Borat to be the subject of White House talks

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Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of wildly funny comic characters like British rapper Ali G, Kazakhstan TV's American correspondent Borat, and Bruno, host of Funkyzeit carried on Austrian television's gay channel, is a troublemaker. By design. As Ali G he regularly snared interviews with the prominent and pompous and posed idiotic questions to test their patience.

But now he has hit the bigtime. The Daily Mail of London reports,

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.

Money can't buy publicity like this.

Hat tip: Richard Baehr

Thomas Lifson   9 13 06

Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of wildly funny comic characters like British rapper Ali G, Kazakhstan TV's American correspondent Borat, and Bruno, host of Funkyzeit carried on Austrian television's gay channel, is a troublemaker. By design. As Ali G he regularly snared interviews with the prominent and pompous and posed idiotic questions to test their patience.

But now he has hit the bigtime. The Daily Mail of London reports,

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.

Money can't buy publicity like this.

Hat tip: Richard Baehr

Thomas Lifson   9 13 06