When HBO host John Oliver blasted the Federal Communications Commission in a June rant that went viral, he managed to educate masses about the dense issue of net neutrality while also entertaining. Even the government employees he was poking fun at couldn’t help laughing, according to newly disclosed FCC emails.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Verge, the FCC has turned over a number of emails sent between employees relating to Oliver’s rant on “Last Week Tonight” in early June. The comedian delved into just how boring the ongoing debate is before criticizing U.S. President Obama for appointing Tom Wheeler, a former telecommunications lobbyist, as the FCC chairman. The decision was akin to appointing a dingo to guard a baby, Oliver said, while also ripping Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and calling “bullshit” after playing an email clip from telecom lawyer George Foote.
None of this escaped the FCC’s notice, with former FCC special envoy Deborah Taylor getting in touch with her old colleagues to highlight Oliver’s video. With a free-verse email she highlighted Commissioner Michael O’Reilly’s mention as well as the idea of paid prioritization being equivalent to a mafia shakedown:
Comm O was on a comic show
Last week tonight
He should watch it!!!
June 3. 930 pm
Mob shakedown etc goes on for 20 mini
Comcast stories etc
Called Wheeler a dingo
Who watches this?
Brian Roberts also lambasted also
The full FOIA disclosure as provided by the Verge is included below.