The Colbert Report

Season 6 Episode 115

Sean Wilentz

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Sep 14, 2010 on Comedy Central
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Episode Summary

Sean Wilentz
Tonight Stephen welcomes historian and author of Bob Dylan In America, Sean Wilentz.
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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Stephen: Tonight: My solution to the Ground Zero mosque crisis. I'm pretty sure I can convert 1.5 billion Muslims to Christianity in under 30 minutes. And my guest Sean Wilentz has written a new book called Bob Dylan in America. I can't wait to hear what he has to mumble. Oprah is taking her audience to Australia, so I'm taking by studio to the Outback Steakhouse. This is your treat. Colbert Report!

    • Stephen: Which is it PETA? Delicious food or vegan food? It can't be both.

    • Stephen: Fortunately will can still just Pastor Jones' example to solve our problems with the Muslim world, and it brings us to tonight's Word: Mutually Assured Coercion. Now I want to go on record as saying the Koran is the revealed word of God given to his last prophet Mohammad, blessings and peace be upon him. (Ditto) And burning it would be wrong, especially if I'm anywhere near the blast radius. But he just threatened to burn the Koran and threatening to burn stuff…that's just negotiating That's how I got such a great deal on my Audi. Hans threw in the heated leather seats for free. (Hans made it back on the undercoating) You see, Pastor Jones threatened to burn the Koran only to stop the construction of the Ground Zero mosque.

      [Video: Pastor Terry Jones: The American people do not want the mosque there, and of course Muslims do not want us to burn the Koran]

      Stephen: Exactly! Destroying a religious symbol and building a religious center are really the same thing if you don't think about it. And I'll tell you who really hasn't thought about it: Sarah Palin's Facebook page. It wrote: "People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran it they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero." Yes! Ground Zero is a sacred site. How dare they build a house of worship there!? (Could've been a Walmart!) You see, it is disrespectful, not just to the victims of 9/11 but also to the patrons of the nearby New York Dolls strip club. How do you think customers will feel knowing Muslims are praying just blocks away from their erections? (aka Freedom towers) But then Jones made a shocking announcement on Saturday's Today Show.

      [Video: Pastor Jones: We will definitely not burn the Koran. No. Not today, not ever…]

      Stephen: We all felt duped. It was if Jones had shown up with Rick Astley and sung Never Gonna Burn You Up. Now it turns out Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Jones, I believe he called him on the phone receive above his upper lip. Gates warned Jones that burning the Koran would endanger American troops. And no American wants to put our soldiers in harm's way. (Except by feeding them hot dogs) And the think is folks, we were so close to a solution. Last Thursday Jones announced he has struck a deal with the Ground Zero mosque Imam.

      [Video: Pastor Jones: The Imam has agreed to move the mosque, we have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday…]

      Stephen: Turns out Jones had never spoken to Imam Rauf. Evidently Jones conjured the agreement out of thin air. (Like his national importance) And now it turns out Rauf is going to build the mosque. Because it's the right thing to do? No. Here's his major concern.

      [Video: Imam Rauf: My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will read Islam is under attack in America…This will put our people, our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens under attack…]

      Stephen: But if we do let them build this mosque that's weak. And tell them what would happen then Sean.

      [Video: Sean Hannity: If we buy into this notion that through accommodation and capitulation that America is going to buy favor from radical Jihadists, There's only one to this: to beat them, destroy them, confront them. If you acquiesce, if you capitulate you will embolden them.]

      Stephen: Sean Hannity is so terrified he bought a thesaurus. Clearly no matter what we do they're going to attack us. Well thankfully there's a solution to this existential paradox that we learned in the Cold War. To win and unwinnable scenario you need just one thing. (Sarah Palin endorsement?) You need retaliation so massive, so terrifying, so automatic that our enemies would never dare attack us. [Stephen starts to impersonate Dr. Strangelove] As luck would have it I have a plan. Now clearly they cannot burn the Koran because they will attack us. But if we do not burn it the mosque will be built, we'll look weak and they will attack us. And if we make them move the mosque, then they will attack us. But let us say, for the sake of argument…that I have buried in the desert a nuclear bomb jacketed with a thousand copies of a holy book. Perhaps it is the Koran. Then the bomb is connected to a gigantic complex of computers designed to detonate the bomb if, and only IF, a ribbon is cut celebrating the opening of, let us say, a new mosque. Then, as far as the Muslims know, 1,000 Korans will have exploded because their actions caused it, therefore, according to the Koran the Jihadists will have attack themselves! It will work! Mien Fuehrer! I can walk!

      And that's the Word!

  • NOTES (0)


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