Footage from the second episode of Sacha Baron Cohen's Showtime series Who Is America? shows just how much some officials will do to be perceived as tough on terror.
Cohen, posing as an Israeli anti-terror expert, asked an unsuspecting Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) to take part in an anti-terrorism video. Spencer had previously generated controversy with his (now-abandoned) burqa ban legislation and his warning to a black lawmaker that she could "go missing" over some comments criticizing Confederate memorials.
Playing off Spencer's proposed legislation, Cohen convinces him that a way to successfully identify a terrorist under a burqa is to use a camera attached to a selfie stick to peer under her garments. Spencer tries to recreate the lesson while posing as a stereotypical Chinese tourist, which he does by shouting things like "dragon chopstick" and "sushi."
The training escalates when Cohen informs Spencer that a successful tactic to avoid an ISIS kidnapping is to scream the n-word. Spencer gamely screams it repeatedly during a kidnapping simulation. At another point, Cohen tells Spencer that ISIS members are afraid of being perceived as homosexual. Spencer is then persuaded to pull down his pants and run backward at Cohen, his buttocks out, while shouting "America!" and "USA!"
Last week Spencer issued a statement claiming that he was "fraudulently induced" to participate and that the show "took advantage of my fears that I would be attacked by someone."
Republican leaders in Georgia disavowed Spencer's actions. "Representative Spencer has disgraced himself and should resign immediately," said House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), adding, "Georgia is better than this." Gov. Nathan Deal also reacted, saying, "There is no excuse for this type of behavior, ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it."