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  1. #1
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    'Whoopty funken do': The Daily Show to John Howard

    "WHOOPTY f------ do".

    You don't usually hear language like that in an interview with former prime minister John Howard, but the US Comedy Channel's Daily Show does not play by the rules.
    Colourful language and absurd leaps of logic were centrepiece in a satirical segment on gun control, broadcast on Saturday, where Mr Howard and US gun rights activist Philip Van Cleave were interviewed.

    After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, the Howard government introduced sweeping gun laws which removed millions of guns from circulation and there has not been a mass shooting since.

    But in the segment, Mr Cleave argues it’s just a mathematical blip.
    "(The laws) stopped one thing. That could also be a statistical anomaly," Mr Cleave said.

    "Yeah, it was just their mass shootings disappeared," Mr Oliver deadpanned in reply.
    "But there were so few of them,” Mr Cleave says. “Whoop de do."
    When Mr Howard points out there had been 13 mass shootings in the 18 years before Port Arthur, and rattles off statistics about how the suicide rate plummets, Mr Oliver says to him: "Whoopty f---ing do."

    Mr Howard has been vocal in US media about his government's crackdown on firearms this year.

    After the December 14 Sandy Hook massacre where 20 American children and six adults were murdered by a gunman, the former prime minister penned an opinion piece for The New York Times about the Australian gun control experience.
    "After this wanton slaughter, I knew that I had to use the authority of my office to curb the possession and use of the types of weapons that killed 35 innocent people," Mr Howard wrote. "I also knew it wouldn't be easy."

    Laws that would ban assault weapons and impose criminal background checks on most firearms sold in the United States were blocked by the US senate last week.
    Mr Oliver sparked controversy when he referred to Australia as "most comfortably racist" last week.


    Read more: 'Whoopty f------ do': The Daily Show to John Howard | News.com.au

    US show uses Howard to embarrass gun lobby


    Popular satirical news program The Daily Show has used an interview with former Australian prime minister John Howard to embarrass the powerful US gun lobby.

    The interview, conducted by reporter John Oliver, focused on the gun reforms Howard introduced after the Port Arthur mass shooting of 1996.

    But there were so few [shootings in Australia before 1996]. Whoopty do!

    Oliver caused a stir last week when he described Australia as "comfortably racist" in his Bugle podcast.


    The Daily Show interviewer John Oliver, left, with gun lobbyist Philip Van Cleave.
    In the first of his Australian segments, which aired on Foxtel's Comedy Channel last Friday, he interviewed American gun lobbyist Philip Van Cleave.

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    Van Cleave said he is opposed to bans on assault weapons, increased background checks and one-hour waiting periods when buying guns.

    "At the end of the day, none of it works," he told Oliver.

    Oliver countered that Australia's sweeping gun reforms had been very effective, to which Van Cleave said: "I guess if we're going to go to Planet X and say, 'It's not the United States. It's some other planet: different people, different everything' ... but in the real world, with human beings, it's not going to work and gun control isn't going to work."



    John Howard on Gun Control. from John Beohm on Vimeo.



    Oliver then played his interview with Howard, which he described last week as "an experience he didn't seem to enjoy to his maximum capacity".

    "Obviously gun control doesn't work," Oliver told Howard. "It can't work, it will never work – so how was your scheme a failure?"

    "Well, my scheme was not a failure," Howard replied. "We had a massacre at a place called Port Arthur 17 years ago and there have been none since."

    When Oliver relayed this statement to Van Cleave, he dismissed it as a "statistical anomaly".

    "Yeah, it was just that [Australia's] mass shootings disappeared," Oliver continued.

    "But there were so few [shootings in Australia before 1996]," Van Cleave responded. "Whoopty do!"

    Oliver then showed him footage of Howard explaining that in the 18 years before Port Arthur, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings. Since the gun reforms of 1996, there have been none. Homicides and suicides involving guns have also declined significantly.

    Van Cleave retorted that Australia "still has murders, rapes and robberies last I checked", to which Oliver said: "Unless you can get rid of 100 per cent of crime, it's not worth doing anything at all?"

    At this point, Van Cleave began digging himself into a hole.

    "Well, put it this way," he said. "It's illegal to have crack cocaine anywhere in the United States. You think if somebody really wants it, they can get their hands on crack cocaine in America?"

    Oliver: "So unless we can completely get rid of drugs, there's no point in having drug laws at all?"

    Looking confused and embarrassed – and realising he was inadvertently advocating that illicit drugs be made legal – Van Cleave said: "Let me think about that for a minute. Um, well, effectively, it doesn't work."

    "You can't argue with Philip," Oliver told viewers. "Even his logic is bulletproof."

    But Van Cleave persisted, trying to save himself with an analogy involving swimming pools.

    "There are more drownings in backyards where they have swimming pools," he said. "If they don't have a pool, there are no drownings in backyards, OK? So if the US has a very high number of guns, therefore, there's going to be more chances for somebody to be killed with a gun."

    Oliver: "Right.

    Van Cleave: "Right."

    Oliver: "Right. That's my point."

    The Daily Show airs 7pm weeknights on Foxtel's Comedy Channel.



    Read more: Daily Show uses John Howard to embarrass gun lobby

    The video is hilarious, worth watching.

  2. #2
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    One of the few things Howard did that I respect him for.

    One thing he DIDN'T do was to give Australians decent Internet service. I think he thought is was just a passing fad, and people would eventually go back to writing letters..

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles
    One thing he DIDN'T do was to give Australians decent Internet service.
    It's not his job.

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    That was a great Daily Show.

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    John Oliver did three segments on gun control over three weeks. The best bit was the same question to two different politicians (and I paraphrase):

    Question: What is the main job of a politician?

    Australian answer: To help people who need help.

    American answer: To get re-elected.


  6. #6
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Have to wonder if the stunned look on John Oliver's face, when some of his questions are answered, is part of the act or if he is really that shocked. Never can tell they way those pieces are cut.

    Noticed he will be taking over Jon Stewart's seat on The Daily Show when Stewart leaves the show for a few weeks during the summer. He is a good choice for that job.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles
    One thing he DIDN'T do was to give Australians decent Internet service.
    It's not his job.
    It's not the governments job to improve infrastructure ??


    All the years of growth oz has had and still no decent Internet - though they talk about it in parliament everyday- crappy roads, and no decent rail service connecting major cities...

    I'm no expert willy, but I really wonder where all of the money went ........ Besides the obvious - 'benifits' for those who don't work for a living...

  8. #8
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    John Howard is like a Farang telling a Thai a better way to do it. If he's lucky he will only get ignored.

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