Jon Stewart had a great show, during which he covered a variety of interesting topics.
He was off with some riffs from the start, noting that the show was going to feature an interview with Bert Ehrman, author of the book Misquoting Jesus : The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.
Stewart made up two discovered misquotes: “The meek shall inherit the Earth” was supposed to read “The Greeks will inherit the Earth.”
And “Turn the other cheek” was supposed to read “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”
With less than 1,000 days until the 2008 presidential election, he also reported on a straw poll in Memphis.
President Bush received 10 percent of the vote, despite the fact the constitution prohibits presidents from serving more than two terms.
Then Stewart adds, “of course he probably really does not care about the constitution.”
Stewart went on to introduce a brilliant segment by correspondent Ed Helms about a Democratic candidate in Ohio who was asked to drop out of a congressional race.
Blogcritics writer Dave Nalle has written about what a good job the show did in pointing out how the candidate, Paul Hackett, got screwed by the Democratic Party.
Democratic leaders not only urged him to drop out of a congressional race but also asked donors not to give money to his campaign. He did eventually drop out.
Funny? Ha ha? Not at first but then it got good as Helms talks to a political consultant who said Hackett shouldn’t run because he does not fit the party’s matrix.
The Democrats, Helms, said, clearly know how to win elections. His comments were followed by footage of election losers Al Gore and John Kerry and others.
Helms suggested he help Hackett learn how to better run as a good Democratic candidate.
As Hackett speaks for mock campaign ads, Helms repeatedly interrupts him in ways that make him less compelling. A sign behind Hackett to remind voters he was a U.S. Marine? That has to go, Helms said.
After Hackett states his views, Helms tells him: “Try it again, but without emotion.” He does and it makes Al Gore look charismatic.
They show a mock ad for Hackett in which he says: “I am in favor of agriculture and adorable children. I believe we should take care of our environment that is why I am standing in front of a river.”
The ad contains his new slogan: “Paul Hackett for U.S. Senate, He Won’t Rock the Boat.”
The ad ends with this “paid for by people who don’t know what they’re doing and are scared shitless to make strong choices.”
After the commercial break it was time for one of my favorite features: “This Week in God,” which this week had a special theme: “The Blasphemy Edition.”
Rob Corddry talked about the Muhammed cartoon controversy and noted that it is not just Muslims offended and upset when holy symbols are displayed inappropriately.
For example, Corddry said, there was the furor over “Piss Christ,” the art work where, with a crucifix, “Christ was submerged in a vat of urine, which was not meant as a comment about Christianity but rather a scathing attack on modern urology.”
The interview segment was heady and thoughtful. Stewart praises the book and encouraged everyone to check it out.
Stewart asked about the famous parable of Jesus and the prostitute, where he supposedly said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
The author, Ehrman, said that story was not in the original Bible but were added as people copied the manuscript.
“It looks like this story was added by scribes in later centuries to the text,” Ehrman said.
Stewart asked: “Why would they add it? Would people give notes? Would people say it needs some sex appeal? Give me a prostitute and some stones. Make it work.”
They went on to discuss how the manuscripts vary, how it is that bibles are in every hotel room in the United States and related matters.
This show was definitely better than Monday’sepisode.
And tonight’s show, which is supposed to feature a segment on hunting, should be pretty funny.