How Rudy Giuliani Got Caught Red-Handed With Borat’s Daughter
October 21, 2020 11:56 AM   Subscribe

 
All I can think of is Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his claim that he didn't know they were all prostitutes. He just assumed a bevy of beautiful young women just want to have an orgy with a fat disgusting pig of an old man.

I get that he had no reason to believe she was underage, but more the point, I'm always shocked these cretins have any reason to believe that ANY WOMAN EVER was at any point attracted to them. These ugly old farts absolutely somehow believe young beautiful women just want to fuck them for no good reason.

Or is it that they've all paid for so many prostitutes they don't know the fucking difference between real and fake intimacy anymore?

I say this, speaking as an ugly old fart. I know my worth in the sexual marketplace and it ain't fuckin' much.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:01 PM on October 21 [45 favorites]


The Guardian also has an article on this.

@crampell:
Impossible for the Russians to be manipulating Giuliani, say supporters of man who was apparently hoodwinked by {checks notes} Borat.
posted by Wordshore at 12:04 PM on October 21 [102 favorites]


Still of the scene of - WARNING WARNING WARNING YOU CANNOT UNSEE THIS - Giuliani with, umm, only one hand visible.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:04 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


I'm assuming this is some kind of direct retribution for the whole Hunter Biden "lost hard drive" that Guiliani just happened to "find".

If so, I strongly approve.
posted by Dashy at 12:08 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


I'm assuming this is some kind of direct retribution for the whole Hunter Biden "lost hard drive" that Guiliani just happened to "find".

Honestly considering how long ago this was filmed, I would say it's the other way around. Projection is all they know.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:12 PM on October 21 [24 favorites]


In Rudy's case it was probably more of a floppy disk.

(I'll show myself out now...)
posted by PhineasGage at 12:14 PM on October 21 [46 favorites]


Aah, for the quaint times of yesteryear, when we only had to fear seeing the Pee Tape.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:17 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Would have assumed after various other political stunts e.g. trying to seduce Rand Paul, and getting Dick Cheney to autograph a waterboarding kit, that senior GOP male politicians in particular would be very wise to any kind of Borat entrapment.

But, noooope.
posted by Wordshore at 12:18 PM on October 21 [12 favorites]


And here I thought one can't put a floppy disk into a laptop.
posted by y2karl at 12:18 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


The G (iuliani) tape is real!
posted by PenDevil at 12:19 PM on October 21


I really disliked the whole Borat schtick, but I am prepared to forgive a lot for his help in this hour
posted by Countess Elena at 12:21 PM on October 21 [85 favorites]


this is nuts...I never knew Borat's films were spoofs or real? Seems like they're very real...
posted by davidfreiburger at 12:22 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


"All I can think of is Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his claim that he didn't know they were all prostitutes."

Yes, the Neil Bush Defense. "The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and had sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them. [...] "It was very unusual," Bush said."
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:23 PM on October 21 [10 favorites]


There are far too many penises in my news this week and it's only Wednesday.
posted by kimberussell at 12:27 PM on October 21 [102 favorites]


According to Josh Gad (who has seen the the entire Rudy scene), it's way worse than the photos released so far and "#RudyGiuliani is over in a very big way".
posted by PenDevil at 12:30 PM on October 21 [11 favorites]


And Rudy apparently is getting suckered again today.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:42 PM on October 21 [13 favorites]


Everyone associated with Trump is like a Batman supervillain. But in this movie they’re all defeated by their own stupidity and Batman never even leaves Wayne Manor.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:42 PM on October 21 [22 favorites]


"#RudyGiuliani is over in a very big way".

I mean, it'd be nice to think so, but we all know the chorus to this song . . .

♪ "It's Okaaaaaay If You're A Republicaaaaannnnnn"♪
posted by soundguy99 at 12:42 PM on October 21 [28 favorites]


"#RudyGiuliani is over in a very big way"

I keep seeing stuff like this. If these assholes haven't been over already I'm convinced nothing will ever end them, at least not until they're stripped of money and power first.

There are far too many penises in my news this week and it's only Wednesday.
posted by kimberussell at 3:27 PM on October 21 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


This may be my new all-time favorite Metafilter comment.
posted by bondcliff at 12:44 PM on October 21 [24 favorites]


Paywalled link. Thanks Wordshore for the Guardian link instead.
posted by Snowflake at 12:48 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


I'm assuming this is some kind of direct retribution for the whole Hunter Biden "lost hard drive" that Guiliani just happened to "find".

Giuliani's latest H.Biden fantasy (published in the NY Post, when Fox News wouldn't break it; the Post writer refused to put his name on it; more here and elsewhere) is meant to morph into a "credible" child pornography accusation, so this footage is extra timely.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:49 PM on October 21 [8 favorites]


Look, there's a lot you can say about Sacha Baron Cohen, but not that he isn't a fearless and fearsome jester.
posted by dmh at 12:50 PM on October 21 [25 favorites]


A fuller description of the scene.

Click at your own risk.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:58 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


JFHC!
posted by y2karl at 1:03 PM on October 21


Well I guess it makes sense now why Bezos won the bidding war to acquire the rights for Amazon.
posted by PenDevil at 1:04 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


For the love of all that is holy someone upload the full scene.
posted by geoff. at 1:23 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


this is nuts...I never knew Borat's films were spoofs or real? Seems like they're very real...

Borat (and I guess the people in Kazakhstan) is in character but I always thought that everyone else was real.

My still favourite bit of Borat news is when the organizers at a sporting event played his fake national anthem instead of the real one. I recognize that it must have been horrible for the athletes and their families but I still find it very funny.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:23 PM on October 21


Batman never even leaves Wayne Manor.

Superheroics in a time of social distancing.

The real problem with Batman's mask is that it covers the wrong half of his face.
posted by bonehead at 1:24 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


That village scene in Borat was filmed in Romania, not Kazakhstan.
posted by olopua at 1:27 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


Considering Rudy is like 95% complete on his transformation into a Max Schreck Nosferatu I don't think this type of creeper activity is entirely unexpected. At this point it's pretty clear that the remaining Trump loyalists are exhibiting increasingly ghoulish behavior yet of course there is continued projection of these faults onto Democrats.
posted by vuron at 1:28 PM on October 21 [11 favorites]


How many hours of Giuliani, uh, tape must Putin have, if he can be suckered by Borat?
posted by BungaDunga at 1:31 PM on October 21 [32 favorites]


is meant to morph into a "credible" child pornography accusation,

With the small problem that Giuliani claims to still have held onto the hard drives, which means if true, he would be guilty of receiving, possessing, and probably transmitting it himself.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:33 PM on October 21 [23 favorites]


The pair gave the outlet a copy of what they claimed was content copied from a hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which they said had been obtained from a computer repairman who wished to remain anonymous.

The repairman told a group of reporters last week that a man named Hunter Biden had dropped the laptop off at his store, but medical issues with his vision prevented him from making an identification.


