You know your “edgy” special on Jesus being a married man based on a novel is going south when the New York Times (!) calls it “woolly and underthought.” The Times review by Virginia Heffernan has several eye-opening paragraphs. First, ABC convened a panel of religious experts late in the game, including an employee’s mom:
Soon after the floor was opened for questions, Nikki Stephanopoulos, the communications director for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, whose son is the ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, complained that the voluptuous, ravenous images of Mary Magdalene on display in the documentary bore little resemblance to Eastern representations of the Magdalene. (Sexy music by [hello, bisexual] Me’shell Ndegeocello accompanies one sequence of semi-nude pictures on the show.)
This line just causes a spit take, when the Catholic League’s Joe DeFeo asked what other Catholics were consulted besides the hapless Richard McBrien:
Rudy Bednar, an executive producer at ABC, responded that the Catholic view had been expressed in the documentary by various evangelicals the producers had consulted. Mr. De Feo, perhaps bridling at the idea that arch-Protestants should represent the opinions of Catholics, shot Mr. Bednar a look of incredulity.