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The Schmooze

Joe Walsh: Baron Cohen Lured Me To An Interview With A Fake Pro-Israel Award

Former Illinois Congressman, current radio host, and relentless Tea Partier Joe Walsh posted his harrowing story of deception and false pretense on Twitter late Tuesday night.

The victim: Walsh, the charming fellow behind controversies like calling Stevie Wonder “another ungrateful black multi-millionaire” for taking a knee during a national anthem. The nationally syndicated Walsh is known for his habit of appearing to call for violence in public forums against various targets such as Black Lives Matter supporters, Barack Obama, and all Hillary Clinton voters.

The con: that feckless Jew-y trickster Sacha Baron Cohen, whose upcoming project with Showtime has already gathered unflattering footage of Dick Cheney signing waterboarding materials and Sarah Palin chatting with a person she took to be an injured veteran (but was actually Baron Cohen in disguise.)

Walsh came clean in a lengthy, somewhat addictive, narrative-driven Twitter thread. He says that he was invited to a “pro-Israel dinner” in Washington to honor “defenders of Israel.” Believing that he was being honored alongside Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and Bono, he submitted to a pre-dinner interview in which “out of left field the interviewer starts talking about how children should defend themselves against terrorist attacks.” Walsh says he “stopped and questioned their direction,” then left as “an apparent fight broke out,” clutching a glass award embossed with his name over the words “significant contributions to the state of Israel.”

With greater finesse than Palin, who called Baron Cohen a “piece of s**t” in her social media rant on the same topic, Walsh acknowledged that Baron Cohen is a funny comedian before admonishing him for “mocking a disabled veteran” and encouraging a boycott of the Showtime network.

Conning a conservative pundit into revealing the depths of his feelings about state-sponsored violence by flattering him with a fake pro-Israel award is awfully clever. But is there any way for Baron Cohen to con a man who says wild things to a national audience for money into saying something worse?

We’ll find out this Sunday night.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny




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