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John Oliver may have devoted the main segment of this week’s Last Week Tonight to coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis but the host opened Sunday’s show with a recap of Pope Francis‘ visit to the U.S.
After a quick summary of the pope’s itinerary, though, Oliver used the pope’s trip to poke fun at Brian Williams‘ return to television. The disgraced former NBC Nightly News anchor began his new role at MSNBC on Tuesday, covering the pope’s arrival in the U.S.
“This was a truly historic trip for the pope. Not least because his arrival was directly responsible for a miracle. Just watch how his arrival was reported on MSNBC,” Oliver said before cutting to video of Williams introducing himself as he began his coverage of Pope Francis’ visit.
“Holy shit, he brought Brian Williams back from the dead. … It’s a miracle,” Oliver said.
The HBO host added that after Williams was suspended when he was found to have told a false account of a 2003 incident in Iraq, Oliver is less inclined to trust Williams’ reporting.
“I will say, hearing Brian Williams report something now is like reading about it in the New Testament,” Oliver said. “I believe a man named Pope Francis exists but a lot of the details were probably embellished.”
Oliver also took note of how Williams seemed fixated on the pope’s “touch” and repeatedly referred to Francis as a “tactile pope.”
“I think Brian Williams wants to pet the pope,” Oliver said.
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