In a sane world this would have to be true, right? He has no reason to lie. The footage will be globally available in 48 hours.

We’ll all know the truth, or at least have strong opinions about it, by Friday afternoon.

But in a sane world, he wouldn’t have gone boasting to New York tabloids in July that he had totally pwn3d Sacha Baron Cohen by foiling a prank, knowing that Cohen had footage of him lying on a bed with his hands down his pants.

So, yeah, Rudy’s perfectly capable of telling lies which he has every reason to know will be exposed in humiliating ways.

Every Amazon Prime member in the country was planning to enjoy this movie this weekend and now we’ll all be watching this scene like the Zapruder film to see if he really was performing a retuck or preparing to bring “little Rudy” out to play.

He notes in his statement that there was a screening of the film in September and no one made mention of the scene afterward, which is an interesting point. Did Cohen include it in that cut or did he save it as a surprise for the final release? You don’t need to assume political motives for that — it may be that he knew the Giuliani scene would draw big buzz and didn’t want to waste it a month before the film debuted.

All we can do for the next 48 hours is rely on people who have watched the scene, bearing in mind that they have their own political biases that may dispose them unfavorably towards Giuliani or otherwise. Jeva Lange of The Week says she’s seen it and that “even knowing what’s coming won’t prepare you for the shock and revulsion of the scene.” Jack Crosbie of Discourse Blog has seen it too and claims that Rudy *does* seem to be tucking his shirt in — at least at first. Then, well…

What I saw starts at the end of an interview between Rudy and Borat’s “daughter” Tutar. Tutar is apologizing to Rudy for something, and then leans forward and touches his knee, suggestively. She then thanks him for the interview and invites him into the bedroom of the hotel suite they’re in for a drink. He awkwardly helps her remove some of her microphones, and then immediately sits down on the bed, patting her, again, extremely awkwardly on the waist, while saying “you can give me your phone number, and your address.”

Tutar helps Giuliani remove a microphone from his shirt while he is sitting on the bed. He then lies down flat on his back and pushes both hands into the front of his pants, possibly re-tucking his shirt, but they stay there as he rummages around a bit, sighing.

Crosbie includes a full transcript of what was said after Cohen burst into the room but I won’t reprint it just so as not to spoil the jokes for those planning to watch. It’s funny.

I gave you some anti-anti-Rudy spin in the last post and will give you some more here, bearing in mind that I haven’t watched the scene. Based on descriptions of how things had gone up to that point, is it really plausible that Giuliani would have suddenly started touching himself? Clearly there was flirting happening, at least on the actress’s part; him asking for her phone number and patting her on the waist suggests reciprocal interest. But a man typically doesn’t go from that to instantly fondling his dong right in front of the woman he’s interested in. There would have been some suggestive banter, a little more “patting,” a kiss, something, before the self-abuse began. One would hope.

A thousand women are reading those lines right now, shaking their heads, and thinking, “Oh, honey. If only you knew.” Fair enough. I know the Louis CK stories, to take one example. I assume that famous and powerful men are especially likely to be … abrupt in demonstrating their interest, as they’re more used to getting what they want. But if what Rudy was doing was ambiguous and the circumstances don’t logically support the least charitable interpretation of his behavior, maybe we shouldn’t adopt that interpretation?

Ben Dreyfuss, who’s no conservative, says he’s watched the scene too. And he claims Rudy’s getting a bad rap.

And so we come to the inevitable end of the 2020 presidential campaign: America collectively scrutinizing hidden-cam footage to reach a consensus on whether Time’s 2001 Man of the Year was cranking it on a hotel bed with Borat watching him from the closet.

Via the Daily Beast, here’s Rudy calling in to talk radio this afternoon to defend himself. He’s fully entitled, but if I may make a suggestion: Presenting this absurd episode as some sort of left-wing dirty trick to run interference for Hunter Biden sounds insane even allowing for the fact that many righties will believe it, never mind that the scene was filmed months before the contents of Biden’s laptop were publicized. The U.S. electorate can tolerate a lot of absurdity nowadays but Trump’s lawyer linking a British comedian’s prank to the sinister Biden crime family’s influence-peddling operation will sound so deranged that it’ll discredit Rudy even more than the hidden-cam footage might. And God help us all if Trump ends up ranting about this tomorrow night at the debate. What a closing argument that would be: “Don’t reward Joe Biden with the presidency after he got Borat to frame Rudy for jerking off.”