Ed Morrissey argues at The Week that the media is, wittingly or not, misinterpreting just about everything Pope Francis is saying in his wide-ranging and surprisingly frank interviews with the press. So he probably isn't a fan of Jon Stewart's analysis of the new pope, who has endeared himself greatly to The Daily Show host. (Watch below)
On Thursday's show, Stewart took his half-serious pontiff crush and ran with it. If the pope is God's conduit to revealing His will — His "infallible emissary on Earth," if you will — Francis has competition from "God's incredibly fallible emissaries on earth," the Republican Party, Stewart said. The two entities — the Holy See and the Grand Old Party — used to see eye to eye on social issues, but no more.
"I guess you could say, boy, you know your ideology is rigid and outdated when the head of the organization that just got around to apologizing to Galileo shows more doctrinal flexibility than you," Stewart told Republicans. But there are bound to be disagreements between different messengers of God, and that doesn't mean there needs to be a big schism. You can guess what's coming next: A clip of Pope Francis denouncing the "idolatry of money and big business."
The pope had better watch it, said Stewart, or the U.S. "is going to end up invading the Vatican."
The first part of The Daily Show was also about another mold-breaking leader of a place the U.S. might invade: Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani. Or, as Stewart called him: Iran Man 2. Rouhani is a breath of fresh air after his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Stewart said, in that he wished Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah and doesn't deny the Holocaust outright.
In Iran Man 2, the sequel, Stewart turned to senior international relations correspondent Jessica Williams. She was aghast that President Obama and Rouhani didn't shake hands at the United Nations this week, arguing that if Drake and Chris Brown can make up with a hug, the leaders of Iran and the U.S. should at least be able to manage a handshake or fist-bump. Stewart clarified that America is Drake in this analogy. Who's Rihanna? Watch:
Here's Stewart's first love letter to Pope Francis, the "World's Greatest Father." At times it feels like he's trolling the Catholic Church, and Stewart and his staff clearly aren't up to speed on their canon law, or even the Catholic catechism (the pope isn't infallible in most matters, only some doctrinal issues, for example), but it's still amusing: