HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver defended CNN’s John Acosta Sunday after he took criticism this week for beefing with White House senior policy adviser Steven Miller over President Trump’s immigration plan.
“The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer,” Acosta said at a White House press briefing last week.
“The [Emma Lazarus] poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty,” retorted Miller.
Oliver replayed the exchange and made a comparison to the movie, “The Fast and the Furious,” saying just because something wasn’t part of the original doesn’t mean it’s not part of the overall message:
“Wait, though: Just because it wasn’t part of the original does not mean it is worthless. Some of the best things ever made were changed part way through,” said the host. “Did you know, for instance, there was a time when Fast and Furious movies didn’t have ‘The Rock’ in them? It’s true, and they sucked. That’s why they added the f—ing Rock,” he quipped.
He then cautioned Trump against promoting Miller to White House communications director, criticizing the policy analyst for his age.
“That would be a lot of responsibility for Stephen Miller, a man who is — and this may be the most shocking thing you learn tonight — 31 years old. He is 31 human years old,” Oliver said, noting that Miller is the same age as the Olsen twins. “The point is, Miller is so young that there are actually videos on the internet of what he was like in high school, and, first of all — obviously, Minion — but second, the video is actually of him campaigning for student government, and it gives you a sense of what we may all be in for if he does become the new Mooch,” Oliver added.
He then unleashed his true feelings on Miller, the cherry on top of his rant.
“He is truly one of the most revolting humans — parenthesis, Minions — I have ever seen,” Oliver concluded. “You know, in a way, there is no more fitting spokesman for the Trump administration than an entitled, elitist a–hole who refuses to take responsibility for the messes he makes and who can somehow manage to pick a fight with a f—ing statue.”
Acosta has been accused of editorializing his takes on the White House and pushing for a role as a commentator rather than a reporter. A source within CNN told the Washington Examiner that Acosta’s firebrand interview style is well past the point of being an attempt to hold Trump officials accountable. Instead, it is a conscious career decision.
“He’s angling to host an opinion show,” he said. “These [White House] briefings are his auditions.”
Other CNN employees told the Examiner that Acosta’s angle is evident in that he isn’t thrilling executives with his outbursts; they could be a ploy to try to get them to change things up.
“Ugh, just ugh,” a producer said when asked about Acosta.
HBO and CNN are both owned by Time Warner.
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