John Oliver took on the growing plague of annoying robocalls, which he notes increased by 57 percent in 2018 to nearly 50 billion calls, and launched a revenge-based solution involving bagpipes.
Donald Trump’s FCC chair, Ajit Pai is responsible for the problem, Oliver notes, because the FCC has laws and regulations that used to curb them.
Obama’s FCC Chair Tom Wheeler explained in a clip played by Oliver: “The consumer needs to give consent that they want to be called or if they are called and haven’t given consent, to remove that consent by saying, ‘Don’t call me anymore.’ Or by calling their phone company, and saying ‘I don’t want to get these calls.’
“And that sounds completely reasonable,” Oliver explained. “But unfortunately then those rules were then struck down after a trade group sued, at which point robocalls increased significantly. So, we made real progress at addressing a problem, but then we blew it. We basically got our one-year sobriety chip then celebrated by drinking a gallon of Captain Morgan.”
“If only there was a way to get the FCC’s attention,” Oliver continued. “One way to do that would be if someone had, say, the office numbers of all five FCC commissioners. Then you could, hypothetically, set up a program to robocall all of those numbers every 90 minutes with a message, say, oh, I don’t know. Like, this.”
Oliver then played a lengthy robocall from himself, accompanied by an ear-splitting round of bagpipe music.