The Washington Post called Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series “a public service” for the mockery of its conservative targets.
In an “Opinions” article, Post media critic Erik Wemple praised Cohen’s work in Who Is America?, lauding him for “clarifying just what ‘fake’ means.” According to Wemple, the show is marking a clear divide between what is and what is not “fake news.”
After offering some context via former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s experience with the show, Wemple said:
Now Palin knows what “fake news” really is. It’s someone seeking an interview under false pretenses — something that the people she has labeled “fake news” don’t do. It’s someone concocting storylines — something that the people she has labeled “fake news” don’t do. It’s someone seeking to embarrass you — something that the people she has labeled “fake news” don’t do.
The example is presented to excuse reporters that even Wemple admits “make mistakes, crank out false reports and otherwise reach hasty conclusions,” calling those instances “as inevitable in journalism as malpractice is in medicine and a blown interview is in politics.”
Palin’s take on Cohen’s work, however, was less glowing: “Laughter is the best medicine. I absolutely adore kind, comedically talented souls who lift our spirits. They use their gifts for good in this world,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “But stolen valor is never funny. Mocking vets, belittling the disabled, stereotyping sufferers of mental illness, spewing disdain for America’s heartland and our collective work ethic and patriotism… all rewarded in the City of Angels that fell so far.”
“The curtain is closing on the status quo, Hollywood,” Palin proclaimed. “It’s society’s great awakening; our patience has worn thin. The cold anger that’s blowing is generated by warped people and entities who had hijacked culture and the arts, and we’ve said, ‘Enough.'”