Kazakhs fight Borat with advertising

Not sure how we missed it, but on Monday the Kazakhstan government published a four-page ad section in The New York Times titled, “Kazakhstan in the 21st Century,” with the apparent goal of countering the horrid image of the country put forth by Borat Sagdiyev, the mock Kazakh TV personality played by Sacha Baron Cohen, also known as Ali G. The section had great things to say about Kazakhstan’s industries, its political and educational systems and its respect for women. This feud just keeps getting better and better. Earlier this month, Borat showed up at an MTV awards show in Europe, at which, among other things, he referred to Uzbeks as “assholes.” That drew sharp criticism from Kazakhstan, which in turn prompted Borat to write on his Web site, “Since the 2003 reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats and age of consent has been raised to 8 years old. Please, I invite you to come to Kazakhstan, where we have incredible natural resources, hard-working labor and some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of central Asia. Goodbye.”