And then, a man ran in and said "I'm President Obama and I love Mohammed!" but I couldn't get a good look because he ran out so fast, and then someone else came in and said, "Hi, I'm Bernie Sanders, and I love communism!" but he had on a hat, so I couldn't really tell if it was him, but then...
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:37 PM on October 21 [45 favorites]


🎶 stop your messing around / better think of your future / a message to you Rudy 🎶
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:42 PM on October 21 [50 favorites]


Wait from the stills it appears there was camera equipment and the accompanying accruement (lights, microphones, etc.)? Rudy has done thousands of interviews, how often is he just in a room with the interviewer alone? It sounds like they made it into a bedroom? How is that even possible? I assumed interviews like this had people doing work ... the description makes it seem like a bad 80s movie where Giuliani orders everyone out.
posted by geoff. at 1:47 PM on October 21


I keep picturing Giuliani like Al Bundy on the couch with his hand in his pants. Almost makes it seem innocent. Almost.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:47 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


That text screenshot Phinneas posted is faked. The OP called it satire.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:52 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


MeFites: if you need a palate cleanser after absorbing the Rudy news (or worse, seeing the images), then here is a cheese-centric outtake from the first Borat film. Due credit to the polite and patient supermarket manager.
posted by Wordshore at 1:56 PM on October 21 [17 favorites]


The laptop shenanigans Rudy is involved with are so comically inept. Is there even any real indication that the laptop was ever actually purchased by the Beau Biden foundation (it should be readily apparent if the serial numbers are provided). Granted in theory the foundation could've purchased a laptop second-hand but that seems dubious. Even if the laptop was property of the foundation it would be extremely difficult to prove it was actually in Biden's possession and that he was the person dropping it off. Given that apparently the device had zero encryption it's unclear how any contents of said device could be definitively proven to be communications/files from Hunter Biden. It's entirely possible that any files or email communication could've been added at any point in time prior or after the device being dropped off and nothing produced thus far seems remotely credible and most of the actors involved have records of significant partisanship that makes it very difficult to trust their assertions especially given how flimsy the "evidence" is.

The fact that even right-wing news sources like Fox passed on the story and even the Post's own journalists avoided it further indicates how dubious it is. It seems like most reporting of it has been of the standard "other news organizations are reporting x" with zero verification of the underlying facts. But of course actually proving the story is correct really isn't the point it's more akin to trying to color the public's perception of Hunter and by association Biden. Perhaps it will be enough to cause wavering voters to adopt a "both sides" approach and be willing to overlook the many moral and ethical lapses of Trump but I've yet to see anything that seems to suggest that this is being treated seriously anywhere outside of the conservative mediasphere. And even there it seems to be limited to the more dubious new sources and of course the social media bullshit farms.
posted by vuron at 1:58 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


The political celebrity rule of threes has to come into effect here.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:01 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


For fuck's sake: buy the Mexican Rustic Cut!
posted by SPrintF at 2:01 PM on October 21


There are far too many penises in my news this week and it's only Wednesday.

Is this also the thread to talk about Jeffrey toobin’ it on Zoom or are we already out of jokes about that?
posted by atoxyl at 2:04 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


Sacha Baron Cohen, doing the lord's work by trollin'. (I do worry that he's gonna get himself shot one of these days.)

Giuliani's own description of what happened is so infuriatingly on-brand for Trump and his goons. The man is on tape, diddling himself in a room with an underage girl, but of course that's not what really happened: It was a normal interview, some maniac barged in wearing a "transgender outfit," our hero immediately saw through it and had the interloper chased off by the cops. They never "got" Rudy! What are you going to believe: The very trustworthy Rudy Giuliani, or your lying eyes?

(Also, Rudy? What the hell is a "transgender outfit"? Is it something like your drag persona?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:13 PM on October 21 [18 favorites]


Is this also the thread to talk about Jeffrey toobin’ it on Zoom or are we already out of jokes about that?

I posted it when it happened and it got deleted. Probably the best decision though it seems with the onslaught of news it is pretty arbitrary what stays and goes. I never participated in megathreads last election so I don't know the drama surrounding it but it seems like we are effectively picking one news item and sticking everything in it anyway. Not against that either.
posted by geoff. at 2:13 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


The cheese clip that Wordshore posted is maybe one of the most brilliantly elegant commentaries on US consumerism ever. Rows upon rows of pre-shredded processed cheese, most of it barely distinguishable in terms of taste. All that wasted labor to build and run the factories to process, measure, shred, package, and ship the cheese, not to mention all the effort and money to trademark, test, and market it. Just so we can have the illusion that we're living in some sort of futuristic wonderland where our every need is catered to because we don't have to run a grater across a block of cheese. What a perfect metaphor for late-stage capitalism.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:26 PM on October 21 [24 favorites]


For the love of all that is holy someone upload the full scene.

Ooh ick, No.

Go to YouTube and type Borat Giuliani in the Search Window. All will be revealed.
posted by y2karl at 2:26 PM on October 21


But in this movie they’re all defeated by their own stupidity and Batman never even leaves Wayne Manor.

These villains have been stupid before and are still standing. You can defeat them from inside Wayne Manor only if you have voted by mail.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:34 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


I have been living in NYC since 1988. I lived through all of Giuliani's mayoral terms and even was part of one of the protests against his 1st Amendment violations. I have hated this man's ubiquity for years.

This is filling me with GLEE.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:35 PM on October 21 [27 favorites]


Go to YouTube and type Borat Giuliani in the Search Window. All will be revealed.

You're going to have to be more specific than that. All I see are a bunch of rushed commentary videos with a few screengrabs. Not the scene itself.
posted by Nelson at 2:43 PM on October 21 [6 favorites]


- is meant to morph into a "credible" child pornography accusation,

-- With the small problem that Giuliani claims to still have held onto the hard drives, which means if true, he would be guilty of receiving, possessing, and probably transmitting it himself.

Steve Bannon is credited with alerting the NY Post to the existence of the drives last month, while Giuliani provided the drives themselves -- though the emails published along with the story aren't taken from the drives: The Wall Street Journal's Kevin Poulsen noted on Twitter that instead of publishing emails from the copy of the hard drive the Post said it's had since Sunday, it published PDFs of the emails that were compiled "by a third-party, Giuliani or someone else, over a year ago." The metadata that Poulsen tweeted indicated that the PDF of the May 2014 email was created on October 10, 2019, and that the PDF of the April 2015 email was produced on September 28, 2019.

Weird how Bannon, currently under indictment (and doing his radio show - here he is interviewing Giuliani a few days ago about a certain crime family), is a source and knows better than actually-technically-a-lawyer Giuliani not to be anywhere near an admission of sitting on material related to child sexual abuse. And John Paul Mac Isaac, the multitudes-containing Delaware repair shop owner, doesn't note pornographic images of any kind on these drives he searched. Maybe Mac Isaac's getting some decent legal advice from Giuliani's own attorney of less than a year, Robert Costello (former Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York), to whom Mac Isaac gave a copy of the drives at some point? Is it also weird that a Trump-loving small business owner would reach out to a high-profile New York criminal lawyer who doesn't practice in his state? (Incidentally, Mac Isaac mentions that eye problem that prevented him from positively IDing Hunter Biden as the man dropping off the water-damaged laptop in April 2019; Biden moved to California in 2018.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:44 PM on October 21 [11 favorites]


Rows upon rows of pre-shredded processed cheese, most of it barely distinguishable in terms of taste...

{Over a minute in...}
"What is this, potato?"
"Cheese."

That precise moment gets me.
posted by Wordshore at 2:48 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


Also, Rudy? What the hell is a “transgender outfit”?

A mob movie I’d be interested in watching.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:05 PM on October 21 [30 favorites]


I was just tucking in my shirt, wails Giuliani like a child lying about eating all the biscuits while covered in crumbs.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:08 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


I don't consider myself unattractive but I'm certainly no Adonis. If a hot reporter interviewing me started flirting I'd figure something was up pretty quick. If I was 76 and had a passing resemblance to Gollum? Well a smarter man than "America's Mayor" would have smelled a rat. Sadly, America's Mayor seems to be about as smart as America deserves.
posted by East14thTaco at 3:29 PM on October 21 [10 favorites]


I didn't expect a second such embarrassment today, but apparently Fort Bragg's twitter account has gone to horny jail because somebody couldn't keep their personal and professional tweeting separate

(to be honest it isn't quite fair to mention them here without proof that they are a Trump supporter, a thing much less sympathetic than posting in the wrong thread)
posted by Countess Elena at 3:35 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


"There are far too many penises in my news this week and it's only Wednesday."

