A TV crew from Kazakhstan's Channel 31 was in Columbus on Nov. 6 and 7 to make a real documentary on the U.S. political system, but the crew got a wary reception from press secretaries who feared public skewering by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, star of the mockumentary "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."
It didn't help that the Kazakh cameraman's first name was "Bolat," a name similar to Cohen's alias...
When the real central Asian TV crew showed up in Ohio, press secretaries for the state's Republican and Democratic parties were suspicious enough to verify their credentials with the U.S. State Department.
"They were really adamant that they were not Borat," said Ohio Democratic Party press secretary Randy Borntrager, adding that the film crew told him that "Borat" "is giving Kazakhstan a bad name."
State Department officials who supervised the TV crew's two-week multistate trip say they got apprehensive phone calls wherever the real Kazakhs went. Even the FBI called them to make sure the crew was legitimate.
Sunday Borat Update, Part II
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