John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, has recruited Alex Trebek along with other celebrities to help stop the spread of Coronavirus Conspiracy theories.
The PSA was part of a segment of the show in which Oliver explains the spread of corona virus conspiracy theories and their harmful effects on the population. In the segment, Oliver points out several conspiracy theories that have circulated since the outbreak began.
Oliver also humorously explains the history behind the theorists. “Conspiracy theorists have been around for hundreds of years. In the 14th century, a conspiracy theory claimed that Jewish people were responsible for the bubonic plague” Oliver says.
Oliver then refers to experts who breakdown the logical fallacy’s at play. “Conspiracy theorists are subject to the proportionality bias, where people think a big event must be connected to something bigger” says Oliver. For instance, he compares the conspiracy around JFK’s assassination to President Ronald Regan’s assassination attempt. Due to JFK’s death, there was a significant amount of speculation about who was responsible, Oliver says. However, many people overlook Ronald Regan’s assassination attempt and are much less critical about the circumstances around this event.
Oliver then turns his attention to the recent #Filmyourhospital trend, where conspiracy theorists are challenged to go to hospitals to call out “empty ER’s.”
Oliver takes a deep dive in the plausibility of any of these conspiracies being real. “Looking at past conspiracies that unravel and turned out to be true, it was usually due to the sheer number of people keeping that secret. For, instance faking the moon landing would have required 411,000 people to keep quiet” says Oliver. He concludes by saying that Covid-19 in clearly not a conspiracy based on this research.
Some social media companies have been taking action on conspiracy theories. Twitter, for example, was first to place fact check banners on their users posts. Facebook has recently followed suit.
John Oliver loves to put fun twist on his segments. “They might not listen to me, but maybe they’ll listen to someone they’ve been letting into their home every weeknight.” It’s at this point where he introduces Alex Trabek, host of Jeopardy to help him tell warn people about conspiracy theories. Oliver also created PSA about what is true with Cathrine O’Hara, John Cena, and Paul Rudd and posted it on http://thetruetruetruth.com/.
Trebek is a Canadian from Sudbury, Ontario. He has recently published his memoir, The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life, which you can buy now. You can watch full episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Sunday’s on HBO.Buy me a coffee