August 15, 2019

"In this age of President Trump and an intensely polarizing politics, we often need some comedic relief to lighten things up and also see things from a different perspective," Anderson Cooper said on CNN Wednesday night. "Enter Stephen Colbert." He played part of the hour-long conversation he had with Colbert earlier Wednesday, starting with Colbert's thoughts on acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief Ken Cuccinelli mangling the poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty.

"Oh my God, I blame you for Ken Cuccinelli," Colbert told Cooper, noting that Cuccinelli was on CNN a lot. Cooper said if any official in a prior administration had messed with that bedrock statement of American beliefs, "people's heads would explode." Colbert aimed higher.

"There is our physical Constitution ... but there's also this emotional Constitution that America has," Colbert said. "There's an emotional reality that we all share that makes us all Americans, and one of them is things like 'The New Colossus,' the poem that Emma Lazarus wrote that's on the Statue of Liberty. And we're constantly being told by this administration: 'You don't see what you see, you don't hear what you hear.' Now they're saying you don't feel what you feel. ... You don't actually believe that this is a nation of immigrants."

Colbert explained what he means when he calls President Trump a "heretic to reality." In Catholic theology, "the greatest sin is actually heresy," because "not only are you astray from the right path, you're inviting, you're encouraging other people to come with you on that path," he said. "Our president wants to live in a fantasy world where only the way he perceives the world is the way it is, only things that sort of serve his vision, and he's also trying to convince us that that is the only world that exists. It's extremely solipsistic. But he's also trying to invite us into this madness that he has, and that is heresy against reality." The thesis of The Late Show, Colbert agreed, has become "Hey, you're not crazy."

Watch below to see Colbert explain Dante's punishment for heresy and in which circle of Hell it's meted out, Cooper quote Dorothy Parker, and Colbert explain why he wouldn't welcome Trump back on his show. Peter Weber

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.