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John Oliver debunks bizarre viral claim about Michael Jordan and Ferdinand Marcos

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John Oliver has debunked a bizarre viral post claiming that former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos met Michael Jordan when he was a child.

During Sunday (8 May) night’s episode ofLast Week Tonight, Oliver discussed misinformative Facebook posts regarding the country’s late former president. One such post claimed that Marcos’s wealth came from “the purported treasure left by Japanese General Yamashita after World War II” or for being a “fantastic lawyer”.

One of the more bizarre posts claimed that Marcos was visiting Wilmington, North Carolina in 1969, when he gave food to a young Michael Jordan, who was begging for food, telling him: “Bring this with you child, someday you will grow up to be someone important”.

The joke uses a popular meme format and ends with the sentence: “The kid grew up to Micheal [sic] Jordan.”

However, Oliver explained: “It seems to have originated as a joke, but has since been passed around completely seriously.”

The comedian then debunked the story piece by piece, joking: “If you’re a billionaire from the other side of the world and you want to celebrate the holidays in America, there is only one place that you’re going and that’s Wilmington, North Carolina.”

He continued: “So to be clear, in this story president Marcos was walking through a park holding bread – specifically NutriBun, a bread mainly sold in the Philippines – meaning Marcos flew to the united states with NutriBun because he was like, ‘What if we get to Wilmington, North Carolina, my favourite holiday destination and they don’t have any bread there?’

“Then he went to the park and passed like 10 other kids… then he saw Michael Jordan and he was like, ‘Wait, I’m pretty sure that you are going to be important so here have this bread that I’ve brought with me from the other side of the world’ and then that kid grew up to be Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player who ever lived.”

Oliver joked: “That is the single dumbest story involving a young Michael Jordan I’ve ever heard and I have seen Space Jam.”

The misinformation posts on social media have been seen as an attempt to whitewash the legacy of Marcos, whose son is a frontrunner in Monday’s election (9 May).

Elsewhere in the episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver hit out at the Supreme Court over their planned decision to scrap Roe v Wade.

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