Ron Paul: It’s a ‘Real Shame’ America Pays Sacha Baron Cohen to Humilate Me


Public humiliation expert Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming stunt flick Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt has ensnared its share of embarrassing victims. Among them, as we know, is Ron Paul, who ended up in a hotel suite in 2008 with Cohen under the guise of an interview about Austrian economics, but he got punk’d when “Bruno” started dancing and tried seducing him. A Paul spokesperson already confirmed the incident went down, but here’s Paul talking about Cohen’s “fraud” with ABC Radio’s Curtis Sliwa. Via Politico‘s Ben Smith:

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  • ChristopherM

    That’s true. We can get Ron Paul humiliating himself for free.

  • dgz

    ha! good point.

    and while i’m no fan of Mr. Paul, i have to say i feel for the guy in this scenario. sexually harrassing peeps, then making money from the footage is just plain wrong… even worse that this is some straight guy making us look bad.

  • Dabq

    For the first time I agree with Ron Paul, Cohen is like a huge boil on the bum, and, I guess they say he’s funny with his silly sterotypes, to whom???

  • Kevin B

    To me, thanks.

  • TANK

    That’s a surprise, because Paul, like cohen, has no dignity or ethic.

  • ChristopherJ

    Technically, Ron Paul is an elected politician, so we are all actually paying him, not Cohen, who merely some people are paying by seeing this probably terrible film.

  • Greg

    Paul has to apologize to his supporters for not socking him in the nose…. Hearing that makes me feel a little less sympathetic.

  • Alec

    @Greg: Thanks for pointing that out, Greg. Not that I’d expect much better from Ron Paul the fake libertarian (not that real ones are much of an improvement, but geez….

    I’d be very curious to see what the contract Ron Paul actually signed has to say, by the way. He intimated that it was fraud, but surely the big bad, free marketeer, “live with your economic choices” congressman wouldn’t sign an agreement without reading it over with the advice of his attorney, would he?

  • Jamie

    While everybody’s got their panties in a bunch boycotting and Jamaica, why not boycott this crap too? Cohen’s a straight guy out there parading around this ridiculous stereotype of homosexuals, trafficking in “aren’t gay people hilarious” humor, and trying to pass it off as cultural commentary and satire.
    He might as well be wearing black face, eating watermelon, and making mammy jokes.

    I have way too much self-esteem (and intelligence) to laugh at grotesque caricatures of gay people, whored out for a largely straight audience’s amusement and derision.

    If you want something to boycott, this film looks like a much better choice than Red Stripe beer or

  • GayIsTheWay

    @Jamie: I’m with you. I won’t be watching the movie.

  • sparkle obama


    all right, norma rae
    “where’s the outrage?”
    la di da
    bring it on, the gays r corny

  • TANK


    That’s a thought…

  • tavdy79

    @Jamie: “He might as well be wearing black face, eating watermelon, and making mammy jokes.”

    Check out his Ali G skits – he didn’t go as far as black face, but that was definitely the next step, though to give him credit Baron Cohen was taking the piss out of a particular stereotype rather than black people in general. Baron Cohen’s humour is based on knocking down or parodying those he thinks have inflated egos – so the Ali G skits work because a) you don’t get an ego much more inflated than that of the gangsta rapper stereotype and b) so many people, especially the more high-profile hip-hop “artists” (I use the term unbelievably loosely) follow the gangsta rapper stereotype religiously.

    Baron Cohen doing a politician would be funny (can you imagine him doing Michele Bachmann?) but since he’s already done Ali G most of the jokes would just get recycled – and unlike with most other things, recycling jokes is a bad idea.

  • REBELComx

    Did you not see Borat? He’s not making this character up to make fun of US. He’s not using it to poke fun at the gays. He’s using it as a social commentary to show how STUPID the people are who react to the character. He’s making fun of the homophobes. I’m sure he will probably go a little far. But that’s comedy.

  • TANK


    You don’t get it. Ali G wasn’t blackface…

  • Tom

    goodness! the paultards must be furious!

    but seriously, sascha baron cohen, go away.

  • rogue dandelion

    @TANK: you don’t seem to get it.
    blackface isn’t the point.
    he is trying to provoke a reaction, by being an outrageous caricature.
    bruno is a stereotype, to make fun of those who believe in them. that is the point of the movie. Borat wasn’t about making fun of kazaks, who would care? It was about bringing out the xenophobia and cultural absurdity within our own society.
    This the same deal as the New Yorker caricature of the Obama’s, a lot of dense people couldn’t get it.

