Comedian John Oliver has called on people to stop “passing on b***s*** information” as Sky News celebrates its 30th birthday with hours of unprecedented access to the newsroom.
The British star, who found greater fame in the United States than in his homeland, was responding to questions about the perceived decline in trust in journalism.
“I think in the world, one of the most dangerous things we are seeing is people passing on b***s*** information,” he said.
“I think both for the news and individuals, there probably needs to be a heightened responsibility to not pass things on as fact if you are not sure that they are facts.”
He added that it was “hard to know where to begin”, but said he thought the “best thing for news in general” was “rigorous due diligence at making sure you’ve ring fenced the ground that you are standing on”.
It appears likely that Sky News Raw – behind-the-scenes live documentary coverage of Sky News – will feature in Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show after the 41-year-old revealed he was looking forward to watching it – mainly because he considers it to be a “terrible idea”.
The Birmingham-born star said it was “inevitable” that he would use it as material because it was the “worst 30th birthday present I’ve ever heard of”.
“I just can’t imagine that going smoothly,” he observed, pointing out that “people who work in news divisions swear a lot”.
Slapping his thigh, he said: “Wow. That bleeper button better have fresh batteries.”
Oliver was dubious of its entertainment value, describing it as a way to “show people that newsgathering is much more boring that you might assume.”
“It’s a lot of people on their computers and on their phones, double checking things,” he said.
:: Sky News Raw can be seen on Sky Channel 523, the Sky News app and website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter until 5pm.
(c) Sky News 2019: John Oliver: People must stop passing on ‘b***s***’ information’