Umm, you might not want to know why Fort Bragg's official Twitter account was just closed, in that case. All since the Rudy reveal I believe.

I learned about it from @nycsouthpaw:
Apparently the twitter account of a military base named after one of the worst confederate generals got too horny and ceased to exist.
posted by bcd at 3:36 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


Er, jinx.
posted by bcd at 3:37 PM on October 21


Perhaps Rudy is used to hot girls with Russian* accents being made available to him. One of the perqs of his other unofficial job.

(*) yes I know the difference between Bulgarian, fake Kazakh, and Russian. I doubt Rudy does.
posted by Nelson at 3:37 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


Incidentally, there's this clip of Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G, interviewing Trump. Which is weird to watch now, because the Trump in the clip appears to have the ability to understand what's going on around him and talk in normal sentences.
posted by EllaEm at 3:43 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


I was just tucking in my shirt, wails Giuliani like a child lying about eating all the biscuits while covered in crumbs.

To which JoJofromJerz's reply read
Are you saying this is a case of erection fraud?
posted by y2karl at 3:51 PM on October 21 [22 favorites]


I forbid this union!

Amen, Borat. Amen.
posted by chavenet at 3:56 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


I am so jealous that Cohen gets to become the first comedian in space next week. Launched there of course by the enormous, erupting pile of money this movie is about to make. I'm glad I stocked up on popcorn already, I fear the stores might run out.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:57 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


“Tucking in my shirt” is gonna be the next “Hiking the Appalachian Trail.”
posted by sjswitzer at 4:12 PM on October 21 [17 favorites]


I watched the clip of Trump and Baron Cohen as Ali G that EllaEm links earlier in the week and I was disappointed. Trump really does not have a sense of humor, does not seem to understand humor and finds the very concept inherently offensive. It's a very lighthearted, silly pitch that he could have had fun with, being in on the joke, but he shows nothing but extreme discomfort and contempt at being allowed into a joke at all. There are so many moments where Baron Cohen sets him up to play the straight man, and Trump angrily blows each and every opportunity he had to make the situation remotely funny. It falls completely flat, entirely due to Trump's unwillingness to participate. It is utterly bizarre to me.

This Giuliani thing, though - easily in my top ten Always Sunny episodes.
posted by Lonnrot at 4:27 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Aide, "Mr Giuliani I think we can avoid this, there's a lot going on in this news cycle right now. Melania insinuated she thinks Beyonce got the Vogue cover because she's black, Toobin masturbated -- masturbated! -- on a Zoom call in front of media elite. Trump walked out on a 60 Minutes interview and his only evidence is a cartoonishly large book of empty pages he says shows what he has done for healthcare. Just don't say anything, lay low and it'll be a momentary piece of amusement. You're somehow not the biggest news of the week."

Giuliani, "I should tweet about it!"

(1) The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment.

At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.

(2) In fact, the NY Post today reports "it looks to me like an exaggeration through editing."

As soon as I realized it was a set up I called the police, which has been noted in THR article on July 8th.

(3) This is an effort to blunt my relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden and his entire family.

Deadline Hollywood reports CAA had a distribution screening in September where there was no mention of the scene holding any importance.

(4) We are preparing much bigger dumps off of the hard drive from hell, of which Joe Biden will be unable to defend or hide from. I have the receipts.

posted by geoff. at 4:34 PM on October 21 [6 favorites]


This week I've thought again and again of the myth of the male bumbler. These men who just ~stumble~ into compromising, inappropriate or criminal situations and they're like "oopsie, I don't know how that happened! I was tricked! It was an accident!" These men who are supposed to be intelligent, who we're told are simply more qualified to be in positions of power than the rest of us, just keep ~stumbling~. So they're incredibly daft, or they're aggressively awful, OR BOTH. In every case, they're not qualified for their roles and need to get the fuck out.
posted by thebots at 4:46 PM on October 21 [41 favorites]


I now see that the actress playing Borat's daughter is apparently in her twenties, not 15. So Giuliani does plenty of appalling things in this movie but he doesn't actually commit a felony with an underage girl.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:54 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


You're going to have to be more specific than that.

Scroll down -- one of those clips is 7 minutes and 20 seconds long.

Transcript>/a>
posted by y2karl at 5:08 PM on October 21


I mean why can't you just link to the video? I still don't see it after scrolling.

These men who just ~stumble~ into compromising, inappropriate or criminal situations and they're like "oopsie, I don't know how that happened! I was tricked! It was an accident!"

I mean in this case Giuliani did stumble into it. I understand the concept of male bumbler, but this is a woman who is intentionally trying to get Giuliani to do something embarrassing on camera. She wasn't a reporter with Giuliani misreading the situation. He read right into it, it wouldn't have been a bit if he didn't.

Really when Rudy and anyone confronted with anonymous sex 10 minutes after meeting someone they should first ask? Am I at Burning Man is everyone on MDMA? No, then do I look like this?. If the answer is no, I don't care what your sexual preferences are or how attractive you are if someone wants to have sex 5 minutes after meeting you they probably just don't want sex.
posted by geoff. at 5:34 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not finding the video, either.
posted by jonathanhughes at 5:38 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


Scroll down -- one of those clips is 7 minutes and 20 seconds long.

Not in the first 50 results on my YouTube search. Why not just post the URL? It's not hard. Open the video. Go to the URL bar and press Ctrl-C. Come to Metafilter and press Ctrl-V. Thanks!
posted by Nelson at 5:42 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


[Several comments removed, this whole back and forth on existence or not unsourced video clips on youtube is frustrating and needless and I need y'all to drop it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:02 PM on October 21 [12 favorites]


he doesn't actually commit a felony with an underage girl.

Cohen et al could probably be arrested for some sort of child pornography/endangerment/trafficking violation if he were traveling around the country with minor from a foreign country filming her in sexual situations.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:06 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


G in that transcript: "I don't want you." is the dead giveaway. Because it means he wants something, just not Borat. Jeebuz, what an embarrassment.
Honestly, this whole administration has been such a train wreck, I don't even think the Russians are supporting trump anymore. Seriously. Like...seriously, seriously. One hard drive? Really? Is that all they got? That's really kinda lackluster for the GRU, don't you think?
posted by sexyrobot at 6:09 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


Everyone associated with Trump is like a Batman supervillain. But in this movie they’re all defeated by their own stupidity and Batman never even leaves Wayne Manor.

The whole Batfamily is gathered around the big monitors in the Batcave with popcorn.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:40 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


Also, (FFS-filter):
“This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit,” Giuliani told the New York Post. “It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top, it looked absurd. He had the beard, bare legs, and wasn’t what I would call distractingly attractive."

What a...what a distinctively strange thing to say. Like, it's almost like he meant the exact opposite. That phrase, plus the transcript, plus the complete, detailed description of the outfit...like...omjeezus. Giuliani was just straight-up (but not very) checking him out, wasn't he? Like, "3-way? Sure...maybe. What's up with this groovy outfit? Let me check you out, baby." Good gawd.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:04 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


Just so we can have the illusion that we're living in some sort of futuristic wonderland where our every need is catered to because we don't have to run a grater across a block of cheese. What a perfect metaphor for late-stage capitalism.

