Yes, I would read a story about a cat that looks like a raccoon or, for that matter, a raccoon that looks like a cat. When I scroll through a digital newspaper, though, I’m looking for something else: journalism I need to be a well-informed citizen—and, OK, the occasional cat that looks like a raccoon.

By now you may have at least heard about a 19-minute rant by John Oliver on his HBO program Last Week Tonight in which he reminds us of newspapers’ central role in our democracy and laments their demise.

As Oliver notes, television news programs, the internet, and even shows like his are utterly dependent on newspapers to provide them with much of the reporting that they pass on or, for that matter, skewer. Yet, as we all know, the financial underpinnings of the newspaper business have collapsed. As news has made the transition from print to digital, revenues from online advertising have barely risen while print advertising has plunged.

“That’s like finding a lucky penny on the sidewalk on the same day your bank account is drained by a 16-year-old Belgian hacker,” Oliver says.

If you haven’t seen it, I will resist the temptation to nudge you in the ribs and tell you all the best parts except to say that Spotlight, tronc (the bizarre new name of the company formerly known as Tribune Publishing), downsized newsrooms, Sam Zell, Marty Baron, Jeff Bezos, Sheldon Adelson, “investifarted,” and—yes—a cat that looks like a raccoon all make cameos.

What I find a little odd, though, is Oliver’s suggestion that we should somehow feel guilty that we don’t pay for much of the journalism we read, watch, or listen to. Why, we don’t even pay to watch Last Week Tonight, he tells us. “We’ve just grown accustomed to getting our news for free,” he says.

And this is where I think whatever argument Oliver is trying to make falls apart. Media organizations that give away their content are doing so voluntarily. It may not be a good idea. News executives may wish they’d never started down that road. But if you’re like me, you pay for the goods and services you want when someone charges for them and you accept freebies when they’re offered.

I watched Oliver’s video on YouTube, as Oliver predicted I would. Now, how was that possible? If you guessed it’s because HBO itself posted it on YouTube so that people like me could watch it without paying, you win a free subscription to Google News.

Likewise, I pay for digital subscriptions to the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the New York Times—and gladly read the Washington Post for free because Bezos and company have decided not to charge customers who have an educational email address. Nor do I feel tempted to send a donation to the multiple free news sources I check in with on a regular basis.

Trying again: NAA statement re @iamjohnoliver show could not be more clueless. @NAAupdates— Marty Baron (@PostBaron) August 8, 2016

But it’s too easy to blame newspapers’ financial woes on readers who refuse to pay for the news. Newspapers were done in by larger forces. If you think it’s the readers’ fault, then that leads to the fallacy that you can force them to pay. In fact, they may not have found what you were offering all that compelling even when you were print-only and they took home delivery mainly so they could read the funnies and clip out the Wednesday grocery-store ads.

“The media is a food chain that would fall apart without local newspapers,” Oliver tells us. Absolutely true. If only it could be saved by guilt-tripping the public into paying for it.