‘Who is America?’ Apparently, we’re a gullible lot

Who is America?The walkup to the debut of the new Showtime series “Who is America?” had conservative luminaries like Sarah Palin and Roy Moore (!) trying to get out ahead of their upcoming awkward moments getting punked by Sacha Baron Cohen.

The premiere episode, airing Sunday night, was an equal-opportunity takedown, making targets across the political and cultural spectrum.

The highlight was, yes, the closing segment featuring Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Larry Pratt, executive director of the Gun Owners of America, and a group of current and former Republican congressmen and senators to back a plan to arm preschoolers to protect against school shootings.

But among those caught in the crosshairs was Bernie Sanders, who to his credit wasn’t buying fuzzy math from Baron Cohen as a conservative Ph.D. interviewer on getting the other 99 percent to become part of the 1 percent, and a feckless Laguna Beach gallery consultant, who offered up her pubic hair for an ex-con’s bodily-fluids-themed art project.

Another highlight was Baron Cohen’s NPR T-shirt-wearing “cisgender white heterosexual male, for which I apologize” character dining at the home of a pair of well-off Trump donors, regaling them, among other things, with a story about his wife having an affair with a dolphin, which they bought, of course, because, you know, yeah, liberals.

The whining from Palin and Moore, whose appearances on “Who is America?”, we have to presume, will come later on, made it seem like Baron Cohen was targeting conservatives, but, no.

The point seems to be, as with Baron Cohen’s “Da Ali G Show,” “Borat” and “Bruno,” that we’re all a bit too quick to let our preconceived notions of how the world works guide us into saying and doing absolutely stupid things.

Except for Bernie Sanders. Bernie held his own. Feel the Bern.

Column by Chris Graham

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