch: John Oliver on the Pasty Conservative Bureaucrats Destroying American Democracy

One of the joys of this year in television has been HBO’s Last Week with John Oliver, the satirical take on the news that has generated a new genre some have dubbed “investigative comedy.”


Oliver and his talented team of writers and producers have given viewers some of the most cogent and pointed commentary on America anywhere in the media. They have tackled at length such difficult subjects as drone warfare, Net neutrality and civil forfeiture, among others, and have done so with a mix of wit and creativity that can make the most brain-numbing yet important issues understandable — and funny.

Last night’s penultimate show for the year took on two topics close to the heart ofMoyers & Company: the power of state legislatures (“Increasingly, they’re the places where most legislation is actually taking place”) and the pernicious influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC. That’s the “conservative bill mill,” in Oliver’s words, funded by corporations and such wealthy individuals as the Koch brothers to generate right-wing, pro-business lawsin statehouses all across the country.

On Last Week, Oliver said, “All those conspiracy theories about a shadow government are actually true. Only it’s not a group of billionaires meeting in a mountain lair in Zurich, it’s a bunch of pasty bureaucrats meeting in a windowless committee room in Lansing, Michigan.” See for yourself – but be aware that as usual, some of the language is NSFW.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close