Mr. Harris seems to think that a historical Jesus existed who was a proponent of liberal Judaism pace Hillel perhaps. Does Mr. Harris think that this historical Jesus’ thought was intellectually and theologically bankrupt? After all, obviously a historical Jesus would have predated any New Testament or Ebionite gospels, therefore established scripture would have provided few if any precedents for relaxation of the law.
Watch these YouTube videos yes he does http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Sam+Harris&search;_type=
He’s described the Sermon on the Mount as some of the absolute best humanity has had to offer (I don’t recall his exact wording off hand), so no, I wouldn’t say that’s a fair characterization.
Personally I think the Sermon on the Mount is pretty drastically overrated.