Sacha Baron Cohen posted a ten minute first-look video of his new Showtime series, Who is America? The controversial comedian released this before the show’s premiere on Sunday night. The show has already stirred up controversy because Cohen was able to successfully “dupe” multiple notable political figures into saying what they actually believe. In the ten minute clip Cohen is a character named Colonel Erran Morad a “terrorist terminator.” In an attempt to stop mass shootings, his character wants to arm the United States schoolchildren. In this clip politicians are shown to say some really reprehensible things. It can be argued that he fooled each of them into saying these things because that is what each of them truly believes.
According to a press release issued this morning by Showtime, there has been a spread of misinformation about what Cohen did in his comedy series Who is America?. As seen in the premiere of the series this past Sunday, Cohen did not present himself as a disabled veteran. When Senator Bernie Sanders asked his character Dr. Ruddick if he was in fact disabled, he replied that he uses the scooter to conserve energy. Also, during the booking process with Sarah Palin and during the episode, he never presented himself as a U.S. military veteran to her. He was also not in a wheelchair. During both interviews he did not even wear any kind of military apparel.
Here is the ten minute clip:
The first person that he talks to is guns right advocate Philip Van Cleave (president of Virgina Citizen’s Defense League). The first clip that we see of him is with an interview with Piers Morgan about Cleave’s comments about the Bustmaster semi-automatic rifle (the same gun used by Adam Lanza used in a school shooting) being a “blast to shoot with…” and Cleave’s response being that “It’s just a fact.” A possible reason why Cohen starts off with this clip is so that viewers understand that this is what he really thinks.
In Cohen’s video with Cleave, he talks about how he wants to get guns in the hands of children and asks Cleave to help him in creating an instructional children’s video on how to use guns. Claiming that there is a program in Israel called “Kinder-Guardians.” This made-up program trains, “them from the age 16 down to the age of 3.” Unaware, Cleave replies saying, “Yeah, well I think a good idea.” He then goes on to say, “You’re learning right and wrong. If they haven’t developed that yet, they could be very effective soldiers.”
In the video there is a wide array of child friendly animations. There are bright colors, a school bus, and the image zooms in on a school. All of the guns are in a group called, “Gunimals.” The first gun presented is called “Puppy Pistol,” which is a .22 semi automatic. The attempt to make it kid friendly by adding the head of a puppy with a hat on it and calling the cartridge a “lunchbox,” and to load it into the gun they say to push the lunchbox into his “tummy.”
They also introduce other guns, such as, the “Gunny Rabbit,” which is a sub machine gun that shoots 1090 rounds/minute. They dress up the gun to add bunny ears, eyes, and some pink fluff. The next gun is a “magical Uzicorn” another sub machine gun that fires at 600 rounds/minute. This fun is inside of a unicorn doll. Cleave saying that “Well, this one is for the girls. It’s a lovely little unicorn that you can play with.” Then there is the “Dino-Gun,” which is a machine gun that shoots at 850 rounds/minute. The barrel of the gun goes through a dinosaur’s mouth. They then take it to the next level by putting in a “Rocket Ship RPG” with, as the name suggests, a rocket ship in the form of an RPG. The last one is aimed at toddlers 12-24 months old. It is called the “BFF,” which stands for “Best Firearm Forever.” It is a gun hidden inside of a pink bear, and all a toddler has to do to fire it is pull a string. In the demonstration Cleave is shooting a cartoon pictures of heads. The two being shown are not white.
Cohen then takes this video to the nations capital to use it to help find someone to back his “Kinder-Guardians” program. This means he went to find politicians that would support this video.
The first person that he meets is Larry Pratt. He is a lobbyist that is the director of Gun Owners of America, which does have 1.5 million members. This means that his voice is heard by a large amount of people. When Cohen brings up the idea of arming “certain gifted children” Pratt replies with “Oh, that’s great.” completely agreeing with the idea. They then go on and say, “The only thing that stop a bad man with a gun is a good boy with a gun.” Pratt then quickly replies with, “even a good toddler.” Pratt then goes on to say, “Well, if they hear someone shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ they are likely to instinctively go for that gun.” Which actually only means “God is the greatest/Praise God.” Then when Cohen brings up a gardener getting shot because he said “Allahu Akbar” while praying Pratt replied with a laugh and said, “Pray in secret.” Cohen then tries to get Pratt to verbally agree with his statement, “it’s not rape if it’s your wife.” While he does not exactly verbally agree with it, he does shake Cohen’s hand, laughs, and even nods his head.
Because Pratt does agree with what Cohen’s character is saying he does get access to talk with government representatives.
The only person shown that does not say that he agrees with the idea of putting guns in children’s hands on television is, House representative Matt Gaetz, a republican Florida Congressman. In their conversation Gaetz replies, “Typically members of Congress don’t just hear a story about a program and then indicate whether they support it or not.”
However, it immediately then goes to Trent Lott a former Senate Majority Leader (R) supporting the Kinder-Guardian program, saying, “We, in America, would be wise to implement it, too.”
Then after that it does to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R) CA also supporting the program saying, “Maybe having young people trained to understand how to defend themselves in their school might actually make us safer here.”
Then Congressman Joe Wilson (R) SC said, “A three-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it.” He also talks about how the Founding Fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment. But then again, that might have been because they did not feel like they needed to do so.
The next person to speak is former Congressman Joe Walish (R) IL. He says, “In less than a month, less than a month, a first grader can become a first grenader.”
Pratt then comes back into the video and says, “The science behind this program is proven. At age four, a child processes images 80% faster than an adult, meaning that essentially, like owls, they can see in slow-motion. Children under five also have elevated levels of pheromone Blink-182, produced by part of the liver known as the Rita Ora. This allows nerve reflexes to travel along the Cardi B neural pathway, to the Wiz Kalifa 40% faster, saving time and saving lives.”
Before moving on let’s break down what Pratt had just said. There is no study that shows that owls and children see the world in slow motion. Blink-182 is actually a 1990s punk rock band, not a pheromone. Rita Ora is actually a British singer and actress, not part of the liver. Also, Cardi B and Wiz Kalifa are both professional American rappers, not a neural pathway. All of which would have been known if Pratt did a simple Google search.
The video then cuts back to the previous congressmen starting with Walish, then Pratt, Lott, then back to Pratt, and ends with Walish. All of which stating that the way to stop a gunmen is with a good kid with a gun. Wilson ends the video with saying “Happy shooting, kids.”