Video: Tabs: Attack on Borat

By Keith Olbermann Anchor, 'Countdown'
Countdown
updated 11/14/2006 11:41:26 AM ET 2006-11-14T16:41:26
COMMENTARY

Keith Olbermann rounds up tabloid and entertainment news every night on “Keeping Tabs.” On Monday, Nov. 13 he had this to say:

From the legendary to the flavor of the month, it is our nightly roundup of tabloid and entertainment stories, “Keeping Tabs.” 

Borat gets socked
And with the exact hour at which Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, Borat, will go from refreshing to unbearable is now approaching, if not eminent.  There are still some people who are surprised by him like the guy who punched him in the face over the weekend. 

Borat, attacked on a New York City street Saturday night after Cohen reportedly tried out his shtick game on the wrong guy.  Mr.  Cohen had just finished his spot on “Saturday Night Live” and was walking to local drinking establishment when friends say he approached a man and in character said, “I like your clothings, are nice, please may I buying, I want to have sex with it.” 

The man, unfamiliar with the act, apparently felt threatened and responded by punching Mr.  Cohen in the face several times.  Cohen was reportedly spared a more serious beating in consume by friends who intervened.  Said to be shaken, but not seriously injured. 

Welcome to New York City. 

FBI arrests man for mailing white powder
And our thanks to the Joint Federal Terrorism Task Force and a small army of FBI agents who, Saturday, arrested an alleged terrorist believed to have mailed more than a dozen threading letters filled with white powder to politicians and media figures.  Everybody from John Stewart to Nancy Pelosi to David Letterman to Chuck Schumer to me and others. 

Chad Castagana of Woodland Hills, California, was actually seen by FBI agents last week walking from his home to a public mailbox there and depositing a powder filled letter addressed to one of the previous recipients—me.  Castagana, an unemployed sci-fi buff who had previously written anti-liberal screeds and germ warfare speculations on the Internet, was in court today facing federal charges.  He could face 15 years in prison.  No plea today.  His detention hearing, postponed until Thursday, he will evidently remain in custody. 

“City News Service” of Los Angeles reporting there was a sixth target, Viacom chairman, Sumner Redstone, and also that the day before he was arrested, Castagana told an FBI agent he sent out 17 letters.  It also cites, that service does, an FBI affidavit that says Castagana “...described himself as a compulsive voter who votes Republican, and he said that he sent the letters to specific individuals because he did not like their liberal policies.”

The white powder in each envelope, and I alone received several of them with various fake return addresses, turned out to be inert.  But we can now finally reveal why the federal investigators were annoyed when the “New York Post” reported in September that I’d gotten one.  They had asked the media, even those of us who were the victims, not to report any of this.  To fill up its gossip page, instead the "Post" served as a return receipt to the alleged terrorist, it confirmed to them that at least one of his letters had been received, which the authorities feared correctly as it proved, would encourage the guy to send more. 

Ignore for a second the impact on the recipients or the people who work in the recipients’ offices or mailrooms, as the FBI itself pointed out, there were 13 separate law enforcement responses to this case in New York alone, involving four different government agencies. 

“Every time the FBI’s Join Terrorism Task Force is notified that a suspicious letter is received by a victim,” said the FBI’s No. 2 man in Los Angeles, “dozens of response personnel deploy to the affected location to collect evidence, conduct the necessary investigation and in some cases, evacuation is required.  These disrupt daily activity and unnecessarily detract from other important work that investigators need to do to keep Americans safe.”


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