John Oliver Calls Out Media Giving Credibility to Psychics––Particularly ‘Sex Monster’ Matt Lauer


While the Oscars aired last night, John Oliver took on the fraudsters of the psychic industry and certain prominent media figures who promote them.

Oliver showed some fun clips of psychics being called out on false readings, explained the techniques of “cold reading” and “hot reading,” and even brought on “Wanda Jo Oliver” (the great Rachel Dratch) to offer a free alternative.

But he also made a point of calling out prominent media personalities lending credence to people claiming they can communicate with the dead.

And most notable among them was “sophisticated Manhattan sex monster” Matt Lauer.

The former Today Show host, fired in November 2017 following a sexual misconduct review over serious allegations against him, sat down in 2016 with Hollywood Medium‘s Tyler Henry, who gave Lauer a message from his late father. After the sit-down, Lauer said he was emotionally shaken by the experience.

“It’s clear that Matt Lauer is touched there,” Oliver said. “And this time, he didn’t even have to pressure a subordinate into doing it.”

Oliver noted how Henry could’ve easily looked up past interviews in which Lauer talked about his father, saying the two options are he “genuinely accessed the afterlife, an action which would fundamentally change our understanding of everything on earth,” or “maybe he just Googled ‘Matt Lauer dad’ and hit the fucking jackpot.”

He also called out Montel Williams for how his old show regularly featured psychic Sylvia Browne, especially the time when Browne incorrectly told the mother of Amanda Berry––kidnapped in 2003––that her daughter was dead. Not only was Berry alive, but in a 2015 interview––two years after she was found––she recounted what it was like watching that moment on television. After watching that interview Williams said, “I’m so sorry that anything said on my show caused her pain, and I am so grateful turned it out to be incorrect.”

“Sylvia Browne is clearly an awful person for doing that,” Oliver said, “but Montel also bears some blame for giving Browne a platform to begin with. Put it this way, if Oprah interviewed a live alligator and it ate four members of her audience, I’d be angry with the alligator, but I’d also be kind of angry with Oprah.”

He then reminded viewers that daytime shows like Dr. Phil are “still holding hands with this shit.”

You can watch above, via HBO.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac