Gun advocate on Sacha Baron Cohen's show penned April warning to conservatives

BY SAMANTHA COSTANZO
Posted on DEC 15, 2018

Van Cleave said that he realized midway through filming that he was the target of a joke but went along with it in the hopes of discovering the true purpose of the segment.

Philip Van Cleave, the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, wrote a lengthy Facebook post warning fellow gun advocates and conservatives after he realized he had been tricked into filming for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's new showWho Is America?in April, Insider reported.

Van Cleave unwittingly participated in a segment of the show in which Cohen poses as an Israeli anti-terror expert and convinces Van Cleave and other conservative politicians to support a program that would allow toddlers to carry stuffed animal-gun hybrids.
After filming, Van Cleave took to the Virginia Citizens Defense League's Facebook to recount his experience and express concern that he had been tricked by "someone like Michael Moore, or, even worse, a Sacha Baron Cohen-esq 'Borat'-type of shock comedy meant to be devastatingly embarrassing and humiliating to the victim in the crosshairs," he wrote.

Van Cleave said that he realized midway through filming that he was the target of a joke but went along with it in the hopes of discovering the true purpose of the segment.

"I figured if I was right about this being a set up, I could blow the whistle and get a warning out to the gun-rights community across the country to protect as many people as possible and maybe derail this attack," he wrote. "If it turned out to be nothing, then no harm, no foul."

Van Cleave is among several well-known politicians and public figures, including Sarah Palin, who were asked to film various segments for Cohen's show without their knowledge

 

 

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