"One could argue that Oliver was holding Leno 'accountable' for jokes he told in the 1990s that now seem cruel and unfunny," says Conor Friedersdorf of Oliver's Last Week Tonight segment earlier this week on public shaming, which focused on Leno slut-shaming Monica Lewinsky on The Tonight Show. "But Oliver could’ve criticized the old jokes while still treating Leno as he treats himself: as an imperfect but not malign comic who told jokes that are regrettable in hindsight. Surely Leno ranks low on any list of evil forces in American society. He doesn’t warrant a 'Go f*ck yourself,' delivered here for the supposed hypocrisy of making uncivil jokes on a subject and then, a quarter century later, in a polarized moment, yearning for more civility. And whether one feels love, disdain, or indifference toward The Tonight Show under Leno, it was arguably more civil on average than Last Week Tonight. Indeed, Oliver regularly goes the 'Go f*ck yourself' route, and it isn’t because profane shaming does 'a lot of good' for society—it’s because it’s popular...Last Week Tonight depends on a formula that includes a villain, a punching bag, someone to 'destroy,' so that audience members can feel that they’re part of a morally and cognitively superior in-group, perennially exasperated by malign idiots in the out-group."