Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators

Hello America. I'm Mohammad, aka "FNU Mohammad," and this is my first post on reddit. Here is a petition we have made to help my family. @LeaveNoOne

P.S. Soon we will schedule an AMA for me to answer your questions. I want to thank all Americans who have helped me, my family, and my country. And please spare Smoke! It's not his fault.

This is my favorite segment he's done so far. It was like a well painted picture of BS. This is the kind of Journalism I wish was omnipresent in media today

I just created a petition to help support people like Mohammed. Please consider signing your name to this petition.

First one I've actually felt my eyes watering at. When he actually brought out Fnu, I got a severe lump in my throat. Obviously you can understand an issue intellectually but seeing the man in the same room as the host... this is a seriously amazing piece of journalism

This is the first time I didn't laugh at one of his segments. I just couldn't. It's so fucked up and rage inducing and I'm much more pissed than I should be.

This is a real news segment.

He has some of the best writers on tv. Sadly this is so much better than any real news segment out there.

his closing comment about deep gratitude mixed with profound shame was pretty acute. Really moving.

wishing he could "buy him too" was heart breaking

This episode really made it clear to me but for anyone who doesn't realize already, Oliver's show is not the typical news-style comedy, but a call to action with little to no political bias diluting the facts… brilliance, brilliance is what it is

yeah especially that bit about his dad being killed. That really welled up my eyes.

UK Mirror -

These are the things Reddit needs to rally behind. Where the force of 50,000 voices can force an answer. Not some bullshit Death Star, but the lives of heroes and their families.

idk... that donkey part was pretty funny when the general was talking about the donkey.....

Its so fucked up and theyre so oblivious to how fucked up that is its amazing

Very powerful stuff. Heartbreaking at times :( Oliver is doing a fantastic job.

You know what really pisses me off.

This fucking cover of Rolling Stone magazine which calls him 'the angrist man in fake news.' Fake? Are you kidding me? He's way more relevant and reports how things really are which is way better than the full news outlets. He talks about policies and current events that are fucked up and needs attention, not just 'Ebola' coverage and poll ratings.

That was depressing. I mean, John Oliver pick a lot of themes that are quite serious and put it in a way you laugh at it, but I find it really hard to laugh this time, because this is just wrong.

Done and done. Thank you.

yes...mainstream news is the satire now-a-days

And he said it so matter-of-factly, no drama just truth, and that makes the horror of knowing what he must have been through, what he will always carry, all the more real.

How he toes the line between laughter and tears is amazing. I don't laugh easily, nor cry often, but he had me rolling with laughter and crying like a little girl 3 seconds later. Not many ppl in the media can do that.

To Smoke's defense, US governement doesn't need to check a donkey's background nor worry about it being a spy. Anyway, although FNU showed up on the show, I don't think his application has been approved. (Otherwise, they would have mentioned it.) Regardless, I think it's great that FNU got the attention he needs, which may help him along the way.

Through personal experience, I know how complicated and troublesome the process of citizenship applications can be. They ask detailed things like travel records (with exact dates and locations) for the past 10 years, they may even ask your sex life with your wife during interviews(/interrogations), or which drawer your underwears are stored... But on the other hand, I understand they have to run some background check and prevent frauds.

I always thought US citizenship can be granted to people who have extrodinary talents or contributions, can't they apply that to cases like this?

I felt terrible for him. As he was speaking, you could see his eyes starting to water, and it looked like he spent the entire interview fighting back tears.

Canada and Britain have similar programs and both seem to be just as unsuccessful. Canada isn't saying how many interpreters they've brought into the country, so my guess is it's not good. Britain is in a similar boat and people are waiting years for a 5 year visa.

They should have been on that plane home with the troops. I understand precautions, especially with that area of the world, but when they are risking their lives for the coalition forces I think that gives them a pass. This guy genuinely seemed like a good guy who carries no hatred for America, his family should be here too.

Smoke, you Hee-Hawing piece of shit!

This dude is powerful. Way to kick ass, John.

edit I am not Jimmy Fallon, I am okay with H. I just forget about it sometimes, like my kids at the mall.

And you could tell he was about to well up before Oliver jumped in with his last question.

I think people in America too often forget the humanity of people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I felt pretty emotional when he explained how his father was very supportive about him helping out the US forces.


No one mentioned this yet, but the doc they show is online. So here is a link to Ben Anderson's on the subject (vice news). Also, he wrote a book about it with a lot of transcripts of what the translators had to say, free download here.

This show's tagline should be: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, one more thing our country sucks dick at, and how fucking simple it would be to remedy that."

I think that analogy was more convoluted than the situation itself...

He mentioned the Guam solution to all the problems you just said. A temporary checkpoint while screening is done so people don't get murdered while waiting.

It's well researched it's sourced it's contextual it's relavent it's educational and it's professional.

Just because this doesn't align with your political agenda, doesn't mean that it's not newsworthy. Bias is an easy accusaion to throw out when you don't have anything else to stand on. And this is a very important distinction which doesn't get made nearly enough. Having a perspective is fine, enlightening even to the facts at hand. Having a bias means you cling to that perspective /regardless/ of what the facts are.

this petition needs to be posted everywhere

Your story is truly moving, I am sorry you have had to go through such awful times. Signed and passed on to my friends.

Deep gratitude and shame... Well put, John.

I'm not sure how being a spy would be relevant. If he's just coming to the United States to live and work, it isn't as if he would have access to future military strategies or secrets. For that matter, your average Joe "Born in the US" American doesn't have access to any information that one can't find on the public internet either.

