Tonight, in case you’re not aware, we will finally have the chance to see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fight to the death on stage. Unfortunately, they’ll only be using words, but it still promises to be an incredible spectacle.
To try and understand why this election season has been so dramatic, full-time YouTube comedian and occasional journalist John Oliver dug deeper into the scandal surrounding both Trump and Clinton, and produced the only piece of debate prep you need to watch.
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The 20-minute clip is fresh from last night’s airing of Last Week Tonight, and it broadly delves into the scandals that have mired both candidates. With the frenzy and mud-slinging surrounding Trump and Clinton having devolved into straight-up name calling a long time ago, it’s good to have a reasonably clean and objective look at the facts. Now, it’s depressing that that objective look at the facts has to come from a comedian on a late-night show, but that’s what makes this election year fun.
It’s difficult to say who comes off worse from the video. Sure, Trump is described as a “real-life scarecrow” (and worse), but Clinton is painted as a master manipulator, and a long way from trustworthy.
On the Clinton side, the big scandals are emails and the Clinton Foundation. You’re probably tired of hearing about both, but Oliver does a good job of explaining the parts you should care about — mostly, the obfuscation and things that “might not technically be illegal,” but don’t look good for someone running for President.
For Trump, it’s all about the money. From his tax returns to charities and trust funds, there’s more questions than answers about his business dealings, which is worrying for someone running for office based mostly on his business history.
All in all, it’s a good primer for this evening’s debate. Expect to have none of the questions it raises answered, but at least it might help you pick a side (or finally decide that they’re both equally screwed).