Yeah, looks like Rudy got a bad rap for that "Borat" scene

Yeah, looks like Rudy got a bad rap for that "Borat" scene

Pretty clearly, he thought he was being seduced. As you’ll see, she touches his knee, she suggests they move to the bedroom for a drink, then the mics start coming off presumably so as not to record what’s about to happen. She even ends up removing his mic instead of having him do it, which leaves her hands fumbling around near his belt.

But I do think he was tucking his shirt in when he slid his hands down his pants. In fact, to my eye, the film’s editors used a bit of chicanery to make it seem like he was fiddling down there longer than he really was.

Pay attention to the cuts. When his hands first disappear, we’re watching him from behind the actress. Then suddenly we’re watching him in the mirror, fiddling. Then we’re watching him still fiddling from behind the actress again. I think it’s the same two or three seconds of footage shown from two different angles to make it appear that he was doing it for longer than he really was.

I told you we’d end up scrutinizing this like the Zapruder film.

Rudy lucked out by having Sacha Baron Cohen burst in when he did, notes Paul Waldman. Had that scene gone on for another minute or two, it could have been far more compromising. If she had told him to take off his pants, would he have done it?

But look at it from Cohen’s perspective. It would have been irresponsible to leave a young woman alone with a horny man in a room for even a second longer than the scene warranted. The world has too many Weinsteins. That doesn’t mean Rudy’s one, but I wouldn’t gamble on a famous, powerful older man used to getting what he wants comporting himself with propriety if left alone in a bedroom with a flirtatious twentysomething.

What we’re left with is a scene that’s superficially funny but depressing underneath, in two ways. An old man is being humiliated sexually as a form of entertainment. And the president’s lawyer is walking right into a glaringly obvious honey trap set by some eastern European woman whom he’s just met.

Here’s Cohen leveraging the media fuss about Giuliani’s hands-down-the-pants cameo.

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