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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Kazakh to where you once belonged: Borat vs. Nazarbayev

pregnant.jpgEditor & Publisher notes the intersection of Borat and the Kazakh leader on the Washington Post’s front page. The story, writes E&P, “profiles an upcoming visit to this country by the president of Kazakhstan, an accused thief and “autocrat” who, nevertheless, will soon be receiving a warm welcome both at the White House and the Bush compound at Kennebunkport. With this fresh publicity, he may now be the second most famous Kazakh in America, though still trailing far behind Borat Sagdiyev, the comic creation of Sacha Baron Cohen… [N]ormally one might suspect that the Kazakh leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has timed his visit to help boost the movie debut of a favorite son. However, the Kazakh government has blasted Cohen in the past, and threatened legal action, for allowing Borat to, among other things, make fun of his homeland, demean women, slander gypsies and (in a famous song) urge listeners to “Throw the Jew Down the Well.” The article notes that Nazarbayev “runs a nation that is anything but free and who has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of pocketing the bulk of $78 million in bribes from an American businessman… Nazarbayev has banned opposition parties, intimidated the press and profited from his post, according to the U.S. government. But he also sits atop massive oil reserves that have helped open doors in Washington.” pres bush friend_471.jpgNazarbayev, 66, has led Kazakhstan since 1990.” As more than one internet source notes, at least “Nazarbayev’s regime does not boil people in oil like that of his neighbour in Uzbekistan, President Islam Karimov.” [Borat’s MySpace profile—MySpace, like Borat distributor Fox, is controlled by Rupert Murdoch—currently lists his hometown as “Kuzcek, 3 mile north of fence to Jewtown“; Here’s an unofficial Borat site from a UK obsessive.]

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