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When it comes to politics and humor, there has always been a strange understating between what is going to be universally okay and what’s not.

Certainly, some of this is predicated by the idea that we are to supposed to discuss our politics in public, as though those thoughts would reveal some deep, dark secret about who we truly are as a person.  I’m sure that some of these worries stem from Victorian era dinner table etiquette, which is truly unfortunate given that, in those times, the only entertainment you might have would be the political ramblings of your powder-wigged legislators, and any arguments arising from those conversations could end in a duel.

Ah, the good old days, am I right?

But now, political music, political discussion, and political humor all have their own, very defined niche.  Not many bands are “just a little” political.  There’s Rage Against The Machine and then there is Taylor Swift.  The same goes for hip hop group Run The Jewels, who have repeatedly and preemptively pushed back against the label of “political rap group” by reminding fans at concerts that that’s how they’ll be remembered.

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When comedians dip their toes in politics, however, there is a bit of a different dynamic.  Often, there is an imaginary barrier there; the 4th wall.  Some comedians say that their stage persona is simply a character that they are playing, and then absolve themselves of the repercussions of whatever opinions they disseminate.

Then, in another twist to the tape, there were men like Andy Kaufman who simply became what the world hated to provoke them to think about society and their role in it.

In what seems like an ill-conceived and poorly executed homage to Kaufman, Sacha Baron Cohen has made a name for himself by taking on characters and duping unknowing participants into becoming the comedy themselves.

Now, however, Cohen has likely taken it too far.

Sacha Baron Cohen is the target of a new billboard criticizing the comedian after he duped Gov. Sarah Palin and other Republican figures into a series of prank interviews while disguised as a disabled military veteran.

Conservative street artist Sabo’s latest piece plasters over a billboard advertisement in Los Angeles for CBS’s Young Sheldon with a photoshopped image of a wheelchair-bound Cohen donning a U.S. Army T-shirt and “Make America Great Again” cap. To the left of Cohen, who is depicted with a prosthetic leg, reads the following text: “Sacha Baron Cohen Walks Away With A Hit … and a touch of stolen valor. Who is America? Sat, 9pm. CBS.”

Sabo told the Hollywood Reporter he sent a crew to erect the billboard early Monday morning in response to Palin’s experience with Cohen.

And, because you simply have to see the billboard to believe it:

Sabo’s point is a heavy one, but a necessary one to be making.  At what point do we protect those who protect us?

 

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