Friday, November 24, 2006

Krauthammer Takes On Murphy Brown Borat

What is it with Republicans jousting with fictional characters? From Quayle vs. Murphy Brown to Falwell vs. Tinky Winky to Margaret Spellings vs. Buster the Bunny, how long will it be before Cheney challenges Jem and the Holograms to a death-match? It's almost as if, tired of sparring with people who can formulate real arguments to contrast with their illogical views, the Republicans feel more comfortable debating characters who don't actually exist. Clever!

This time, dependable blowhard Charles Krauthammer decides that this Borat issue simply must be addressed in the editorial pages of the Washington Post. There is little evidence that Charlie has actually seen Borat's hit movie, as most of his rhetoric is aimed at dog-eared episodes from the Ali G show, but this doesn't stop the Krautmeister from hitching his wagon to the runaway hit train to put forward a flimsy argument that the United States is the most religiously tolerant country in the world (true), and is, therefore, devoid of religious bigots (false) because, you see, it's unfair to include hicks 'n' rubes in the survey.

Um, whatever. What Krauthammer really wants to say, though, is that this is yet another example of mean, snobby liberals pointing and laughing at those hicks and rubes, because it's unfair, apparently, to make fun of stupid people. Well, considering that Krauthammer and his pals depend on stupid people for their very existence, his concern is well-founded.

Krautykins also conveniently overlooks racism as the primary subject of the Borat film, but since he hasn't, apparently, seen the flick, this is understandable. Furthermore, he also doesn't account for the fact that the Borat film wasn't restricted to release only in America, but is being screened all over the world, a point which makes its "anti-semitism and racism is ludicrous" message far more pointed.

Coming soon: David Brooks arm wrestles a Bratz doll.

UPDATE: Oops, commenting enabled.


guru-On-A-Soap-Box said...

I find Mr. Krauthammer's idea that Hicks n' Rubes are harmless and thus should not be attacked---utterly ludicrous. As shown by Mr. Bush and Co., those who spout racist or anti-Semitic rhetoric without the education to know what they are doing (OMG what a crazy thought), WILL facilitate those who are 'educated' in their racial spouting to lead a nation into a bottomless shithole. The character Borat (a character, not a person, please, can we separate the two?) is a satirical vehicle and would not get any attention if he were baiting English professors at Harvard.

Even WORSE is Mr. Krauthammer claims that England is in British friends/alcoholic pals would vehemently deny this whilst slamming Mr. Krauthammer's head repeatedly against a dart.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

Also, Cohen has baited Harvard-types plenty, but in the guise of Ali G rather than Borat.

sfmike said...

For even more priceless neocon crap, check out the "Cartoon" issue of "The New Yorker" (Nov. 27, 2006). They not only have George Packer going on about "the Democrats' Iraq delusions," but the loathsome Dean of the Columbia Journalism School Nicholas Lemann writing all about I.F. Stone's "shortcomings."

We won't even go into Louis Menand trashing Thomas Pynchon's latest novel or the right-wing schlock movie critic David Denby being patronizing about "liberals."

This whole crew needs to be put into a box and put away forever. Yuckorama.

Matty Boy said...

Liberals aren't supposed t make fun of the handicapped, but Krauthammer's mind and soul are as messed up as his body.

sturgeone said...

....strong opinions in ill-formed minds.....

--barbara w. tuchman

Edith's Friend said...

I was moved by the Borat movie. It was ugly and harsh at times, but also brave. To take that character through the deep south and force dialogue or at least reaction concerning race is guerilla theater in its finest tradition.

I have less problem with the CK piece than you do. A lot of my family is right wing, some of them are even Fundies, and they are for the most part intelligent people. (Oh, you mean everyone on the right isn't stupid by definition???) I also believe it's possible Mr. Pundit actually has some knowledge about the content of the movie, although it's entirely likely he didn't see the film, based on what he wrote. Nothing he said misrepresents the content of the film.

I'm not going into a point-by-point analysis here, but I will make a couple of points.

1.) I think one of the reasons Cohen chose the south rather than, say, Iran is that the level of personal danger is probably more acceptable here than he would find elsewhere. Although, when he took on that entire stadium full of rodeo fans....

2.) If, as CK posits, the point was to maybe affect thinking on racism/antisemitism, it may make some sense to hit spots where there is wiggle room, rather than going someplace and, from the ground up, try to create rethinking on these issues.

Ultimately, I wish Beer Can Chicken Man would stop being so defensive and take the lessons the movie offers as intended, and I wish the Borats of this world happiness, and I think the path to happiness leads through information and experience. Which I think is the ultimate meaning of the movie in question.

HRH King Friday XIII said...

It's not that conservatives dislike Borat because they don't get the joke.

Conservatives dislike borat because THEY ARE the joke.

Anonymous said...

Krauthammer wasn't saying you shouldn't pick on hicks. He calls them rubes in this very article!

His point was this: if Borat is a "tool" for exposing anti-semitism (as Cohen said in Rolling Stone magazine), then his choice of target was extremely ironic considering that American conservatives are just about the best friends Israelis have in the world right now. Not to mention the fact that real, active anti-semitism (you know, the violent kind) is running rampant throughout Europe and the Middle East.

This is all very clear in the article if you read it. But I realize it's a lot more fun just to put Chuck's head on a roasted chicken.