Ben Schwartz writes, “I’m taking a break from diaper changes (my son’s, not mine) to forward this regarding Sacha Baron Cohen. I feel like it’s a joke, but if Bush is really falling for it, so can I. At least I know it’s funny.”
US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.
And now a movie of Borat’s adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident.
The opening scene, which shows Borat lustily kissing his sister goodbye and setting off for America in a car pulled by a horse, had audiences in stitches when it was first shown last week.
But the film, which has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has prompted a swift reaction from the Kazakhstan government, which is launching a PR blitz in the States.
Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev is to fly to the US to meet President Bush in the coming weeks and on the agenda will be his country’s image.
President Nazarbayev has confirmed his government will buy “educational” TV spots and print advertisements about the “real Kazakhstan” in a bid to save the country’s reputation before the film is released in the US in November.
This is clearly a volatile situation. Perhaps Kazakhstan should be granted, well, a free shot at Western culture? I think putting this in heavy rotation on Kazakhstan state TV should do the trick.