Flashback: Stephanie Tubbs Jones on Colbert

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Democratic representative of Ohio’s 11th district, died yesterday from a ruptured brain aneurysm at age 58. The Associated Press, CNN, CBS, Fox News and The Washington Post jumped the gun, reporting that Congresswoman Tubbs Jones had died several hours before her doctors confirmed the news.

On Nov. 3, 2005, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones appeared on Comedy Central’s then-nascent Colbert Report in the third part of his 435-part series, “Better Know a District.”

Mr. Colbert’s show had only been on a few weeks, so his blustery persona was still developing: In the taped segment, his hair appears cow-licked; his suit not yet sharply tailored. The fake newsman gently parried with Congresswoman Tubbs Jones (“May I call you T.J.?”) and asked her about her recipes for potato bread and other dishes. “When I cook, I cook for an army,” Congresswoman Tubbs Jones said.

At one point, Mr. Colbert asked the congresswoman if she considered herself “the Halle Berry of the Ways and Means Committee?” A game Congresswoman Tubbs Jones answered that she prefers to be the committee’s Harriet Tubman.

“The Harriet Tubman-Jones?” Mr. Colbert asked. Clearly knowing how to let a punchline stand, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones nodded knowingly.