Funniest Denier Punking Ever: Lord Monckton Isn’t An Act by Sacha Baron Cohen, Is He?

Is climate science denier Lord Monckton really just another act by Sacha Baron Cohen — creator of Ali G, Borat and Bruno?

That is the “mistake” Australian satirists make in this must-see video — which the UK Guardian callsbuttock-clenchingly embarrassing and hilarious in equal measure” — already seen by 800,000 Australians and now more than 300,000 viewers on YouTube:

In their post, DeSmogBlog puts in the disclaimer “(just to be absolutely clear here folks, he isn’t!)”

In the real world, the science-based world of “facts,” I suppose that is a reasonable statement.  But what about in Monckton’s world of pseudoscience?

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (TVMOB) is not merely a shameless purveyor of hate speech and anti-science disinformation (see Lord Monckton repeats and expands on his charge that those who embrace climate science are “Hitler youth” and fascists).

In his world, he is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a member of Parliament — who has cured HIV (see here).  None of those things are true.

So, if we were to apply TVMOB’s “logic,” then I think we should say the burden of proof is on TVMOB to show he isn’t Borat. After all, the video makes a strong case that he is, and no evidence has ever been provided to the contrary.

So until he appears in the same room at the same time as Cohen, I’ll reserve judgment.  And, no, a video of that would not constitute proof —  you can do amazing things with CGI these days. The ball’s in your court, TVMOB.

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19 Responses to Funniest Denier Punking Ever: Lord Monckton Isn’t An Act by Sacha Baron Cohen, Is He?

  1. prokaryotes says:

    It appears that a good way to deal with nonsense is with nonsense.

  2. John Mason says:

    The clip is straight out of Monty Python! All it needed was Graham Chapman, dressed as The Colonel, to stride in on-set (after Monckton got annoyed) bellowing, “Now look here, this is a very silly sketch and I want it to stop right now!”

    In fact, that would be even better fun at one of M’s actual talks!

    Cheers – John

  3. Joe Romm says:

    Yes, that would have been perfect.

    They should have timed it for just when TVMOB starts to object. Someone could have come in and seemed to be agree with him, and then start arguing with the interviewer, but then ultimately be persuaded the he was in fact Cohen.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    His Lordship has always been a circus act, and I love seeing him perform, actually.

    It would be interesting to see a list compiled of the reporters and columnists who have quoted him with a straight face. It would be a long list, unfortunately, but a good way to call out those who are dumb enough to pay attention to him.

  5. Gingerbaker says:

    I don’t think it is as simple as Lord Monckton being Sasha Cohen. Somehow, there is some Marty Feldman DNA intermingled in somewhere. ;)

  6. fj says:

    powerMockery – @NickKristof

  7. Seriously — those bug-eyes don’t happen by accident!


    — frank

  9. John Mason says:


    Eric Idle (as interviewer) & Mike Palin (man who starts arguing with interviewer) would have been perfect for it! I often think it’s a pity the Python team didn’t carry on doing regular topical sketch-shows. They would be absolutely invaluable right now!

    Cheers – John

  10. Joan Savage says:

    I like it, too.

    To be fair, Kristof’s link to Gene Sharp’s “From Dictatorship to Democracy” is a short circuit around the Albert Einstein Institution which distributes the guide. The homepage has a price of $10 for a paper copy, while the pdf downloads for free.
    I obsess about giving original sources their due!

    To get back to humor, Appendix A of Sharp’s paper is an astonishing list of 198 nonviolent actions, including many with humor options.

    “#14 Mock awards” and #44 Mock funerals
    seem apropos, yes?

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Something is wrong with this hamster.

  12. Artful Dodger says:

    The problem with wrestling with a pig is everyone gets covered with muck… and the pig loves it.

    Denialists would love to turn this into a rhetorical battle, instead of one based on science. It’s their only change to win, through delay until it its too late to take meaningful action.

  13. Joe Romm says:

    That is weird!

  14. Merrelyn Emery says:

    They are the Chaser boys who managed to get through security when Goerge Bush was in Sydney, with a Canadian flag on the front of the car and ‘Osama Bin Laden’ in the back seat, ME

  15. Russell says:

    Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci ?

    I don’t think so.

    The viscount’s high marks in rhetoric at Harrow wouldn’t stop Horace from recognizing his Hampster Wheel performance as an instant replay of vis consili expers mole ruit sua.

  16. Dave McRae says:

    Sacha Cohen is Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, curer of HIV, MS and and the common cold, victor of the Falklands War and vanquisher of Al Gore

    It all makes sense now

  17. Russell says:

    No, no, McRae: failing to cure HIV, MS, the common cold or Al Gore may put Viscount Monckton behind Sacha Baron Cohen in the race for a seat in the House of Lords, but being President of the Marylebone Cricket Club makes him a shoe-in for a Test seat at Lords, and welcome as an umpire in the Falklands.

  18. Raymond says:

    One question, what do they actually win from their position on the subject? Perhaps, The stupidist folks on the planet award?