Donald Trump watches so much Fox News that the network has become more of a cabinet than his actual cabinet— a development bulwarked by the fact that advisors refer to Fox News host Sean Hannity as Trump’s “Shadow Chief of Staff.”
Networks hosts and guests are wise to this, regularly using appearances to reach Trump directly. “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver also knows this, which is why he bought ad time on Hannity’s show this week.
Oliver revived the beloved Catheter Cowboy— who has appeared on Fox News airwaves in the past to drop basic knowledge on the the far right— to “get a moderating voice” into the conversation surrounding the Iran Deal.
The “Last Week Tonight” host explains how the May 12 deadline to re-certify the Iran Deal is coming up, why Trump hates it, and what will happen if he kills it.
What Is The Iran Deal? A Ludicrously Simple Explanation, quoted more or less from John Oliver:
In 1953, America helped orchestrate a coup to depose Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister and to replace him with the Shah, who was friendly to the United States and to whom we supplied weapons and a nuclear reactor.
The Shah was overthrown in a revolution in 1979 and dozens of American diplomats were held hostage. Eventually the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and converted the country to an Islamic theocracy.
Now, many Americans view Iran as a place where flags are set on fire, which is not untrue true; much of the power is help by conservative clerics who force religious compliance at home and pursue an aggressive foreign policy abroad. However, there is a moderate middle class who have pro-western views, many of them being young people born after the revolution.
In the Iran deal, the United States along with Russia, Britain, Germany, France, China, and the EU agreed to lift specific sanctions on Iran. In return, Iran agreed to sacrifice its ability to create a nuclear bomb quickly. Iranian hardliners were pissed, saying their country had seceded too much. Many in the U.S. felt the same way, but about America.
Trump’s reasons for hating the Iran Deal are non-reasons.
John Oliver plays clips of Trump’s logic behind calling the Iran Deal, “terrible/catastrophe/stupid/insane/incompetent/really sad!/horrible/ horrendous/horrible/horrible/terrible/incompetent/one of the dumbest and most dangerous misjudgments ever.”
One of Trump’s reasons for wanting to implode the deal is based on a false statement that Iran “can self-inspect” their facilities. This is blatantly untrue; as Oliver points out, the International Atomic Energy Agency (the UN’s nuclear watchdog) “has already confirmed 10 successive times that Iran is complying with the deal.”
That’s just one of the things Trump gets wrong. Because the director of the CIA Mike Pompeo and Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton are also adamantly anti-Iran-Deal, Trump has literally nobody explaining to him that if he kills the deal, Iran is allowed to start working on nuclear weapons immediately rather than in 10 years.
Which brings us back to Catheter Cowboy. He explains the deal to Trump in an ad set to run during “Hannity” in the Washington, D.C., area this week: Iran can’t make a nuclear bomb for 10 years. Blowing up the Iran Deal brings that number down to zero years. And 10 years is more than zero years.