Fake Reporter Is Bane Of Kazakhstan

"Yagshamash. My name is Yagshamash," Borat says, running through the streets of New York.

That's pretend Kazakh journalist, "Borat," and his name is mud in Kazakhstan, the country the fictional character is supposed to be from, CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports.

"My government send me to USA to make a movie film. Please, you look," Borat says while being pulled by a horse.

Borat is really British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and he has gotten well under Kazakhstan's skin with his spoof portrayal of a Kazakh news reporter.

Maybe it's because he showed up for the premiere of his new movie in a cart, apparently being pulled by Kazakh peasant women.

Maybe it's because he has said that homosexuals in Kazakhstan had to wear blue hats.

Maybe it's his attitude toward women.

So wounded have the Kazakhs been by the image of their country that Borat presents that the former Soviet republic has taken out expensive spreads in major newspapers extolling the virtues of their developing land. They've also dispatched senior diplomats to refute the suggestion that they can't take a joke.

"This may seem funny to them, but some will not take it as very much funny," says Erlan Idrissov, Kazakhstan's ambassador to Great Britain.

In the 15 years since Kazakhstan became an independent country, some real economic progress has been made, mostly because of its oil. Politically, however, it's more complicated. But a sense of humor is not among Kazakhstan's post-communist reforms, apparently.

Borat, unlike the Kazakhs, knows the value of publicity, and he offered a rebuttal on his Web site when the Kazakhs threatened to sue.

Later this week, Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev will visit President Bush. The Kazakhs deny reports that he'll complain about Borat — just as they deny Borat's claim that their national drink comes from a horse.

When Ambassador Idrissov is asked what their national drink is, he smiles, adding "whisky."

But Borat still gets the last laugh.

"Please, you come see my film. If it not success, I will be execute," he says.