Monday, November 06, 2006

Jon Stewart on Ted Haggard

On tonight's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jon gave his take on the recent revelations regarding Reverend Ted Haggard, a male prostitute, and some crystal meth.

Read more... Last week, the Daily Show team was in Columbus, Ohio, broadcasting from the Ohio State University.

I figure we'll come back to New York, we'll coast today, but no, a full plate of news. The entrĂ©e, of course, Saddam Hussein's death sentence, but, you know what, I'm feeling randy — let's start with dessert. As you probably heard by now, Reverend Ted Haggard, president of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals (I'm sure there's an acronym for that.) resigned his post this weekend after admitting to a three-year sexual relationship with a gay hooker. Ah, oh, and he also purchased and used crystal meth, because if you're the head of a gay-hating organization and you're having a gay affair, why not go nuts? What are you gonna say, like, "I'm dating a gay hooker there, but drugs — I don't know, I might get in some real trouble with my constituents."? As it happens, conveniently enough, Haggard can currently be seen in theaters in the documentary Jesus Camp; I have faith we have an unbelievably ironic clip from that:
We don't have to have a debate about what we should think about homosexual activity, it's written in the Bible. ... [directly to the camera] "I think I know what you did last night. If you send me $1,000, I won't tell your wife."
"And then I will use that $1,000 to get myself speed-tweaked and sodomized." Can I get an a-men? Of course, the evangelical community being so tight-knit, they rushed to the defense of their colleague.
Jerry Falwell: I don't know him that well.

Pat Robertson: The National Association of Evangelicals represents 30 million evangelicals — that just isn't true. They have very little money and they have very little influence.

Falwell: He's president of an association that is very loosely knit, and I've never been a member of it.
Seems so "holier than thou." Haggard was exposed by a male escort named Mike Jones, who said he was troubled by the hypocrisy of Haggard's public support of a Colorado initiative to ban same-sex marriage. You know you're in trouble when you have ceded the moral high ground to a drug-dealing prostitute. You know what, Reverend Haggard, meet me at camera — you know what, forget that. I think I have another camera we can meet at that might make you feel more comfortable.

[extreme close-up on Jon Stewart's face, with most of the screen masked with dark gray, with only a small circle in the center fully lit] Psst! Hey! Hey. Hey, what's up? How's it going? Hey, man, it's our gloryhole cam. Found it at the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now, Reverend, you may wonder why people are taking such pleasure — some would say glee — in the idea of an anti-gay activist being, you know, gay! First of all, I want to say, as a Jew, stop out-self-loathing us. Second of all, people like you make it really hard for, quite frankly, people like you. See, here's a little piece of advice for you, and for anyone else out there in your situation: you cannot run from gay. Let me put this in terms you can understand: here's you [photo of man in business suit with briefcase] and here's gay [photo of muscular man wearing only bikini-style shorts and sneakers, plus sunglasses and a bracelet]. "Gay" works out. I know that when you feel like "gay" is chasing you, all you need to do is run towards "straight" as fast as you can, hide behind that wife-and-kid fort you've been building, but here's the problem: "gay" can see through walls! The kids aren't gonna protect you from "gay." Now, you can't catch gay, but gay sure as hell can catch you. So, Ted, look at the view from here: it's not so great. But once you stop trying to outrun gay, you can catch your breath and realize, the world's actually [switch to regular camera, with a mountain meadow backdrop] a pretty nice place. See, there's "glory" around you, Reverend, just not in a hole.
It's worth noting another quote from Reverend Haggard in the film Jesus Camp. He looks into the camera and says that if the filmmakers use this particular bit of footage, he will sue them. I think he's got bigger problems now. Still, I wonder what Becky Fischer, the woman who runs the church camp profiled in the documentary, has to say about Reverend Haggard.

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