Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show Who is America? debuted on Sunday by embarrassing several Republican lawmakers.
Cohen portrayed Col. Erran Morad, a former Israeli commando offering a provocative claim: He can prevent school shootings by putting “deadly weapons into the hands of America’s schoolchildren.” After impressing a couple of guns rights advocates with his program providing gun training for children “from the age (of) 16 down to the age (of) three,” Cohen obtained meetings with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-MS), and former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL).
“Maybe having many young people trained and understand how to defend themselves and their school might actually make us safer here,” said Rohrabacher. The California congressman is perhaps an apt target for Cohen as there is no small amount of consensus that Rohrabacher is, let’s say, the sort that is easily taken in.
“A three-year-old cannot defend itself from a assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it. Our Founding Fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment,” said Wilson, who is most famous for interrupting President Barack Obama’s 2009 address to a joint session of Congress by yelling, “You lie!”
Gaetz was not as enthusiastic about endorsing Cohen’s plan. “You want me to say on television that I support three and four-year-olds with firearms?” asked the Florida congressman who has otherwise done such things as appearing on Infowars and inviting a Holocaust denier to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in January. “Typically members of Congress don’t just hear a story about a program and then indicate whether they support it or not.”
The right was not the only target of Cohen’s jokes. He also introduced the character Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr. of Truthbrary.org, who interviewed Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) about the Affordable Care Act. Cohen tells the former Democratic presidential candidate, “I was a healthy man, then Obamacare came in. I was forced to see a doctor and suddenly I had three diseases.” Sanders doesn’t say anything outlandish and mostly gives Cohen side-eye before closing with, “Billy, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I really don’t.”