Monday, November 03, 2008

Clueless Sarah Palin Pranked by a Faux Sarkozy



This story has spread all over the internet, but from the International Herald Tribune (among many sources) comes word that Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin was successfully misled by two comedians last Saturday into thinking she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Known as "The Masked Avengers", the Canadian duo, SĂ©bastien Trudel and Marc-Antoine Audette of CKOI, a radio station in Montreal, have pulled similar stunts on Mick Jagger, Bill Gates, Britney Spears, Jacques Chirac, Tiger Woods, and even on Sarkozy himself. But this was their coup de grace: pranking an already questionable candidate who would be the first female VP - just a heartbeat away from having her finger on the nuclear trigger - on the very eve of a hotly contested US presidential election. It casts further doubt on her judgment and readiness to assume important responsibilities.

Despite the use of a very exaggerated Parisian accent (on the verge of Pepé Le Pew), broad parody and many other obvious clues, inaccuracies and in-jokes planted throughout the six minute phone conversation, Governor Palin never realizes the trick until being told at the end, after which one of her assistants terminates the call.

Some of the very obvious tip-offs that Palin misses:

The "aide" to Sarkozy identifies himself as "Frank l'Ouvrier", or "Frank the Worker", a French twist on "Joe the Plumber".

"Sarkozy" says he also likes to hunt: "I just love killing those animals. Mmmm Mmmm. Taking away life, that is so fun!" He interjects a quick aside in French about "killing baby seals", and indicates he has never before gone hunting from a helicopter, but would be happy to accompany her. But he pointedly requests that Dick Cheney, of the misfired rifle incident, not come along. Laughter from Palin. "No, I'll be a careful shot," she promises.

"Sarkozy" indicates he has closely followed the U.S. election through his special advisor "Johnny Hallyday," the French Elvis. He goes on to say how unfair it is that Palin has been labeled as not experienced in foreign relations, and then cites his good friend, "Canadian Prime Minister Stef Carse", actually a pop country singer from Quebec. Palin detects nothing. She merely chirps on about international cooperation, rushing to hit one of her rehearsed talking points.

"Sarkozy" becomes ironic: "I got elected in France because I am real, and you seem to be someone who is real as well". She doesn't get the joke.

He goes on: "You know, I see you as a President one day, you too!" Palin laughs nervously, then chirps: "Maybe in eight years".

"Sarkozy": "You know we have a lot in common, because from my house I can see Belgium! That is perhaps less interesting than you!"

Referring to his wife Carla Bruni as "so hot in bed", "Sarkozy" says that Bruni (also a pop singer) has written something for Palin, entitled "Du rouge a levres sur une cochonne" (Lipstick on a Pig), "or if you prefer in English, Joe the Plumber". He then says that he doesn't get the whole Joe the Plumber thing. "That's not your husband, right?"

"Sarkozy": "I must say I loved that documentary they made of your life. You know Hustler's Nailin' Paylin?" - referring to an adult film put out by Larry Flynt with a lookalike porn actress - "That was really edgy!"

After so many dead give aways and cheeky affronts go by without detection or objection, there is nothing left but to inform Palin that she has been pranked. Throughout the conversation, rather than having any presence of mind, she has been uncritical, fawning, obsequious - "John McCain and I love you so much!" - and eager to hit the standard Republican talking points. Her attitude seems less suited to two world leaders talking, and more like a student hitting prepared points in an oral quiz. "Sarkozy" continually interrupts her in mid-sentence to deliver zinger after zinger, not one of which registers with her as false or alerts her to the prank.

Daily Kos posted a transcript of the call.

Palin's office has issued the following statement: "Governor Palin received a phone call on Saturday from a French Canadian talk show host claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Governor Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C'est la vie."

To which I would rejoin: "Peut etre c'est la vie. Mais ce n'est pas ma VP!"

This video from the back lot of Nailin' Paylin was once available on YouTube. As the election approaches, there has apparently been some damage control.

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