On Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Sunday, the main story was about sponsored content. Specifically, Oliver fcoused on the dangers of allowing such content on local news broadcasts because viewers tend to put more trust in their local broadcast than they do in national news broadcasts. Sponsored content is often rife with misinformation, and, as Oliver showed, it’s incredibly easy and inexpensive to get it on television.
“We started a company called Venus Inventions, and created something called the Venus Veil, an absurd medical product based on technology that absolutely does not exist,” Oliver said. “We set up this website, and even hired an actress to brandigrate the s**t out of the Venus Veil into shows it had no business being on.”
While the Venus Veil was actually just a blanket, the actress the show hired made it sound like so much more when she appeared on the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“The Veil is being designed with the hope that it will precisely draw out the natural alkaline undercurrents of the vagina, and initiate a low-grade state of what we call micro-death, which sounds incredibly scary, but that's actually just restarting that area's natural life cycle,” the actress said. “It's using this field of magneto-genetics I was talking about, and also a technology that's been around for a really long time that was pioneered in Germany about 80 years ago. So this is full of cutting-edge technology, but it just looks like a blanket.”
The next station to promote the Venus Veil was another ABC affiliate, KVUE in Austin, Texas, after which Oliver lamented that it ran in the same hour of coverage as the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a shortage of lifeguards at local public schools and an investigative peace on criminal justice and bail reform.
The actress even appeared live to promote the Venus Veil on Mile High Living on the ABC affiliate in Denver, after which other media outlets were duped into reporting on the fake sexual enhancement blanket on a national, or even international, scale.
Not only was it easy to get the Venus Veil on the air, it was also fairly cheap. The Denver and Austin appearances both cost less than $3,000, and the Salt Lake City promotion was only $1,750. And Oliver had a question for the owners of stations that allow sponsored content, quoting retired New York anchor Sue Simmons, who was once caught on a hot mic at an inopportune time.
“So to the owners of these stations who are selling them out at a depressingly cheap price, I have a simple question,” Oliver said. “If I may quote the words of a very wise news anchor: The f**k are you doing?”
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