I used to think this way too but someone pointed out how important pre-prepared food is for people with disabilities, the elderly, etc. There's nothing morally superior about buying a plastic-wrapped block of cheddar and shredding it yourself, versus buying a bag of shredded cheddar. I think we can talk about capitalism without impying that purchasing pre-prepared food is a moral failure.
posted by Emily's Fist at 7:26 PM on October 21 [62 favorites]


Halloween Jack:

Bruce Wayne, a billionaire who dresses in bondage gear in order to beat up people with mental health issues, I can't support that.

On the other hand, Bruce Wayne, idealistic tech billionaire who leverages modern technologies to expose the corruption and evil of the corrupt Cobblepot city hall, the Luthor administration, and atrocities in Cordo Madera.... that's a Batman that could work for the 21st century.

Sort of a mixture of Batgirl of Burnside and the Batman Inc runs.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 7:47 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


(I agree with the point Emily's Fist makes. Plus, for me the issue Borat is satirizing so well isn't the cheese being grated: it's the illusion of choice that comes from rows and rows and rows of identical products. US-centric capitalism is a perversion of capitalism: you don't actually have choice between different kinds of cheeses or cheeses of different quality, you just get the same identical crappy cheese in an infuriatingly obtuse range of packaging and price points.)
posted by EllaEm at 7:58 PM on October 21 [26 favorites]


Giuliani was just straight-up (but not very) checking him out, wasn't he?

Meh. I think one would remember such a distinctive ensemble from a brief glimpse.
posted by y2karl at 8:48 PM on October 21


I've come to realize that I despise Giuliani more than I despise Trump. With Trump, I can stand to imagine the possible Walter Sobchak take. I mean, say what you will about raging sociopathic narcissism, Dude. At least it's an ethos. With Giuliani, there's just a man with a demented drunken ferret scampering around the inside of his increasingly roomy skull.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 9:41 PM on October 21 [10 favorites]


I was just tucking in my shirt

I have never found it convenient, worthwhile or advisable to tuck in my shirt while lying down, much less while lying on the bed of a stranger of the opposite sex decades my junior.
posted by nubs at 9:47 PM on October 21 [8 favorites]


From Capt. Renault’s link above:
Giuliani continued: “I only later realised it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”
It’s hard to overstate the degree of cognitive dissonance at work here.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:03 PM on October 21 [29 favorites]


I just want cheese without capitalism.
posted by polymodus at 10:08 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


He's 76 years old. He should just quit.
posted by valkane at 10:14 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


I used to think this way too but someone pointed out how important pre-prepared food is for people with disabilities, the elderly, etc. There's nothing morally superior about buying a plastic-wrapped block of cheddar and shredding it yourself, versus buying a bag of shredded cheddar.

The problem I see here is that there's a real difference in quality between a bag of shredded cheddar and a block: the shredded has moisture removed to increase its shelf life, which makes it cook differently. And there's more.

I would love to get pre-shredded cheese for a lot of things, and it bothers me that the convenient (and disability-friendly) option is still used to screw the customer. Yes, it would probably go bad sooner, too, so it's a double-edged sword, but that option doesn't even exist. So, either you shred and have a good cheese experience, or you pay extra for convenience and ultimately get a worse product.
posted by rhizome at 10:15 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


So, either you shred and have a good cheese experience, or you pay extra for convenience and ultimately get a worse product.

rhizome, you of all people should know there's no ethical consumption of cheese under capitalism.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:26 PM on October 21 [10 favorites]


Still of the scene of - WARNING WARNING WARNING YOU CANNOT UNSEE THIS - Giuliani with, umm, only one hand visible.

What is the sound of one hand fwapping?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:38 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


A Silent Trickle Down. Sad!
posted by mannequito at 10:53 PM on October 21


Is this also the thread to talk about Jeffrey toobin’ it on Zoom or are we already out of jokes about that?

Here's How to Avoid Accidentally Showing Your Genitals to Your Colleagues on Zoom
* Consider avoiding having your junk out in the first place

"Clothing designers have known the risks of accidental genital exposure for years, and they’ve designed several innovative technologies to prevent it from happening. For example, they’ve invented pants, which are a sort of leg tube system that adjoins at the top and typically shields the crotch from visibility.
...
Advanced pants users may also want to consider underwear, an accessory worn under the pants that provides an additional layer of opacity in the case of pants failure."

* Wear the pants properly
* Consider exposing your genitals only outside of work hours and while not on a video meeting
* Make sure not to hang any photos of your naked body on the wall behind you
* Make sure you’re not currently transmitting video or audio of yourself to coworkers over Zoom
posted by kirkaracha at 11:23 PM on October 21 [19 favorites]


the issue Borat is satirizing so well isn't the cheese being grated: it's the illusion of choice that comes from rows and rows and rows of identical products.

Definitely. But as he was going through the rows and rows of cheese, it also made me wonder how many different producers were represented there. How many different companies the profits were being split between, instead of going to only one or two major producers.

If each cheese product on that shelf had been made by a separate small farm or mom-and-pop producer, I don't think we'd have any criticism of it (it would be like a mini farmers' market). The actual producers selling to that supermarket are probably all at the opposite end of the size scale - maybe there's a regional company or two - but there's still something to be said for there being room in the market for a bunch of players.
posted by trig at 12:25 AM on October 22 [1 favorite]


I now see that the actress playing Borat's daughter is apparently in her twenties, not 15. So Giuliani does plenty of appalling things in this movie but he doesn't actually commit a felony with an underage girl.

OTOH, haven't a lot of people been convicted after going to rendezvous with teenagers they had been chatting with online, who didn't actually exist but were played by police officers?
posted by acb at 2:59 AM on October 22 [9 favorites]


With Giuliani, there's just a man with a demented drunken ferret scampering around the inside of his increasingly roomy skull.

And to think that he was a Pillar of Conservative Moral Authority in the Reagan years.

I guess if your moral compass is an authoritarian one, there's always the risk that, when cognitive decline erodes your superego, only your id will be left, and it'll be as monstrous as befits one with authoritarian views of human morality (The common assertion “if we don't have religion/police/tough punishments, what's to stop everyone from raping and murdering all the time?” has an implicit “I know I would!”)
posted by acb at 3:03 AM on October 22 [10 favorites]


Just a totally normal news article about a politician that has to include a spoiler warning for the Borat film and this paragraph:
Bakalova, 24, is highly plausible in the sting, despite also having to pretend, for the benefit of viewers, to be a feral child posing as a far-right journalist.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:25 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


Considering some of the characters who inhabit the Trump parade, "feral child posing as a far-right journalist" needn't be anything unusual. The movement is all about celebrating the id and drowning out the rest of the psychic apparatus, right?
posted by trig at 4:09 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


Considering some of the characters who inhabit the Trump parade, "feral child posing as a far-right journalist" needn't be anything unusual.

Right, Rudy was just assuming this was the new Maria Butina.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:30 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


"It was very unusual," Bush said."

I don't know why, but this was the biggest laugh I've had in a while
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:51 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


Saxon Kane: "Just so we can have the illusion that we're living in some sort of futuristic wonderland where our every need is catered to because we don't have to run a grater across a block of cheese"

MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN
posted by chavenet at 5:10 AM on October 22 [23 favorites]


Plus, for me the issue Borat is satirizing so well isn't the cheese being grated: it's the illusion of choice that comes from rows and rows and rows of identical products. US-centric capitalism is a perversion of capitalism: you don't actually have choice between different kinds of cheeses or cheeses of different quality, you just get the same identical crappy cheese in an infuriatingly obtuse range of packaging and price points.)

