Stop us if you've heard this one before -- a man often accused of being a dictator is making sure the press shows up to his meetings with pseudo-celebrity Steven Seagal and claims they've been longtime friends.
You can fill in the blank on who we're talking about, because that fits the profile of both Sheriff Joe Arpaio and, more recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
-Arpaio's Posse Doing a School-Shooting Simulation, Steven Seagal's Supervising
According to Russian news agency Itar-Tass, "Putin and Seagal arrived together from Putin's residence in Novo-Ogaryovo and had a luncheon together, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists."
That spokesman also said Putin and Seagal have "long been friends" and hang out all the time.
As you may recall, Seagal joined Arpaio recently for
a publicity stunt to exploit dead children a "simulated school shooting," teaching Arpaio's volunteer posse members the most important methods to stopping a school shooting, like "room-entry tactics and hand-to-hand tactics."
Some might say that Arpaio and Putin have a lot in common. That's not entirely true because Putin's way, way better at publicity stunts.
For example, here's how they pull of publicity stunts at hospitals:
See, the press release from the Kremlin probably explained that Putin healed this man, whereas this screen-grab of Arpaio in his hospital bed makes it look like his family's having the pull-the-plug conversation right in front of him.
They also handle animals differently.
Arpaio will use a puppy in an attempt to avoid answering questions about mismanaging the Sheriff's Office. Putin will tell a large tiger to go the fuck to sleep, and it will listen. Putin will even pose for the photo.
They do have their similarities, though -- both have experience with gulags, doing really shady things come election time and, of course, letting Steven Seagal plant his lips upon their ass cheeks.