"Borat" Barred From White House

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Kazakhstan's rapidly ascending number four journalist was on hand at the White House today to extend a personal invitation to U.S. President George W. Bush to screen his new "documentary," but was denied an audience. No report on the damage caused by the snub to U.S.-Kazakh relations.

Borat, AKA Brit comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, staged the latest in a string of unconventional, yet wildly successful, promotional stunts for his upcoming film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

As usual, Cohen was in full character as the earnest, tactless, anti-Semetic, cultural tourist Borat. Failing to gain entrance onto the White House grounds, Borat addressed assembled media outlets and publicly invited "'Premier George Walter Bush,' O.J. Simpson, 'Mel Gibsons,' and other American dignitaries" to screen the film, in which a fully satirical Borat tours America and unleashes his brand of ironic foreign ignorance upon real unsuspecting citizens, politicians, and celebrities.

Click for more pics from Borat's promotional events

The last minute publicity stunt is believed to be in response to recent reports that Kazakhstan's very real President, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, had taken great offense to Cohen's personification of Borat as a clueless, misogynist bigot and the nation of Kazakhstan as a backwater cesspool of incest, prostitution and corruption (although in Borat's words, "Women can now travel inside of bus. Homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats. And age of consent has been raised to 8 years old.").

With the 20th Century Fox release fast approaching (November 3, the weekend before Election Day), "Borat" buzz is growing bigger by the second, thanks to great success in festival runs (Cannes & Toronto), unconventional and inspired promotional stunts (Borat's red carpet arrival by peasant woman-pulled cart), and now, the ignorance of the uninitiated (people who think Borat's prejudices are real, officials who think people will think Borat is real).

Thanks to the Kazakh government, who yesterday took out its second multi-page ad in The New York Times to protect its image from the possibility of Borat viewers thinking the worst of Kazakhstan, Sacha Baron Cohen and Fox have got themselves even more free publicity. Opening weekend prediction: Number One at the Box Office. Not that "The Santa Clause 3" ever had a chance.

**Cinematical/Netscape is hosting a video of Borat's White House visit here!