While I don't necessarily disagree about the larger point, I don't think cheese is a good example. Even my down-market neighborhood grocery store has both fairly high quality artisanal cheeses as well as the usual mass market varieties; this is a contrast to stores when I was a kid where there were maybe four kinds of cheese total (yellow cheddar, velveeta, cottage, string). Contemporary US capitalism is actually providing a lot of choices for this. There are other sections of the store, like the meat department, where there is very, very small range of choices and that probably fit the example better than a lazy jab at grated cheese.

But to the main point of the FPP, I would love for Giuliani's on-camera display of gross behavior to lead to his disgrace. However, it's hard to see a lot coming of it after his years of being a gross, corrupt stooge, which is what he should really be in disgrace over.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:52 AM on October 22 [5 favorites]


I now see that the actress playing Borat's daughter is apparently in her twenties, not 15. So Giuliani does plenty of appalling things in this movie but he doesn't actually commit a felony with an underage girl.

I'm not sure what the intent is here, but 'he wasn't ACTUALLY committing a felony' doesn't really help make our boy look better when he thought he was committing a felony.
posted by winna at 6:10 AM on October 22 [9 favorites]


AFAICT from the reports/synopses so far, the whole issue of "underage" didn't pop up until Cohen interrupted the thing and yelled something like "she's too old for you, she's 15!" It's also unclear whether Rudy thought the woman was Borat's daughter.

But it doesn't matter - the point of this wasn't about setting up Rudy for some kind of felony assault thing, framing it like that is frankly a misunderstanding of the situation. The point was to make Rudy look gross and foolish by allowing him to demonstrate his entitled rich white male lechery, assuming that a young woman reporter throwing herself at him was totally normal, par for the course, a perquisite to be indulged without question. (And, thereby, also making the point that he's not exactly demonstrating a high level of resistance to being fooled by, say, people working on behalf of a Russian disinformation campaign.)
posted by soundguy99 at 7:35 AM on October 22 [25 favorites]


It's also unclear whether Rudy thought the woman was Borat's daughter.

He thought she was someone’s daughter, half a century or more younger, and apparently thought she was his to do with as he pleased.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:01 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


> He's 76 years old. He should just quit.

Spite and hatred are the only things that keep people like him going at that age. See also: Donald Trump.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:02 AM on October 22 [1 favorite]


He thought she was someone’s daughter, half a century or more younger, and apparently thought she was his to do with as he pleased.

Which he might reasonably assume if it wasn't the first time. Recall that Bill Barr fired the U.S. Attorney in New York investigating Epstein's connections.
posted by JackFlash at 8:10 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Future history text book - Chapter 10 - The Covid Years

....and indeed things had gotten so dire by October that year, that the sight of 76 year Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, apparently performing a solo sex act while “tucking in a shirt”, was a popular topic of conversation and people paid money to watch it at a “Cinema” - a social gathering place that displayed moving video before the purge of the entertainment industry during President Trump’s second term. President Trump later would declare that tucking your shirt in while lying down on a bed was “the style of this time”, and all members of the armed forces were taught this method. This would later be identified as a root cause in the US military’s unpreparedness during the Red Dawn events of 2023 - when Military officers were literally caught laying down with one hand stuck in their pants instead of watching the ballistic missile alert screens.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:20 AM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Is there even any real indication that the laptop was ever actually purchased by the Beau Biden foundation (it should be readily apparent if the serial numbers are provided).

There is no laptop even in the first place - the entire story is a complete fabrication. Maybe the repair shop exists, but even that detail seems a little shaky.
posted by eviemath at 9:06 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


"I was tucking my shirt in" is destined to enter the language as surely as Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" did a few years ago. Like Clinton's remark, it will become a useful phrase to indicate mockery and derision.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:29 AM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Ew for the creepy pic on the bed. That's just gross.

Side note: Why do I keep seeing "someone's daughter" as an argument not to be creepy to young women and girls? It puts sand in my gears every single time I see it.

Women do not need to be "someone's daughter" or "someone's wife" or "someone's sister" or "someone's mommy" to be treated decently. Women do not derive their worth from their relationships with other (probably male) people.

Women are in and of themselves valuable.
posted by which_chick at 9:33 AM on October 22 [48 favorites]


I feel sad for the folks at Untuckit shirts. Or maybe this will be good for their business?
posted by PhineasGage at 9:38 AM on October 22 [1 favorite]


They advertise on right-wing talk radio--fuck 'em.
posted by box at 9:50 AM on October 22 [9 favorites]


Women do not need to be "someone's daughter" or "someone's wife" or "someone's sister" or "someone's mommy" to be treated decently. Women do not derive their worth from their relationships with other (probably male) people.

I'm going out on a limb to hazard a guess here, but I think it isn't aimed at people who already see women as valuable human beings in their own right. This is to TRY to get those creepy gross men to think of their own wives and daughters.

What this line of reasoning ignores is how quickly these fucks would sell out their own family for a buck. You think comparing other women to women they're used to controlling without question is really gonna change their shitbrain mind? I certainly don't think so. I think it's a pointless way to try to get the point across, because those men aren't going to give a shit about ANY woman, even their own god damned mother.

So yes, you're right, this needs to end because if people are saying for the reasons I think they are, they need to learn that it isn't going to work.

See: Trump's relationship with his mother. Ugh and his daughter for that matter.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:53 AM on October 22 [8 favorites]


I saw the first Borat in theaters with a group of acquaintances and while I'd be totally fine with it not being someone's brand of humor, the group besides me thought the movie was "mean" and Cohen was "making people embarrass themselves". I... didn't even know what to do with that. Yes, but also, yes????!!
I didn't even know how to respond. I think they'd been expecting a straightforward comedy and were really uncomfortable. Which was completely the point!! But I don't think they got there.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:13 AM on October 22 [2 favorites]


There's nothing morally superior about buying a plastic-wrapped block of cheddar and shredding it yourself, versus buying a bag of shredded cheddar. I think we can talk about capitalism without implying that purchasing pre-prepared food is a moral failure.

That's a fair point, and I didn't mean to suggest that shredded cheese is, in and of itself, a bad thing, or that no one should ever buy it, but rather, as EllaEm says, it's the illusion of choice that comes from rows and rows and rows of identical products, plus the immense waste of resources that goes into creating the illusion of convenience for the masses. There could still be pre-shredded cheese (or whatever) for people with disabilities -- pay decent wages for butchers etc and have someone at the deli counter slice a hunk of cheddar and grate it right there, rather than spend hundreds of millions of dollars to put a billion little plastic baggies (that will never get recycled) in grocery stores around the country.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:28 AM on October 22 [4 favorites]


"I was tucking my shirt in" is destined to enter the language as surely as Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" did a few years ago.

When asked if the girl had brought him to sexual climax, former Mayor Giuliani said, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'jizz' is."
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:31 AM on October 22 [4 favorites]


group besides me thought the movie was "mean" and Cohen was "making people embarrass themselves". I... didn't even know what to do with that. Yes, but also, yes????!!

I've never sat through Borat because I'm pretty starkly opposed to the way he and the film crew lie to people to get them to "agree" to appear in the movie.

But in the clips I've seen, a lot of the humor seems to depend on Borat being a huge asshole in front of some random nobody and then using their urge to remain polite and courteous to make them seem foolish or of low character.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:32 AM on October 22 [4 favorites]



But in the clips I've seen, a lot of the humor seems to depend on Borat being a huge asshole in front of some random nobody and then using their urge to remain polite and courteous to make them seem foolish or of low character.


