Borat Has a New Job: Speech Cop

Sacha Baron Cohen has made a very good living by trolling people. His most famous character, Borat Sagdiyev, is an incestuous anti-Semitic moron who once sang a tune called "Throw the Jew Down the Well" and was afraid to fly because he thought the Jews did 9/11. Cohen has been sued numerous times, and his movies have been banned throughout the Arab world. He enjoys pissing people off, and it's made him rich and famous.

And now he's pulling his funniest prank yet! Sean Burch, The Wrap:

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen isn’t joking around when it comes to Facebook and its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Cohen, speaking Thursday at the Anti-Defamation League’s “Never Is Now” Summit in New York City, skewered Facebook for not doing enough to combat racism and anti-Semitism on its platform.

Cohen said Zuckerberg’s stance that “people should decide what’s credible, not tech companies” — outlined during a speech last month at Georgetown University — is “simply absurd.” Instead, it allows misinformation and bigotry to thrive, Cohen argued.

“I believe it’s time for a fundamental rethink of social media and how it spreads hate, conspiracies and lies,” Cohen said...

“Freedom of speech is not freedom of reach.”

Coming soon to a theater near you: Borat Is Being Very Good Speech Cop for America!

Cohen has been richly rewarded for speaking as freely as he likes, but he doesn't think it's a universal right. He thinks a handful of tech oligarchs should decide what you and I can and can't say. He used his freedom of speech to perfect the art of satire, and now he's pulling up the ladder behind him. He got his, so screw everybody else.

Are there anti-Semites online? Yes. Is anti-Semitism bad? Yes. Are some of the people who appear to be anti-Semites actually mocking anti-Semitism? I can think of at least one: Sacha Baron Cohen. Well, who decides which is which? Who determines which hate speech is real and which hate speech is a joke? Shouldn't people be allowed to figure it out for themselves? Isn't that the basis of Cohen's entire career?

The price of free speech is that you're going to hear things you don't like. The solution isn't to silence those people. The solution is to talk back. Cohen used to know that. What happened?

Congratulations to Sacha Baron Cohen on completing his journey. Now the guy who plays Borat sounds exactly like people who want to ban Borat.

P.S. Another good point...