One of the most talked-about ads during the Super Bowl was a seemingly innocuous commercial for Coca-Cola, in which American immigrants sang "America the Beautiful" in their native tongue. And by "talked about," we mean that the ad was pounced on by conservatives who believe the commercial was somehow un-American.
Jon Stewart devoted a segment on Thursday's "Daily Show" to how disappointed he was disappointed in the reaction. "Really, people? This is the Super Bowl ad you're going to get upset about?" he asked. "When you had an ad celebrating the unnatural love between a dog and a horse?"
He pointed to several people on Twitter, and even sympathetic news anchors, who took issue with the ad's message of unity. Stewart found one Twitter user particularly amusing, who claimed that the "national anthem" should only be sung in English.
Said one CNN pundit: "I think the biggest issue here is that there are a lot of people that are unfortunately coming to America and they're not assimilating."
"Not assimilating?!" Stewart said with exasperation. "They're singing 'America the Beautiful' while drinking Coca-Cola! How much more American assimilation can they have?"
He answered his own question: "Maybe if they were open-carrying a gun shaped like Jesus, while using a bald eagle strap-on to f**k an apple pie."
Stewart pointed out that many of the commercial's critics are part of a long history of Americans' reluctance to accept immigrants, and likely have ancestors themselves who came from Europe. "And many of those early European immigrants clung to their native tongues for longer than was comfortable for the xenophobes of their time," he said.
The show then rolled footage of vintage footage from the 19th and 20th centuries that segregated Italian, Irish, Jewish and other immigrants from European countries, interspersed with footage of modern-day European immigrants singing "America the Beautiful."
Take a look at the full clip above.