John Oliver vs. Payday Lenders

The Atlantic Wire
Monday, August 11, 2014

Longform rantmaker John Oliver criticized the payday lending industry on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight (warning: language not safe for work). Oliver's show has won praise recently for its ability to make complex issues accessible to large web-savvy audience. In the segment, Oliver lambasted slides from a payday lender's employee training manual which instructed employees to lure borrowers into a cycle of debt. Oliver also addressed states' efforts to stamp out the most predatory practices, likening efforts to restrict the industry to "legislative Whack-a-Mole." Oliver's sharpest criticism focused on a failed effort in Texas, where legislation was blocked by State Rep. Gary Elkins – himself an owner of a payday loan chain.