- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen reacted to a trio of Emmy nominations for his “Who Is America?” Showtime series by taking shots at former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The show, which duped well-known personalities to “uncover bigotry, racism, and hate in the U.S.,” is vying for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series category, along with directing and editing awards.

“Thank you to the EMMYs for the nominations for Who Is America. It was a bare-bones production — I went out into the heartland of this country armed only with a camera crew, a makeup kit and my trusted pedophile detector,” the celebrity began a series of tweets on Tuesday. “While I am flattered at these nods, it is a shame that my co-stars were not recognized. Particularly Dick Cheney, who I had hoped would come across on camera as someone who’d gleefully sent hundreds of thousands to their pointless death – and boy did he deliver. I’ve played some lunatics in my time, but the look of vacuous evil in his eyes as he autographed a waterboard kit, would put Daniel Day-Lewis to shame.”

Mr. Cheney appeared in a segment in which he signed a waterboard.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard,” Mr. Cheney said as cameras rolled.

The former vice president has regularly defended waterboarding, an interrogation method which was used to glean information from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

“He’s the guy that got waterboarded more than anybody else. I think what we did helped ultimately produce the intelligence we needed to be able to get [Osama] bin Laden,” Mr. Cheney told Fox News in May 2018.

Mr. Cohen concluded his remarks with a backhanded compliment for Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and former vice presidential candidate, of whom footage was shot for the show but never aired, allegedly due to the quality of the faux interview.

“Sarah, if you are out there, and you are WAY out there, please know the last time unseen footage generated as much interest, was when Donald Trump visited a Moscow hotel room,” the comedian tweeted.

Mrs. Palin lambasted Mr. Cohen for tricking her into the interview by pretending to be a wounded veteran.

“My daughter and I were asked to travel across the country where Cohen (I presume) had heavily disguised himself as a disabled U.S. Veteran, fake wheelchair and all,” Mrs. Palin wrote on Facebook. “HOW DARE YOU mock those who have fought and served our country.”

The show’s representatives denied her claims.

A statement issued by Showtime during the controversy read: “Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator [Bernard] Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind.”

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