As you may recall, I did a post on the way Sacha Cohen (as Borat), rather than exposing truly dangerous anti-Semitism, may be showing anti-Semites a way to get their feelings out into the open without fear of criticism or analysis. Aside from agreeing with my post, many of my readers commented on Cohen’s attack on the rural south. You guys aren’t the only ones who noticed that little problem. Robert VerBruggen, writing at The American Spectator, makes precisely the same point. He goes one step further, though (or, at least, I think he does). Instead of just taking Borat/Cohen to task for viewing rednecks as a soft target, he notes that, by doing so, Borat/Cohen carefully avoids raising the issue of anti-Semitism amongst politically effective groups that use anti-Semitism as part of their political profiles:
This disdain for rural areas pervades the comic’s work, and it’s complemented with a refusal to unearth urban issues. Take a look at the few scenes from Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan where Borat is in New York. He does bring to life the well known stereotype that working-class New Yorkers aren’t exactly cheery people — he kisses a few on both cheeks and watches them rupture blood vessels.
But for some reason the “Kazakh journalist’s” anti-Semitism seems restrained in these scenes. He evidently doesn’t want to know what these people think of Jews.
Then Borat heads to a black neighborhood in Atlanta to chat with a group of guys playing dice. They share a few fashion tips, but again Borat doesn’t bring up the whole Jewish thing.