John Oliver called out the media for placing too much trust in police when reporting on crime stories ― leading to a two-word phrase heard frequently on TV news segments: “police say.”
“Yeah, ‘police say,‘” Oliver said. “It’s a phrase that you constantly hear from the mouths of news reporters. It’s right up there with ‘this just in,’ or ‘back to you,’ or ‘I apologize for the actions I did on Cinco de Mayo.’”
He said while it’s important to speak to the police to cover a story, many news reports simply repeat what’s in a police press release.
And that can turn out to be a huge mistake for one simple reason.
“Police lie,” he said bluntly. “And they lie a lot.”
He recapped some of the stories that have appeared just on “Last Week Tonight” over the years.
“They lie to get search warrants to conduct raids and to get confessions during interrogations,” he said. “And they even lie under oath, so often in fact here in New York it came to be known as ‘testilying.’”
That means the word of the police should be treated with “immense skepticism” by the media… and Oliver had the receipts with some real-world examples of cops offering “complete horseshit” to the media: