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COMEDIAN ATTACKS TRIB: "Dictator" star "furious" over unauthorized photo use

"Borat" reminder enrages Baron Cohen as despot "bio" pic hits silver screen
 
COLUMBIA, 5/25/12 (Beat Bite) -- THIS Sacha Baron Cohen didn't need: a Columbia Daily Tribune reader borrowing an unauthorized image of his famous Borat character to poke fun at the Columbia Heart Beat, just as the schtickish comedian is rolling out an entirely new character, Admiral General Aladeen, Dictator of the Republic of Wadiya (below), a fictional North African nation.
 
In town to present a REDI/Central Missouri Development Council workshop -- How to Build Atop the Cities You Blight And Subjugate Your Slum Dwellers -- Baron Cohen -- in character as the hapless Admiral General -- took aim at the Trib's cheap-wine swilling BloggerinPJs character.

"Who is this BloggerinPJs?" the Dictator demanded to know. "Why he drinks cheap pinot noir from this Schnucks place? I buy only finest wines from special Israeli -- oops, I mean Iraqi -- connections."

With a large color photo of Borat -- Baron Cohen's famous 2006 mock-umentary character -- putting his claws out "just like my head of security, Chief Ali Bin Hi Nadal," Baron Cohen -- er, Aladeen -- says the BloggerinPJs character is directly undermining his mission -- "To ensure that democracy will never come to the country I so lovingly oppressed" -- by portraying him as a democracy-loving buffoon.
 
A comment the BloggerinPJs character made about the "Peoples Republic of Columbia" the Dictator found especially offensive.  "What is this nonsense? We are Peoples Republic of Wadiya! Columbia should be proud to be a Peoples Republic.  After all, from what I reading, you have Dictator too -- many Dictators, in fact! I think you call them 'Developers.'"

Finally, all the talk about blogging, journalism, and freedom of the press has the Dictator hopping mad.  "I demand my likeness be removed from such nonsense!" he barked. "BloggerinPJs even talks about voting. Voting! Can you imagine?"
 
Introduced years ago, the concept of Blogging in Pajamas was recently immortalized in the Academy Award non-nominated cartoon short, I Won't Pay for News Online, by Tribune manager Andy Waters. A Trib photographer snuck into the offices of the Columbia Heart Beat and surreptitiously photographed this writer authoring an important story about our local dictators in my jammies.
 
It is rumored that BloggerinPJs may, in fact, be Waters' father, Columbia Tribune publisher Hank Waters, acting out a wild fantasy of saving the town from the comfort of his bedroom out in the County.
 
Fortunately, a silver lining may have emerged in the dispute. Baron Cohen's Dictator character has taken a liking to Trib managing editor Jim Robertson.   "He reminds me of my beloved Director of State News," the Dictator explained. "Able to subjugate newspaper to needs of rulers. Very manly, these two."
 
The love fest has gone so far that Baron Cohen may be in talks to bring the BloggerinPJs character -- and the gang from "I Won't Pay" -- to the big screen.
 
The rumored plot: After Columbia is over-run by cartoonish characters who won't pay for anything -- news online, property taxes, sales taxes, basic infrastructure, or speeding tickets -- BloggerinPJs goes into action.
 
But first, "Photo of me must be removed!" Admiral General Baron Cohen insists. "Columbia is NOT Wadiya -- at least, not YET!"
 

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