I can’t say
that Sacha Baron Cohen is my favourite comedian or actor. He is for one thing a Zionist and much of his
humour is thinly disguised racism.
However I have to say that his stunt in fooling a Republican congressman
and a gun lobbyist, the appropriately named Larry Pratt is genuinely funny.
really really not loving this game where @sachabaroncohen repeatedly takes
advantage of people’s affection and respect for the State of Israel to deceive
and humiliate them.
Screen shot of Sacha Baron Cohen (L) in costume as “Gen. Erran Morad” interviews gun lobbyist Larry Pratt.
Cohen duped leading Republicans into reciting absurd endorsements of a fake
program to arm toddlers in his premier of Showtime’s “Who is America?” last
night. One angle that seems to have baited Republicans into participating was
no-holds-barred support for Israel.
Like in his
“Da Ali G Show,” Cohen wearing a disguise met with senior politicians under the
premise of filming an unknown foreign news show. But where his infamous Borat
and Bruno played off of stereotypes that punched down, in this series he
impostures hardline characters whose influence has increased under the Trump
administration, namely a right wing blogger and a terrorism expert.
memorable segment is a 10-minute bit in which he is dressed as an Israeli
Defense Forces general and seeks to launch “Kinderguardians,” a program to
train children from as young as 3 to handle guns and light mortars. With
Israel already running these programs in schools, says Cohen, costumed as Gen.
Erran Morad, his goal is to expand in the U.S. market with the help of Second
Amendment enthusiasts. “The NRA wants to arm the teachers, this is crazy! They
should arm the children,” Cohen declares.
The look is
a smart parody—realistic enough but anyone familiar with Israel would be able
to spot him as a fake. Cohen’s head is shaved, he has a scar in one eyebrow,
but the giveaway is the logo on his shirt. It resembles a self-made army unit
t-shirts that are popular with soldiers, except the Hebrew letters are written
backwards (Cohen is Jewish and speaks
Hebrew fluently, oft employing the language in his ruses.) If the
text is flipped it reads a banal “The school for fighting terrorism,” yet
anyone familiar with Israeli gun laws knows there
are no classroom gun programs for small children and Israel
has stricter gun laws than the U.S. Bullets are also limited.
Logo on Sacha Baron Cohen’s character IDF Gen. Erran Morad. The Hebrew script is written backwards.
meets with lobbyist Larry Pratt who laughs a little too eagerly at Cohen’s
locker room talk that “it’s not rape it’s your wife” and during the retelling
of an apparent hate-crime murder of a Muslim gardener. Pratt insists the
faux-victim should have prayed “in secret” to avoid being killed. He is also
gullible enough to recite an endorsement clearly written by Cohen’s team that
lauds toddlers for their sharpshooter skills because of their so-called
biological advantage of the “Blink-182” pheromone and vascular “Cardi B.”
A number of
Republican officials followed suit, stating for the camera without a hint of
irony, that the way to “stop a bad guy” is to arm a “good boy.” Trent Lott, Joe
Wilson and Joe Walsh make cameos with Walsh giving a particularly earnest
sounding plug to the fake program: “In less than a month a first grader can
become a first grenade-or,” he said.
the program aired Walsh responded to criticism over social media with a mea
culpa. (Others have threatened lawsuits). His explanation gave insight into how
Cohen was able to get more than a handful of politicians to back a gun
education camp for kindergarteners. Namely, Walsh said he did not support
instructing American children to respond to school shooters with deadly fire.
Rather he said he was reading off a teleprompter—describing what he thought was
an existing class in Israel, as part of a larger interview on Israel’s
reading from a TelePrompTer, promoting various Israeli innovation. I read a
story about a child in Israel who stopped a terrorist. I then read about Israel
training children on firearms. I thought it was extreme, but often Israel must
be extreme. The story was a lie.”
He added, “If he had asked me about arming 5yr olds, I would have said hell no.”
Later in the
season views will see Cohen create a fake pro-Israel award and give one to
Walsh celebrating his commitment to the Jewish state. This event is one at
which Cohen conned Sarah Palin and Roy Moore–yes that Roy Moore of Alabama
pedophilia fame was also invited to Washington DC to receive a plaque.
statement posted to Facebook last week where
Moore threatened a defamation suit, the disgraced former candidate
for Senate accused Cohen of “trickery, deception, and dishonesty.”
Alabama has always been at the forefront of support of Israel and because I
share a strong belief in God as the Creator and Sustainer of all life, as does
Israel, I eventually accepted the invitation. Expenses were paid, and I
received no private remuneration for my time or participation,” Moore’s