  • Grant

    When Paul refuses Bruno’s perfectly open and generous sexual advances during an interview with camera and crew present, well, that says it all, doesn’t it? What a sad, uptight culture we live in.

  • axlerodhomeboy

    DUDES! ARE YOU RETARDED AS WELL AS GAY? Ron Paul is sympathetic to gay peoples’ civil rights concerns. He advocates equal rights for all types of folks. He has even recently said (and many times before that) that he thinks that civil unions are a good idea. You dont’ get your rights because you’re gay… you get them because you’re people… individuals… you were born with them.

    That’s ok. Shoot yourselves in the feet. Even though you may yuck it up over Cohen, or may not, its irrelevant. What you’re doing is alienating people sympathetic to your cause, whose votes you may one day need. I’ll remember the sentiments set forth here the next time I vote on related issues, and as far as I’m concerned, you can kiss my ass! (metaphorically speaking, only)

    Yeah… you have the right to be gay, and being gay shouldn’t exclude you from doing anything people who aren’t gay have the right to do. Ron Paul is a republican, and he’s preaching that philosophy to republicans. But whatever, right?

    Enjoy your movie.

  • tjwdraws

    Not surprising as Paul is a racist and a homophobe.

    Like blacks, gays earn plenty of animus in Paul’s newsletters. They frequently quoted Paul’s “old colleague,” Representative William Dannemeyer–who advocated quarantining people with AIDS–praising him for “speak[ing] out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby.” In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.” In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

  • Alec

    @axlerodhomeboy: Bullshit.

    He supports DADT, he supports DOMA. He opposed the federal marriage amendment on federalist (states’ rights) grounds. He’s opposed to ENDA.

    His “libertarian” instincts only go so far.

  • Grant

    Here is Paul’s position on federal legislation dealing with marriage. Read it for yourselves:

    While it may not be to everyone’s liking, it is not based on sexual orientation or xenophobia, but rather, the belief that the federal government has no authority to regulate marriage, one way or the other. Paul was also a vocal opponent of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

    Frankly, allowing the states to have jurisdiction over marriage was a huge mistake, too, as we are now finding out. Why should a voluntary agreement between two adults be anyone’s business but their own?

  • TANK

    @rogue dandelion:

    So kazakhstan didn’t take offense to borat? And that’s more harmful than gay stereotyping in the u.s. and abroad? Annnyway, you just don’t comprehend (e.g., kazakhstanis are executed for being kazakhstani?). You’re not alone…lotsa people don’t get it…lotsa people don’t get linear algebra, either. Though, I think this is significantly more easy to get…which is to say that those who at least arrived at linear algebra aren’t the same as those who arrived at possibly understanding why this is offensive.

    Cohen wouldn’t dare do blackface for an entire movie to get laughs from the most vile stereotypes of black america. Instead, he was far more at home satirizing a wannabe black like ali g (everyone’s comfortable making fun of them…LOL!). It’s not a good investment, either, so he couldn’t get the backing for it. But making fun of faggots (with the blessing and support of faggots, apparently) is perfectly acceptable, and profitable. He’s getting more laughs at the expense of teh gays (mall scene), then at the expense of the homophobes who most everyone tacitly agrees with anyway. It’s not going to cause anyone to reconsider their views, nor is it going to advance any cause…what it’s going to do is get a lot of people to laugh at what they probably believe is what a faggot does (or it will expand their fag behavior repertoire)…a faggot they don’t know in their personal lives, because they don’t know any faggots or are aware that they do…just a faggot that they’ve created in their imagination to marginalize. And a faggot like that? That faggot’s not a human being…and doesn’t deserve anything…but especially rights…

  • TANK

    and chav

  • TANK



  • Alec

    @Grant: Yes, let’s take a look at what Rep. Paul said there, shall we?

    If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’s constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a “same sex” marriage license issued in another state. This Congress, I was an original cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act, HR 3313, that removes challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act from federal courts’ jurisdiction. If I were a member of the Texas legislature, I would do all I could to oppose any attempt by rogue judges to impose a new definition of marriage on the people of my state.

    Now let’s examine the ways in which Ron Paul is an idiot:

    1. DOMA was unnecessary; marriages are not “judgments” or “official acts” for the purposes of full faith and credit. He would have voted for DOMA, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even in states (like VT, IA, CT and MA) that authorize them, or those that have authorized them in the past (CA). If Ron Paul truly believed that the federal government had no power to regulate marriage, he would have been opposed to DOMA, which purports to do just that….for purposes of federal law.

