- Jon Stewart: I'm joined now by Senior Comparative Presidential Historian, John Oliver. Uh, Bush and Lincoln? Clearly the pundits are trying to make that comparison. Is this a fair comparison?
- John Oliver: It's not a comparison at all, Jon. It's an opening bid. The first salvo by the President in the negotiation over where he'll rank among his predecessors. Obviously, he's starting high. He knows he's not going to GET Lincoln; it's just part of the game. Bush opens with Lincoln; America comes back with Harding. Bush says, "Harding? You're killing me here! I'm at least Eisenhower!" America says, "I'm sorry, we can't go any higher than Hoover." And so on and so forth, until we all settle on something in the low "Van Buren" range.
- Jon Stewart: Are there any similarities, historically, between Bush and Lincoln?
- John Oliver: There are some, Jon. Both men presided over civil wars. One ours and historically inevitable; one someone else's and ridiculously evitable. Both men suspended the writ of habeas corpus, although Lincoln did mention it publicly. And, of course, both weren't afraid of the grand gesture: we all remember Lincoln on the deck of the U.S.S. Monitor hailing the end of Civil War combat operations three years before the South actually surrendered.
- The Daily Show, 1/10/2007, re: the media coverage surrounding President Bush's plan to send 20,000 more troops into Iraq
- Jon Stewart: But John, pardon me but that sounds like Bullshit!
- John Oliver: Bullshit? Or is it Bull-fact?
- The Daily Show, April 2007
- John Oliver: Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you: this is not writing. I have absolutely no idea how this sentence I'm currently saying is going to finish. When and if it does, I can only hope it makes some kind of coherent ceramic pineapple.
- The Daily Show, 1/07/2008, referring to the current writer's strike.
- John Oliver: These guys are the '27 Yankees of dodging questions. The '55 Dodgers of yanking congresses chain. [...] Jon, this is once in a generation bullshit.
- The Daily Show, July 22, 2008. On government response at Congressional Hearings)
Terrifying Times, 2008Edit
- John Oliver: Many people would argue that the most dangerous inhabitant of the earth is currently the self styled 43rd president of the United States. Not so much in deed anymore as in word. Because to hear that man speak is to wish upon yourself physical harm.
- John Oliver: I started looking into these groups in America, campaigns groups who want to put stickers on the front of all school science text books saying that Evolution is only one possible theory of life on earth. Now, although this seems like a stupid idea at first, second, and thirty ninth glance, look at it once more. Give it that fortieth view. Because it's brilliant. Let's have stickers on the front of all books! Slap one on the front of the Bible saying "Of course this could all be bullsh*t. Maybe he never died! Perhaps he opened a donkey sanctuary. He had a clear bond with donkeys." Or slap one on the Theory of Gravity! "Look, thats just one man's opinion. Maybe we could all fly! R. Kelly believed it so. Why would he lie to us? What does he possibly stand to gain?"
- John Oliver: But if you think it's going to get any better, let me burst that bubble of optimism now because I was fortunate enough last year to be invited to the First Republican Presidential Candidate Debate in Simi Valley in California, which, interestingly, was exactly as much fun as it sounds. But it was, obviously a privilege to be there and I did get to witness one incredible moment of political theater when all, at that point, ten of the potential leaders of the free world were asked the same question. And that question was "Who here doesn't believe in evolution?" And three of those men raised their hands. And then none of those three men put their hands down and said "Only joking." And their confidence was seductive!
- John Oliver: The world's become so horrifying now. It's too easy to become cynical about things and that's not fair and it doesn't work. And in fact, there is hope for the world. And it is in the form of Wikipedia. Now Wikipedia will save us all. I found this out when recently a friend of mine emailed me and he said that someone had created a Wikipedia entry about me. I didn't realize this was true, so I looked it up. And like most Wikipedia entries, it came with some flamboyant surprises, not least amongst them my name. Because in it it said my name was John Cornelius Oliver. Now my middle name is not Cornelius because I did not die in 1752. But obviously, I wanted to be. Cornelius is an incredible name. And that's when it hit me --the way the world is now, fiction has become more attractive than fact. That is why Wikipedia is such a vital resource. It's a way of us completely rewriting our history to give our children and our children's children a much better history to grow up with. We seem to have no intention of providing them with a future. Let's at least give them a past. It is in a very real sense the least we can do.
Last modified on 13 August 2013, at 14:44