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John Oliver Rips In to Tech Industry for ‘Pissing Off’ San Francisco

Posted on Feb 12, 2014
Screenshot/TechCrunch TV

The comedian opened the 7th annual Crunchies Awards on Monday night with several eloquent jabs at the “nerds” who he claims have been changed by success and money. “Don’t forget where you came from,” Oliver yelled at the techie audience after someone misquoted Spider-Man. But his comment could have very well come after his critique of Silicon Valley’s invasion of San Francisco, since many people present at the ceremony are “being accused of over-gentrifying a city that was already the most expensive city to live in in America.” After some raucous laughter, he quipped, “That’s not mathematically possible.”

Another highlight was his comment about the shuttle services that companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Genentech have been using to transport their employees to their headquarters from San Francisco. The buses, which Truthdig cartoonist Mark Fiore criticized in his recent animation, “The Wheels on the (Tech) Bus,” have been a sore subject in the city for the past few years as the tech elite abuse public bus stops without so much as a slap on the wrist. Oliver said he heard the latest designs for these buses would be tinted from the inside so that outsiders could get a glimpse at tech royalty while they were spared the view of the “peasants.”

“You’re no longer the underdogs, it’s very important that you realize that,” the “Daily Show” veteran reminded his wealthy audience. “It used to be that people who worked in the tech industry were emotional shut-ins who you could root for. Now those days are gone.”

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi


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