Jason Spencer would like to have a word with you.

It's actually mostly stupid fucks revealing their worst thoughts and motivations. Give me a break, these people made their own beds. SBC is a lot more thoughtful about this stuff than you're giving him credit for. Go back to Da Ali G show and see how big of fools UK politicians used to make of themselves under a different guise.

I'm sorry but Jason Spencer and those like him ARE OF LOW CHARACTER. SBC is only revealing the reality.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:36 AM on October 22 [5 favorites]


Women do not need to be "someone's daughter" or "someone's wife" or "someone's sister" or "someone's mommy" to be treated decently. Women do not derive their worth from their relationships with other (probably male) people.
Women are in and of themselves valuable.


So, a funny thing just happened to me. I found myself, no fooling, clapping for something I read on the internet. Thank you.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:05 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


Jason Spencer would like to have a word with you.

This is why the comment you're quoting says "random nobody" and not "elected official" or "powerful media personality."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:18 AM on October 22


>-- With the small problem that Giuliani claims to still have held onto the hard drives, which means if true, he would be guilty of receiving, possessing, and probably transmitting it himself.

There's that, of course.
But Giuliani is ALSO an attorney and thus an officer of the court - and thus has a legal responsibility to turn this evidence over to the appropriate authorities - and NOT to peddle it for political blackmail.

So...When is his disbarment hearing?

Will that happen before or after his arrest for blackmail and for possessing and distributing child porn?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:40 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Can one be prosecuted for possessing and distributing something that doesn't exist (because there are no hard drives), though? Like, I think that Giuliani the supposed lawyer isn't worried about his legal liability here because the entire story is completely made up. Bannon is just slightly better at thinking through the details involved in trying to pass off a lie like this, whereas Giuliani is pretty much completely inept at everything at this point.

(This is still all an argument in favor of Giuliani's disbarment, of course. If perhaps just on slightly different grounds )
posted by eviemath at 12:10 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]


There's nothing morally superior about buying a plastic-wrapped block of cheddar and shredding it yourself, versus buying a bag of shredded cheddar

Sorry for the cheese derail.

There’s nothing morally superior in shredding it yourself, and aside from the time/money tradeoff, it’s also not exactly the same thing. Pre-shredded cheese usually has corn starch (or something similar) added to it to prevent the strands from sticking together too much in the package. Ie, if you throw this in a soupy/saucy thing it'll be thicker than expected.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 12:30 PM on October 22 [1 favorite]


I thought there was a hard drive, whose serial number revealed that it had been manufactured six months after the alleged laptop was brought in for service. (And you'd think that GRU would have a storeroom of artisanally aged hard drives for use in kompromat operations, but no.)
posted by acb at 12:43 PM on October 22 [1 favorite]


So I’ve just seen one photo and is this the basic sequence of events?: “Reporter” invites Rudy up to her room for a drink. Reporter offers to remove microphones under his shirt. Rudy lays down on bed to tuck shirt back in afterwards. Like, that was supposed to be a reasonable thing to do?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:00 PM on October 22


I don't think I've ever tucked my shirt in successfully from a seated position, much less laying down; your summary of events also doesn't seem to include the fact that Rudy though it was a great idea to go to the bedroom for drinks with an extremely young reporter who was... well, I'd say obviously trying to entrap him, but apparently his thought process was more along the lines of 'flirting'.
posted by sagc at 1:05 PM on October 22


Women do not need to be "someone's daughter" or "someone's wife" or "someone's sister" or "someone's mommy" to be treated decently. Women do not derive their worth from their relationships with other (probably male) people.

Women are in and of themselves valuable.


I agree entirely, and I apologize if the wording of my comment suggested otherwise. I was merely using a parallel structure to the previous assertion that Giuliani's actions were somehow more objectionable because of her perceived relationship to Borat, as well as referring to the old saying about wartime conscription that "any mother's son will do" to toss into the meat grinder. Nothing to do with her particular family connection to some other person; everything to do with Giuliani considering her a single-serving connection to be used and, presumably, discarded.

I would like to see the end of an age where someone's value is judged purely by the degree to which they can be used by others who are -- of who like to think they are -- more powerful.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:39 PM on October 22


I thought there was a hard drive, whose serial number revealed that it had been manufactured six months after the alleged laptop was brought in for service.

Right I'm sure Giuliani and associates own hard drives. Hard drives as a category of object indubitably exist. And I would be sadened but not at all shocked if some of their own hard drives has child porn. But that has no connection whatsoever to Biden's son. The purported Biden hard drives do not exist, and if Giuliani pulls out some of his own hard drives and tries to claim that they belonged to Biden's son, we should probably be quite careful in how we describe the props for that falsehood, so as not to give the story any smidgen of legitimacy.
posted by eviemath at 1:43 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


But Giuliani is ALSO an attorney and thus an officer of the court - and thus has a legal responsibility to turn this evidence over to the appropriate authorities - and NOT to peddle it for political blackmail.

no court would admit this as evidence - there's no documented chain of custody - and if some bozo like me knows that, you'd think a real lawyer would

also it's my understanding that the repair shop owner's eyesight is too bad to be able to identify hunter as the one who dropped the laptop off and yet he was able to identify hunter in a picture on the laptop doing bad things

this is obvious horseshit just on its own terms
posted by pyramid termite at 1:51 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Sorry for the cheese derail.
posted by deeker at 2:01 PM on October 22 [8 favorites]




Sorry for this new derail, but what's the legal status on a repair shop exploring non-system files on a customer's computer? I know the claim is the computers were abandoned (are they also claiming any documented attempts to contact young Biden?), but still - is there no law on privacy of personal data?
posted by trig at 2:09 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


Sorry for this new derail, but what's the legal status on a repair shop exploring non-system files on a customer's computer?

Completely legal.
posted by rhizome at 2:43 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


I don't think I've ever tucked my shirt in successfully from a seated position, much less laying down;

Why is everyone falling for the bait. It's so simple even someone getting a cognitive screening can understand.

Hotel Room.

Woman.

Bed.

Wrong.

Period.

posted by mikelieman at 2:45 PM on October 22 [7 favorites]


eviemath - I agree, the hard drives are bs, but two senators in particular are treating them like they're legitimate to gin up election propaganda. On Sept. 23, Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, the chairmen of the HSGAC and the Senate Finance Committee, respectively, released a majority staff report entitled “Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns.” 87 pages, 50 hours of interviews, months of investigation; here's an example of media coverage of the report: Sen. Johnson releases findings of Hunter Biden probe alleging conflict of interest (NBC, Sept. 23, 2020) The GOP-led probe found Hunter Biden's position on an energy company to be "awkward" for U.S. officials but found no evidence that it affected policy.

This week: Ron Johnson Asks FBI to Clarify Whether It Possesses ‘Material from Hunter Biden’s Laptop’ (Oct. 18, 2020, Yahoo News reprint of National Review piece with Fox News source) Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) has sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray asking him to clarify whether the agency possesses documents from the laptop of Hunter Biden, Fox News reported on Sunday. [...] Johnson, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated in his letter that a whistleblower had contacted the committee on September 24, 2020, claiming that he had turned over a computer belonging to Hunter Biden to the FBI. Johnson wrote that staffers immediately asked the FBI to confirm some details in the whistleblower’s claim, however the FBI responded that they could not confirm or deny the information. MSN reprint of Daily Mail story. Press release about Fox News appearance, at hsgac.senate.gov: ‘Do We Have Two Systems of Justice?’ Johnson Presses FBI for More Information on Handling of Alleged Hunter Biden Laptop

ChuckGrassley@ChuckGrassley, Oct 18 tweet: It appears the FBI had contents of hunter Bidens laptop since at least December 2019. What did they do to verify the info & take action? why has it taken so long to learn about it? If vp Biden lied about his interactions w hunters foreign business partners, Americans deserve 2kno

Johnson, Grassley Use Secret Service Records to Verify Content from Alleged Hunter Biden Laptop, Request More Travel Records (Oct. 20, hsgac.senate.gov). U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter Tuesday to United States Secret Service Director James Murray highlighting references to Hunter Biden’s travel from recently published emails that appear to align with Secret Service records previously produced to the committees. The chairmen have also requested records to verify whether the Secret Service traveled with Hunter Biden after he apparently discontinued his protective detail. Full text of letter here.

