“Yes, ‘the police say,'” Oliver said. “It’s a phrase you constantly hear from the mouths of news reporters. It’s right up there with ‘it just came’ or ‘back to you’ or ‘I apologize for the actions I took on Cinco de Mayo’.”
He said that while talking to police is important to cover a story, many news reports simply repeat what’s in a police press release.
And it can turn out to be a huge mistake for one simple reason.
“Police lie,” he said bluntly. “And they lie a lot.”
He summarized some of the stories that have just appeared on “Last Week Tonight” over the years.
“They lie to get search warrants to carry out raids and to get confessions during interrogations,” he said. “And they even lie under oath, so often here in New York it came to be known as ‘testimony.’
That means the word of the police should be treated with “tremendous skepticism” by the media … and Oliver had the receipts with some real-world examples of officers offering “complete bullshit” to the media: