September 19, 2006

As soon as I saw the heading, I knew this was a story for me... Borat gnaws at Kazakh chief.
"I can say unambiguously that the question of this film or of the art, let's call it that, of Mr Sacha Baron Cohen, will not be discussed (by Nazarbayev and Bush)," Yerzhan Ashykbayev, a Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in the capital Astana...

The Foreign Ministry's Ashykbayev has some form on Borat who has clearly got under the government's skin.

He was the one who last November threatened Cohen with "legal measures" and, in language echoing the Central Asian state's Soviet past, said the ministry did not rule out that the comedian was "serving someone's political order".

That backfired. Dressed as Borat, Cohen, who is Jewish, said: "I like to state, I have no connection with Mr Cohen and fully support my government's decision to sue this Jew."

The government has learnt its lesson. Official pronouncements have since been dull and on message: we understand that it's satire, we just don't like it.
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