John Oliver Laughs at ‘Cluelessness’ of CNN Host Pointing Out 1860s Were Bad for Women – to a Black Man

“I mean it’s true, but also, maybe not the worst thing people didn’t have the right to do back then!” the HBO host jokes


John Oliver is among the many who are disgusted by Arizona lawmakers’ choice to reinforce a Civil War-era abortion ban, but the “Last Week Tonight” host did have a good laugh at one CNN anchor’s attempt to explain specifically why it was bad.

As part of his first segment of the Sunday night show, Oliver noted how “horrifying” the potential consequences of the law are, especially considering the legislation itself comes from “an era when doctors prescribed — and this is true — chloroform for asthma, cocaine for hay fever and tobacco smoke enemas for cholera.”

But the host chuckled at CNN host Jim Acosta’s attempt to point just how bad the Civil War era was to a Republican strategist on his show — specifically, a Black man.

“Do you really want states going back to Civil War-era laws on reproductive freedom?” the anchor asked. “I mean, women didn’t even have the right to vote at that point.”

“I mean, Jim I don’t want states going back to pre-Civil War on any issue, for obvious reasons here, right?” the strategist shot back with a laugh, prompting Acosta to realize what he’d said, and reply “point taken.”

“Yeah, I hope the point is taken,” Oliver said after the clip ended, restraining laughter. “I love the cluelessness of looking at a Black man and saying that the 1860s were bad because women didn’t have the right to vote. I mean it’s true, but also, maybe not the worst thing people didn’t have the right to do back then!”

Elsewhere in the segment, Oliver torched Republicans for loudly bragging about overturning Roe v Wade for as long as they have, and even touting this potential law by name, only to then try and backpedal when they faced backlash after it was reinstated.

“Republicans own this. They got what they wanted — overturned Roe v Wade — and now, they have to deal with the consequences of that, which hopefully will be rightfully furious constituents turning them out of office.”

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” airs on Sunday nights on HBO.


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