ABC journalists at Good Morning America were excited for their “cover story” interview with left-wing British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen Friday morning about his crass new “Borat” sequel released today. Looking at reviews from fawning media outlets, the actor appears to continue his shtick of tricking conservatives and Republicans to embarrass and smear them.
With less than two weeks until the presidential election, ABC showed no hesitation to hype the clearly anti-Republican hit job which mocks Vice President Pence, President Trump, The First Lady and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Instead, journalist Amy Robach gushed over “The movie that everyone is talking about.”
Shortly into the interview, Robach touted the British actor’s goal to expose America’s racism:
“You said you set out to reveal America's inner racism. I know you also want to make people laugh so it's a double strategy there but what has changed in these past 15 years?” she hyped.
Sacha Baron Cohen claimed that America is now more overtly racist because of---you guessed it!--- President Trump:
“Well, you know, at that time people were shocked that there was an underbelly of hatred and racism. Now it's overt and, you know, you hear those words being projected by the president of the most powerful country in the world,” he scolded. The actor added he met some “good” people “from the other side” he would “despise normally” but he “tried to get people from both sides,” to show the country’s humanity under its “hatred.”
Robach didn’t question his dubious claim that he went after both sides in this film. Besides Giuliani, reviews mention Cohen tricking a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, conservative Q-anon conspiracy theorists, and CPAC attendees. Robach also got excited about that CPAC stunt, where Cohen’s character impersonates President Trump and shouts crass sexist remarks at Vice President Pence:
"You are obviously a master at disguise, Sacha. In another scene we see you sneaking into Vice President -- we see you sneaking into Vice President Mike Pence's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. How did that play out?" she asked.
Cohen bragged about how he was able to get past security disguised as President Trump, while mocking his weight in the "large fat suit" he wore. Robach also asked about the cringeworthy scene which appears to show Giuliani in a compromising position with the film’s lead actress who is pretending to be underage. Robach quoted Giuliani saying Cohen lied about what happened.
But Cohen implied this was a pattern for the Republican political figure: “Heaven knows what he's done with other female journalists in hotel rooms,” he warned. This prompted Robach to ask the Bulgarian actress if she “felt unsafe” filming this scene, which she denied.
While even left-wing outlets like Slate say this scene was heavily edited, Robach didn’t question if this was politically motivated due to Giuliani’s role in exposing the Hunter Biden scandal. Of course ABC has outright ignored reporting on the substance of the Hunter Biden story altogether so that’s not too surprising.
Robach didn’t bring up the film’s political messaging or targets for the remainder of the interview though she did gush, “You exposed quite a bit in these movies on all levels!”
The liberal prankster has appeared on the morning shows before to utter praise from left-wing journalists.
Read relevant transcript portions below:
Good Morning America
AMY ROBACH: Well now to our GMA cover story. The movie that everyone is talking about, "Borat" is back and, of course, making headlines and on GMA first Sacha baron Cohen stars in the newly released "Borat subsequent moviefilm" alongside award-winning Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova who plays his 15-year-old daughter and they are both joining us now so, Sacha, Maria, thanks for joining us. Everybody is talking about a scene, that scene referenced in your movie involving Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani himself has been talking about it as well. We can't show the clip. It's not morning TV friendly, but basically the president's personal attorney is seen in a compromising position in a hotel room after having an interview with Maria's character. But I want to say what Giuliani tweeted. He said “the "Borat" video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone cold liar.” Sacha, how do you respond to Giuliani's tweet and feel free, Maria, to chime in afterwards.
SACHA BARON COHEN: Well, I would say that if the president's lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he's done with other female journalists in hotel rooms and, listen, I just urge everyone to watch the movie. It is what it is. He did what he did and make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us.
ROBACH: Maria, did you want to add anything?
MARIA BAKALOVA: I'm -- maybe I'm want to thank you that I was sure that you were going to save me from everything.
COHEN: Well, I was actually -- I was quite concerned for her during the scene. I was in a -- we built a hideaway that I was hiding in during the entire scene, so I was monitoring it by text but, you know, it's my responsibility as a producer as well to ensure that the lead actor is looked after.
ROBACH: Well, Maria, did you feel unsafe because it sounds like you were implying that you did?
BAKALOVA: No, that's what I'm saying that I've always felt safe with our team, with our crew, with Sacha in my corner, I actually never felt that I've been in danger. That's why I'm lucky because I had them.
ROBACH: Wow. Well, this is your second time around obviously as Borat. The first in 2005 you said you set out to reveal America's inner racism. I know you also want to make people laugh so it's a double strategy there but what has changed in these past 15 years?
COHEN: Well, you know, at that time people were shocked that there was an underbelly of hatred and racism. Now it's overt and, you know, you hear those words being projected by the president of the most powerful country in the world and what I actually wanted to do was to reveal that underneath all the hatred and underneath all the division we are actually not that far apart. We are good people, people who, you know, you would despise normally, from the other side and I try to get people from both sides, you know, I wanted to show the humanity. There were some -- a couple of Q-anon conspiracy theorists I lived with who actually are good people who just have adopted some very negative conspiracy theories that are being propagated by social media and by the Trump presidency.