John Oliver is worried. This week, the United States dropped a 21,600-pound bomb on Afghanistan. It was the first time the bomb, dubbed the “mother of all bombs,” had been used in a combat situation, and on an episode of Last Week Tonight that aired Sunday, Oliver scrutinized the media coverage around the bombing and the commentary aired in its wake.
“Okay, now obviously there is a lot to unpack there, but let’s just take a minute and appreciate the fact that we’ve finally reached a point where mothers can be bombs,” Oliver said, displaying the hashtags “mombombs” and “feminism” on the bottom of the screen.
The bomb, which was dropped on Thursday around 7:32 p.m. local time, contained 8,000 pounds of an explosive called H6. It doesn’t compare to the scale of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it has a similar blast radius. Military experts told Inverse that the bomb was likely used as a psychological statement, and the military did not necessarily need to drop it.
Oliver played a clip from a press event where President Donald Trump was asked whether he gave authorization for the strike. Trump responded: “Everybody knows exactly what happened, and what I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world, and they’ve done a job as usual so we have given them total authorization”
“What the fuck was that?” Oliver said. “That was a yes or no question to which you vomited 38 words, none of which were yes or no, although to be fair none of them were ‘Holocaust center’ either so I guess we should be partially relieved.”
The response to the bombing from Fox & Friends, a favorite show of Trump’s, featured Geraldo Rivera dispensing strategic advice while using the analogy of days at school where he was bullied to illustrate why the bombing was a good idea.
“This is why bullying never works,” Oliver said. “If you have a bully in school, there is a good chance of turning some kid into the next Geraldo Rivera, and if you have a bully in the White House, he does violent and impulsive things that seem to be inching us closer to, among other things, potential war with North Korea.”
“If that happens, it’s gonna take an amazing piece of chocolate cake to make us forget about it,” Oliver said.
Last Week Tonight airs Sundays on HBO.