Yesterday, 10/21: Johnson Discusses Latest Developments in Conflicts of Interest Probe (hsgac.senate.gov). Where did this discussion take place? On Hannity (YouTube clip was linked in press release). It's pretty stark, looking at the media room, what the majority of this Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has been up to (Bidens!Bidens!Bidens!) vs. the minority's pressing concerns (postal delays, COVID-19, domestic terrorism).
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:45 PM on October 22 [3 favorites]


Yes, they are, which is part of why we should be careful about how we talk about the situation. Eg ,

Sorry for this new derail, but what's the legal status on a repair shop exploring non-system files on a customer's computer?

is completely irrelevant since young Biden was never a customer of this computer repair shop. But asking about it lends some credence, at least by repetition, to the falsehood. Etc. for similar comments (not meaning to single that one out in particular, it just happened to be the handy recent one to copy and paste).

Don't talk about "the hard drives" because that becomes a more solid thing, like "the emails". If you must, talk about "the props in this farce" or something.
posted by eviemath at 2:50 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


Or a least tack some "alleged" or "purported" descriptors in the front of things: "the purported repair shop", "the alleged hard drives" (though I still think it's better to call them what they are: props in a made up story).
posted by eviemath at 2:54 PM on October 22


"Shirt-tucking" will be the new "locker-room talk." A magical phrase that dismisses the inherent underlying evil of the actual situation.
posted by valkane at 3:00 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Why is everyone falling for the bait. It's so simple even someone getting a cognitive screening can understand.

When you're used to having scandalously young sex workers offered to you as a sweetener by biznesmeni seeking your help to buy a condo in the Trump Tower or whatever, and it becomes as routine as a round of drinks at a business lunch, your guard might start to slip a little.
posted by acb at 3:05 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Johnson, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated in his letter that a whistleblower had contacted the committee on September 24, 2020, claiming that he had turned over a computer belonging to Hunter Biden to the FBI.

WTF. Some guy (presumably Guiliani) is in possession of a computer belonging to Hunter Biden and goes to the FBI with it? Why didn't the FBI immediately return the stolen property to its rightful owner? They didn't investigate the theft of property? The FBI responded that they could not confirm or deny the information?

As law enforcement you don't have someone hand you stolen property and then just give it back to them saying "we don't want to get involved." Sounds like the FBI is complicit.
posted by JackFlash at 3:35 PM on October 22 [1 favorite]


WTF. Some guy (presumably Guiliani) is in possession of a computer belonging to Hunter Biden and goes to the FBI with it? Why didn't the FBI immediately return the stolen property to its rightful owner?

Well, that's an easy one: the alleged stolen property doesn't exist in the first place. The story is a complete fabrication aka made up aka a lie. No computers have been handed over to the FBI (and if a computer does get handed over to the FBI, it will be a prop for this made up story, not a computer formerly belonging to Hunter Biden). Hard to return something that doesn't exist.


They didn't investigate the theft of property? The FBI responded that they could not confirm or deny the information?

As law enforcement you don't have someone hand you stolen property and then just give it back to them saying "we don't want to get involved." Sounds like the FBI is complicit.



The bit about not confirming or denying the information is some bullshit politicking, agreed. But not investigating the "theft of property"? Intelligence sources have been saying that the whole story is a disinformation campaign. Why would you waste FBI resources investigating something that you already know is a made up story?

There's an awful lot to be upset about in the fact that Johnson and Grassley are pushing this lie in order to try to sway the election. The FBI trying to avoid getting sucked in to what they know is a Russian propaganda lie is a good thing, though.
posted by eviemath at 4:30 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


I mean all of these devices have to simply be trash for the purpose, no? The chain of custody would be a dotted line, A bucket of tennis balls thrown into a bathtub.
posted by rhizome at 4:30 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


The FBI trying to avoid getting sucked in to what they know is a Russian propaganda lie is a good thing, though.

They can't avoid it. The president's personal lawyer, presumably speaking on behalf of Trump, has claimed that he has given a computer to the FBI. The FBI can't just "fail to confirm or deny." The president, the FBI's boss, has put a claim out there. If the FBI doesn't respond they are complicit in Trump's disinformation.
posted by JackFlash at 4:39 PM on October 22 [3 favorites]


They can't avoid it. The president's personal lawyer, presumably speaking on behalf of Trump, has claimed that he has given a computer to the FBI. The FBI can't just "fail to confirm or deny." The president, the FBI's boss, has put a claim out there. If the FBI doesn't respond they are complicit in Trump's disinformation.

Yeah, that's the part that doesn't sit well with me. Though I suspect that what is going on is a power struggle and impasse between Trump loyalists in the Department of Justice overseeing the FBI and career employees/intelligence analysts.
posted by eviemath at 4:50 PM on October 22 [1 favorite]


Like IMPOTUS, Rudy Giuliani cheated on Wife #1 with Wife #2, then cheated on Wife#2 with Wife #3. Unlike IMPOTUS (for now), Rudy Giuliani is divorced from Wife #3. Giuliani cheated on Wife #3 with current companion/hospital CEO Maria Ryan. So stepping out is very on brand for him.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:01 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]




Rudy Giuliani Releases Video Of Himself Masturbating To Show What It Would Actually Look Like (via The Onion)

“Hopefully, this footage of me beating my meat to toe-curling completion will dispel any salacious claims about what took place in that hotel.”
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:02 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


I am so jealous that Cohen gets to become the first comedian in space next week.

Um, Ricky Gervais?
posted by y2karl at 12:27 AM on October 23


The Rudy clip from Borat 2 has been tweeted by @FirenzeMike. I've just watched the full movie and ... it's something else. The last 30 minutes in particular.
posted by Wordshore at 2:39 AM on October 23 [3 favorites]


"Trump would be disappoint you are leaving hotel without golden shower" was a line. One of many.

As a side point, and lost in the focus on Borat/Sacha, Maria Bakalova deserves many awards for her performance through this movie. Even in the lesser parts (it's a pretty uneven flick and could have easily lost 20 minutes in the first hour) she is the standout, not Borat/Sacha; the ways she makes herself completely plausible to their targets was quite something.
posted by Wordshore at 2:56 AM on October 23 [6 favorites]


I watched it too. Maria Bakalova is just jaw-droppingly bold, don't know how she made it through that debutantes' dance...

Overall the movie's pretty much like the first, mixture of gross-out slapstick and people incriminating themselves in revealing ways. The plastic surgeon talking about Jewish noses was a particular lowlight.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:36 AM on October 23 [4 favorites]


Fuck Borat. Chris Morris is the guy you want for this kind of thing.

Sacha Baron Cohen somewhat agrees with you, in that Morris' early partner Peter Baynham was a screenwriter on both Borat films.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:16 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Which is weird to watch now, because the Trump in the clip appears to have the ability to understand what's going on around him and talk in normal sentences.

