John Oliver, Mike Pence… and the Bunny of the United States?


McKenna Smith, Perspectives Editor

In in a time of crazy politics, national scandals and, White House firings, even a child’s book can’t escape the pure insanity of today’s politics.

Marlon Bundo, the Bunny of the United States, or BOTUS for short, is the pet rabbit of Mike Pence, the current Vice President, and his family. Marlon is the fifth Bunny of the United States.

Recently, Marlon was the subject of a book “Marlon Bundo’s a Day in the Life of the Vice President” written by Charlette Pence, the VP’s daughter, and then illustrated by Karen Pence, his wife. The book follows Marlon’s point of view accompanying Vice President Pence throughout the day.

In true Washington D.C. fashion, even an “innocent” children’s book can come under fire.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver used the book as a platform to confront some of Pence’s beliefs, such as being against woman in combat, teaching intelligent design in school, wanting to see “Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history…”, and most notably, his hostility to LGBT+ rights.

The segment also pointed out that with the release of the Pence book came a book tour with multiple stops, one of which was at Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is an institute which heavily pushes conversion therapy, which is an attempt to “Teach” people to not be gay, something Pence has been associated with since the 1990’s.

Despite the book being a positive thing to come out of the Trump administration, it’s hard to ignore the background influence of the book- Mike Pence himself.

In John Oliver-like fashion, Last Week Tonight released a parody book titled “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo”. Some of the key differences between the two books are glaringly obvious. John Oliver’s Marlon is gay and falls in love with a boy bunny, and, he sports wildly flamboyant, and objectively cool bowtie.

All proceeds from the Pence book will go to Tracy’s Kids, an art therapy program, and to the A21 Campaign, which combats human trafficking.  The proceeds of the John Oliver book will go towards the Trevor project, a suicide prevention program for LGBT+ youths, and to AIDS United, which focuses on ending the AIDS epidemic in the United States.

Ultimately, both books are for good causes. However, it’s important to understand the background of the authors and what they may be ultimately trying to teach.