May 8, 2017

John Oliver is back in the net neutrality fight

J. Emilio Flores / Invision for the Television Academy via AP

John Oliver's last push for strict net neutrality rules arguably moved both the issue and his HBO show into the mainstream. Oliver revisited the issue Sunday night as the Republican-led FCC moves to scrap the legal foundation for those rules.

Why it matters: Oliver helped rally the troops when this battle was last waged in 2014, with some estimating that his segment drove 45,000 comments to the agency. He clearly hopes lightning will strike twice.

Worth noting: Oliver also got more personal in his attacks on the affable Pai.

  • "But the dangerous thing about Pai is he presents himself as a fun, down-to-earth nerd," the comedian said.
  • He mentioned Pai's giant Reese's-branded mug. "Yes, Ajit Pai is the kind of guy who has a fun, oversized novelty mug, and he is really proud of it," Oliver said, later adding, a (bigger) mug in hand, "Your mug's not that big."

Details: Oliver characterized FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's argument that the legal regime behind the current rules is unnecessary as "deeply disingenuous" and bought to direct members of the public to the page where they can comment in support of the rules. That page appeared to be malfunctioning early on Monday morning, leading some to speculate online that Oliver's plea had crashed that part of the FCC's website.

Go deeper

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

2 hours ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.