Well, the intervening years may have involved quite the cocktail of drugs in his system in addition to the usual ravages of age, poor diet, and lack of exercise. His 'roid rage post-Covid infection is just the latest layer. I'm surprised Donny hasn't has a heart attack or stroke yet.
posted by Philofacts at 6:48 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised Donny hasn't has a heart attack or stroke yet.
Well the WH still hasn't explained his previous unannounced visit to Walter Reed.
posted by PenDevil at 8:52 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


They can't avoid it. The president's personal lawyer, presumably speaking on behalf of Trump, has claimed that he has given a computer to the FBI. The FBI can't just "fail to confirm or deny." The president, the FBI's boss, has put a claim out there. If the FBI doesn't respond they are complicit in Trump's disinformation.

While you are obviously right, I imagine that a lot of things just aren't working as they should during the Trump administration. Not necessarily because people are Trumpists, but just because they have no idea what to do. Clearly, the Senate has protected Trump throughout the past four years, regardless of his multiple crimes. The senate has confirmed partisan judges. What can law-enforcement do?
posted by mumimor at 9:31 AM on October 23


V. surreal to listen to the jocular ad-reader for The Daily telling everyone that “After 14 years… Borat is back!” as if it’s the most normal thing ever.
Which, given the podcast’s listenership, it probably is.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:38 AM on October 23


Vox.com review of the film with very vague and mild "spoilers" that also has some paragraphs on the White Noise documentary that is also new.

"The new Borat movie’s best moments mock a Trump-era fixation on a particular female aesthetic
The true star of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is Borat’s daughter, played by Maria Bakalova. She’s also the source of its most incisive critique."
posted by soundguy99 at 1:46 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Just watched the new film. Giuliani thinks the Chinese definitely manufactured Covid, in case anyone is wondering. It definitely looks like he was expecting some action in that hotel room.
posted by biffa at 2:09 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Movie is out so the clips are showing up on YouTube. Here's a couple that are currently working for the Giuliani scene: Full scene, 4:12, Abbreviated, 2:27 and French subtitles, 1:35.
posted by Nelson at 7:32 AM on October 24




From the above link
Giuliani is looking at Tutar, and there’s the sound of heavy breathing on the soundtrack, although, again, there’s no particular reason to believe the audio is from that moment in time, especially since Giuliani has apparently taken his mic off. ...

The next shot jumps backward in time—you can tell by tracking Tutar as she leans toward the nightstand—and repeats the moment from the mirror shot where Giuliani sticks his hand down his pants for the second time. This cut makes it seem like Giuliani sticks his hand down his pants three times instead of only twice.
In other words Sacha Baron Cohen is still a deceptive filmmaker and the Borat joke is still a cruel shtick. I'm enjoying watching Giuliani squirm as much as anyone is right now, but this comedy film is not journalism.
posted by Nelson at 8:25 AM on October 25 [2 favorites]


From Giuliani's tweet,
The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment.

At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.
Arguably, taking your microphone off and heading into the hotel bedroom for drinks with the journalist interviewing you is already inappropriate, even if it was a male journalist who Giuliani was not at all attracted to and who hadn't been flirting with him.

Add the many various layers of the situation that actually happened on top of that, and we're well past "appropriate" behavior even if he was just "tucking in [his] shirt" (which at no point in the video appeared to be untucked).
posted by eviemath at 9:03 AM on October 25 [4 favorites]


I'm enjoying watching Giuliani squirm as much as anyone is right now, but this comedy film is not journalism.

It is a comedy film which gets its raw material from tricking people and putting them into unusual situations and then capturing their subsequent reactions. It's not journalism, but it does draw from filmed events that actually happened.

Analyzing the scene for shot-for-shot veracity overlooks the larger point, which is that Giuliani followed a young woman to her bedroom and at some point had his hands down his pants. (My one counter-question to the "tucking in his shirt" thing - dude, if that's all you were doing, why not STAND UP to do that?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:25 AM on October 25 [5 favorites]


I don't know about Rudy, but remembering back to when I wore shirts that had to be tucked in, my problems were usually at the back, not the front. Caught at the wrong time it might look like I was picking something from my ass crack, not so much like giving myself a little diddle.

I would assume that most of us gut-having people would share the same shirt problems, but what do I know? I've already spent too much time parsing the actions of someone already known to be a total creep, so it clearly can't be much.
posted by wierdo at 10:01 AM on October 25 [3 favorites]


Zeynep Tufekci has been posting a thought-provoking series of tweets today offering a sharp, different critique of Baron Cohen:
Wait, where is cancel culture? To say Sacha Baron Cohen's earlier film was racist and inexcusably exploitative is an understatement. It was cruel. He went to a dirt poor village in Romania, paid them a pittance and duped them into this. I'm not over it.
posted by PhineasGage at 10:58 AM on October 25 [5 favorites]


She’s not wrong; Eastern Europe and Western (White) Asia are, in some global sense, treated as poor white trash.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:18 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


To say Sacha Baron Cohen's earlier film was racist and inexcusably exploitative is an understatement. It was cruel. He went to a dirt poor village in Romania, paid them a pittance and duped them into this. I'm not over it.

I'm not a fan of Sasha Baron Cohen exactly because of this. Punching down never looks good in my view. But with this new version he seems to be punching up at a corrupt US administration, which is entirely a good thing, and he seems very aware that Maria Bakalova is doing all the heavy lifting in the movie.
posted by mumimor at 2:33 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Yes, but the nature of the complaint is that the character is fundamentally broken. As I recall, the last film basically punched up (or at least sideways) for everything but the opening segment. But if you consider the Borat character to be fundamentally broken you’re still in a kind of bind.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:15 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


I spent a lot of time in Central Asia, and my wife is Tajik. We both love Borat very deeply. I don't quite know what to say but his characterisation of the accent, the ways of expression, it is to both of us a sign of attention to detail and do not see it as punching down. The bit in the Romanian village was coars in the first film, and disappointing - I wish he had gone to real Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, he would have found plenty of good stuff to embed himself in that would have been more authentic for his character.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:47 PM on October 25 [6 favorites]



Guardian: Kazakhstan, the home country of the fictional Borat Sagdiyev, has adopted the brash, moustachioed character’s catchphrase – “Very nice!” – for a new tourism campaign.

Huff Post: Kairat Sadvakassov, deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, said in a statement that the beauty of Borat’s catchphrase is that it “offers the perfect description of Kazakhstan’s vast tourism potential in a short, memorable way.”

He continued:

“Kazakhstan’s nature is very nice; its food is very nice; and its people, despite Borat’s jokes to the contrary, are some of the nicest in the world. We would like everyone to come experience Kazakhstan for themselves by visiting our country in 2021 and beyond, so that they can see that Borat’s homeland is nicer than they may have heard.”
posted by Wordshore at 3:05 AM on October 27


Counterpoint from Kyrgyz perspective: the Kazakhs are tall, and rich, and they think the sun shines out of their ass (look at their flag).
posted by Meatbomb at 3:59 AM on October 27 [1 favorite]


Now I'm imagining a Kyrgyz take on Borat as some kind of Donald Trump Jr. character.
posted by rhizome at 10:55 AM on October 27


Kazakhstan has apparently forgiven Borat in the real world as well. The department of tourism has just changed their slogan to Kazakhstan: Very Nice!
posted by sexyrobot at 11:46 AM on October 27


« Older I don't know who needs to hear this, but: large...   |   Museums, COVID, Diversity, Deaccessioning Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments