John Oliver blasts Sen. Shirkey's insurrection remarks

click to enlarge Once again Michigan is the punchline on a late-night TV talk show. - SCREENGRAB, LAST WEEK TONIGHT
Screengrab, Last Week Tonight
Once again Michigan is the punchline on a late-night TV talk show.

John Oliver returned to HBO on Sunday night with a scathing rebuke of Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey for falsely claiming the Jan. 6 insurrection was “a hoax.”

On the season premiere of his show Last Week Tonight, Oliver slammed Michigan’s top Republican for “spewing dangerous conspiracies” and played a clip of Shirkey saying the deadly riot "was arranged by somebody who was funding it" and not by supporters of Donald Trump.

“What the fuck are you talking about, Shirkey?” Oliver said. “To the extent that January 6 was prearranged by anyone, it was clearly by Trump as he repeatedly tweeted things like, ‘Big Protest in D.C. on January 6. Be there, will be wild.’ Which, to be fair, was one of those occasions where he turned out to be completely right.”

Oliver continued, "And I know that man looks like he answers the question ‘What if Steve Martin was awful?’ but the fact is, he's the majority leader of the Michigan Senate. He has real power."

Shirkey has come under relentless fire since Metro Time first reported his statements last week, which were recorded at a diner by leaders of the Hillsdale County Republican Party. Two of the leaders agreed with Shirkey and said they were at the riot.

In an op-ed for Metro Times, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II admonished Shirkey for using “divisive and aggressive rhetoric.”

Shirkey apologized for his comments but continued to claim Trump was not responsible for the insurrection.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.