    2. Congress only controls the appellate authority of federal courts; they could do nothing to prohibit a state court ruling on the constitutionality of DOMA. So Ron Paul’s proposal, ironically, would create a situation where state supreme court judgments on the federal constitution, as it relates to the Defense of Marriage Act, could not be appealed to the Supreme Court.

    As far as state court jurisdiction over marriage, be realistic. Marriage is not simply a voluntary agreement between two people; it is the creation of a legal entity, and not simply a contract, which has elevated claims over others and rights and responsibilities that go well beyond contract law.

  • blakmira

    I’ll bet some of you commenting on here aren’t even gay — you’re just jumping at the opportunity for a Ron Paul-bashing. My brother, who *is* gay, absolutely loves Ron Paul.

    …which means he’s intelligent enough to see that it’s much more important to have a politician like Ron Paul voting, speaking out and fighting for *all* American’s rights rather than just one group of people based on sexual identity or preference.

    But like another poster said, go ahead, bite off your own noses to spite your own faces just so you can bitch about something. Placing your own gay rights ahead of your American citizen rights is counter-productive, naive and tunnel-visioned, and will get you absolutely nowhere but running around in silly, clueless little circles.

    P.S. How would you feel if your 72-year-old grandfather was sitting somewhere minding his own business, and some nut suddenly pulled down his underpants exposing himself, then physically blocked your grandfather’s exit? I think Ron Paul handled the whole situation with grace and dignity.

  • blakmira

    Also, did any of you even bother to listen to the audio? Ron Paul was laughing most of the way through the interview, showing he can take a joke, even at his own expense.

    He merely made the comment he thought it was sad that people found such crassness and playing tricks on other people to be funny, popular and lucrative.

    It wasn’t a “hotel suite” either, but a studio set-up.
    Ever been “punked”? It doesn’t feel so good. Anyway, if this makes people more aware of Ron Paul and his Campaign for Liberty, I will actually thank Cohen!

  • Grant

    Mr. Amar’s essay is thought provoking, but certainly not the only credible analysis of DOMA, MPA, and Article IV, Section 1. I am by no means a constitutional scholar, but there seems to me to be adequate opinion that the Full Faith and Credit Clause could, indeed, be used to enforce a uniform definition of marriage across all states (see

    While Mr. Amar calls into question the underlying intent of MPA based on its proponents support for the FMA, it should be noted that Paul strongly opposed the FMA.

    In any case, I accept Paul’s rationale for supporting DOMA and MPA at face value, even if there were issues in the technical crafting of the legislation.

    And, yes, by all means let’s be realistic about the state’s role in the institution of marriage. We’ve taken a private, consensual act and handed it to bureaucrats to use as a blunt instrument of social control.

    I agree with Michael Kinsley who wrote:

    “That solution is to end the institution of marriage. Or rather (he hastens to clarify, Dear) the solution is to end the institution of government-sanctioned marriage. Or, framed to appeal to conservatives: End the government monopoly on marriage. Wait, I’ve got it: Privatize marriage. These slogans all mean the same thing. Let churches and other religious institutions continue to offer marriage ceremonies. Let department stores and casinos get into the act if they want. Let each organization decide for itself what kinds of couples it wants to offer marriage to. Let couples celebrate their union in any way they choose and consider themselves married whenever they want. Let others be free to consider them not married, under rules these others may prefer. And, yes, if three people want to get married, or one person wants to marry herself, and someone else wants to conduct a ceremony and declare them married, let ’em. If you and your government aren’t implicated, what do you care?

    If marriage were an entirely private affair, all the disputes over gay marriage would become irrelevant. Gay marriage would not have the official sanction of government, but neither would straight marriage. There would be official equality between the two, which is the essence of what gays want and are entitled to. And if the other side is sincere in saying that its concern is not what people do in private, but government endorsement of a gay “lifestyle” or “agenda,” that problem goes away, too.”


  • Captain Freedom


    Who cares?

    We need to lighten up. I think Sacha Baron Cohen is hilarious! His Bruno films have actually done a lot to expose homophobia and anti-gay attitudes.

    In Borat, he exposed those rednecks who said gays should be put to death.

    In this movie, he exposes Prop 8 enthusiasts. He goes to the heartland of rural America and shows how bad the attitudes are down there.

    MILLIONS of Americans will see this movie. They will not only see Sacha Baron Cohen’s OBVIOUS stereotypes but they will see the hatred and vitriol he receives for them. Sometimes we need someone to rock the boat.

  • business videos

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