Add U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson to the list of politicians, celebrities and public figures who have been fooled by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
The Republican from Springdale will appear on a new TV program on Showtime starring the comedian famous for “Borat,” “Bruno” and “Ali G” among other characters.
But Wilson did not think he was being interviewed by Cohen during his appearance on “Who Is America?” which will premiere Sunday night. The House of Representatives member believed he was speaking with an Israeli anti-terror expert named Col. Erran Morad.
During the discussion with “Morad,” Wilson discussed the merits of arming very young students as a deterrent to school shootings.
It was called the Kinderguardians program. Cohen’s character said its purpose was to arm children from the ages of 3 to 16 years old in Israel.
In a clip from “Who Is America?” Wilson was filmed discussing the Kinderguardians program, appearing to voice support for the idea of arming young school kids.
“A 3-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it,” Wilson says in a clip from the show. “Our founding fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment.”
Wilson was not the only current or former politician interviewed by Cohen’s character for the show. Former Sen. Trent Lott, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and former Congressman Joe Walsh — all Republicans — also appear in the segment and endorse the Kinderguardians program.
“It’s something we should think about in America, by putting guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, good guys, whether they be teachers, or whether they actually be talented children or highly-trained preschoolers,” Lott said on the program.
When reached for comment Sunday, Wilson said he had an idea why he was asked to appear on Cohen’s show — his support of Israel.
“Public officials of both parties, like everyone, can be the target of practical jokes — and that’s what you’ve seen in this instance. The request was to thank me for being a friend of Israel,” Wilson said in a statement released to The State.
Wilson also said he was added to Cohen’s list because of his willingness to conduct interviews and hear ideas.
“I was targeted due to my strong support of Israel and my open-door office policy — and what I told this group was that I’ve worked to strengthen our relationship with Israel and that I will continue to work with President Donald Trump to do so.”
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said she was “duped” into appearing on “Who Is America?” The former governor of Alaska wrote on Facebook that she thought it was going to be a legitimate interview with a a disabled U.S. veteran in a wheelchair, according to The Associated Press.
Wilson, who has represented South Carolina’s 2nd District in the House of Representatives since 2001, might be best known beyond the Palmetto State for interrupting then-President Barack Obama as he addressed a joint session of Congress about health care, shouting “You lie!”