Regarding your other point -- no, citizenship can't be granted instantly to the talented (it's a visa category for people who are classified as leaders in their field, so like Nobel prize winners, star athletes, billionaire entrepreneurs, notable statesmen) but they can be instantly streamlined to permanent residency. AFAIK they then have to take the citizenship exam just like any other permanent resident.

The issue is that these translator visas have the same amount of paperwork as "normal" visas -- which is fine if you're in a country that isn't a warzone, but it becomes a serious undertaking to inconspicuously fill out all those forms and gather all those pieces of identification when the Taliban is specifically hunting down collaborators.

When you upload it on Youtube, sometimes it will get flagged as people having to be over 18 to view it. So the censoring is probably for that.

The best investigative news reporting on television

Some people are just not good at metaphors...

Good morning friends. I just wanted to give you all a heads up that my AMA is scheduled for tomorrow at 5pm EST. I will post the AMA at 4:30pm to start taking your questions. Thank you again! I'm hoping that all of your support will help me bring my family to safety. - Mohammad

What part of GUAM did you not understand? And actually, most translators (terps) go through vetting already, to get to be translators. Nobody goes through some of the shit they do, because they're after something else. Most see it as either honest work, or else do it out of a sense of duty, or responsibility and see a chance to make things better.

And, actually, having gained various levels of clearance in several countries, this is still an excessively onerous system. At the least, there ought to be a strong sense of duty to make this work, rather than an apathetic bureaucratic response.

and Oliver already ran a piece on the immigration system in the US. It's actually two separate questions. How hard do you make it to immigrate in, vs what kind of responsibility do you have to people who sacrificed significantly in order to support US forces conducting a government sanctioned mission?

I hope everyone sees your petition. I look forward to your AMA. I'm sure you have a great story to tell.

Very true, this is true journalism. It's a lot easier to keep reporting about ISIS and Ebola then to talk about real news like this. This is a real problem, and a great video.

I'm the segment John says that congress passed two laws allowing for 1500 special visas from Afghanistan a year. The problem isn't a legislative one, it is bureaucratic inefficiency Congress has done everything it can.


My right ear liked it

My left ear loved that

The issue seems to be that the U.S. is bogged down by a cripplingly inefficient bureaucracy which can't get the simplest of things done. This is hardly an isolated problem, but definitely a big one.

But the Death Star is something that can get a meaningful answer. A joke can get a valid response from this petition site. Any real concern is left completely unaddressed unless it is something low-risk that the administration could easily take a position on. I agree with the message of the petition...but why bother?

I don't think I've ever seen John Oliver so passionate about a subject. In that interview the shame he feels for being associated with a country that is willing to treat a man Mohammed so poorly after he and his family risk so much for no reason other than they felt it was right, comes across with such strength that you can't help but be angry at a system that would allow this to happen. America should be ashamed of itself.

ust FYI reddit is world wide not just America. Sending you my best wishes from Brazil. Look forward to your ama.

Rgr, b34t0. Hello from America! Hope all is well in Brazil. Maybe one day I will get to visit your beautiful country.

Srosh is about to be neck-deep in American poontang.

Because the media and government paint them as evil bastards who want to only harm every single one of us.

That's like blaming owls for why I suck at analogies

It's completely fucked up, they know the risks these people are taking by helping them yet dick about with helping them so much it's ridiculous. How many more fathers have to be killed or brothers kidnapped before they take it seriously?

When I signed, there were as many signatures as there were upvotes on your comment. Reddit - I'm impressed.

My only problem is that there doesn't seem to be anything we can do. He certainly didn't provide any answers.

Besides watching Last Week Tonight and The Daily Show, I also enjoy watching The Trews, which is Russell Brand's informal series of news and discussion. It can be hit and miss sometimes, but it's a series worth checking out. Segments are usually 7-10 minutes long.

signed the petition. cant wait for the AMA, you have my respect and sympathies.

Headset's broken bro. It's playing in stereo.

The only honest journalism anymore is satire and that makes me sad.

I guess someone should tell these translators that.

We have amazing range as a country. If you read up on the shit NASA has done, you'd be convinced there's almost nothing we can't do. When you hear this shit, you're surprised we can feed and wipe ourselves. What the fuck, guys.

Okay, so what can I do?

Canada does (or did) have it's own interpreter relocation program, brought in by then Immigration Minister (now Multiculturalism Minister) Jason Kenney. However, the program seems to have expired 3 years ago according to this CBCNews article.

The article claims the program has relocated a couple dozen Afghans, but considering that it was more like hundreds of people that helped, I think the number is probably too low to count as doing any better than what the video describes.

John Oliver's show has, since its inception, had, without a doubt, the best investigative journalism on television.

I'm really glad he broke away from Stewart if only so we could get real news (that it is news often ignored by other programs is just a bonus) delivered in a way that feels like it's addressing actual, normal people without constantly insisting that it's "fake news" and "doesn't really matter" like Stewart does.

He's already under contract so it's unlikely that he's going anywhere.

HBO isn't like other American TV networks, though. It's a commercial-free subscription network that not too many people subscribe to in the first place. The ratings don't really matter because they don't have advertisers who they need to satisfy. HBO shows only ever really get cancelled when at least two of the following apply: viewership is low, costs are high, and critical reception is poor. In John Oliver's case, viewership is fine (same level you'd expect from a late night program), costs are fine, and critical reception is exceptional.

It is expiring, they need to pass it again

I heard his wife was on the military, she probably knows first hand about this problem and told him about it.

If we all stand up and petition we might be able to work our way through the Comcast lobbyists and make legislators do something worth while for people other than their pocketbooks

I don't normally sign these e petitions, but I saw yours only needed 135 more signatures, so I added mine. I hope it works out, man.