Watch John Oliver Explain Tronc, and Journalism Circa 2016

'SNL' Veteran Sudekis Plays a Racoon-Cat-Loving Editor in 'Spotlight' Remake

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On Sunday's edition of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver's trademark extended rant took on journalism. Specifically, newspaper journalism -- and the causes of its long, sad decline. Among Oliver's targets: TV journalists who merely re-report what actual newspaper reporters first reported; aggregator websites (including The Huffington Post, which Oliver calls "Arianna Huffington's Blockquote Junction and Book Excerpt Clearinghouse"); billionaire investor Sam Zell, whose disastrous tenure as the controlling shareholder in the Tribune Company led to its bankrupcy and thousands of layoffs; billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal and immediately started meddling with its journalism; Tronc, as the post-Zell Tribune Company has rebranded itself; and all us cheap-ass content consumers who don't really want to pay for quality journalism.

Where's this all heading? To a future in which "Spotlight," the Oscar-winning movie about newspaper journalism, would look very different. (Spoiler: In a trailer Oliver shows for "Stoplight," Jason Sudeikis plays a clickbait-loving editor who runs a newspaper called The Chronicle -- or, uh, Chorp, as it's been rebranded.)

UPDATE: The Newspaper Association of America is not amused!

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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