Sarah Palin got punked by the Canadian comedy duo known as the Les Justiciers Masques (the Masked Avengers) and, given the way the McCain campaign has controlled access to Palin, the prank feels like just plain good journalism -- almost as good as the real thing delivered by Katie Couric last month. The prank audio is entertaining, informative and damning, at least if you think the nation's leaders should be a little more sophisticated than, say, an excitable (and gullible) 10-year-old.
Utterly clueless -- the Masked Avengers' comically bad accents and pop culture and pornography references going straight over her head -- Palin blathers for what seems like hours, giving giggly answers and offering the slimmest possible analysis of her candidacy and the significance of campaign figure Joe the Plumber. At one point, she was led even to agree that FOX News broadcasts unfair critiques of her and is just another part of the the media bias in this country against muddle-headed winking Christian hockey moms.
The Avengers clearly could have gone on for hours with her, talking about the French first couple's sex life and the view of various countries from the Elysee Palace. Alas, they took pity on candidate Palin after even their compliments on Hustler's "Nailin' Palin," which they called the "documentary" of her life, elicited nothing more than giggling appreciation.
According to Ben Smith of Politico, the McCain campaign has confirmed that it was indeed Palin on the call. For real:
Gov. Palin received a phone call on Saturday from a French Canadian talk show host claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy," emailed spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. "Gov. 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.
A transcription of the call follows (minus the parts that I had trouble understanding due to the heavy fake accent):
Palin staff member: This is Lexi.
Avenger: Hello Bexi
Palin staff member: Hi
Avenger: Hi, this is I'm with uh Nicolas Sarkozy on the line for Governor Palin.
Palin staff member: Yes, one second please, can you hold on for one second please?
Avenger: Yeah, no problem.
Palin staff member: Alright thanks.
Palin staff member: Hi, I'm gonna hand the phone over to her.
Avenger: Ok, thank you very much, I'm gonna put the president on the line.
In the background: [ok, he's coming to the line]
Palin: This is Sarah.
Avenger: Uh, yeah, uh, Governor Palin
Avenger: Just hold on for Sarkozy, one moment.
In the background, Palin: [Oh, it's not him yet [unintelligible] I always do that]
Avenger: Yes, yes, hello, governor
In the background, Palin: [I'll just have people hand it to me right when it's]
Avenger: Yes, hello, misses governor?
Palin: Hello, this is Sarah, how are you?
Avenger: Fine and you, this is Nicolas speaking, how are you?
Palin: Oh, so good, it's so good to hear you [giggle] thank you for calling us.
Avenger: Oh, it's a pleasure
Palin: Thank you sir. We have such great respect for you, John McCain and I. We love you, and thank you taking a few minutes to talk to me.
Avenger: I follow your campaigns closely with my special campaign adviser [not sure what name he says here] you know.
Palin: Yes, good.
Avenger: Excellent, uh, are you confident?
Palin: Very confident, and we're thankful that polls are showing that the race is tightening, and...
Avenger: Well, I know very well that the campaign can be exhausting, how do you feel right now my dear?
Palin: I feel so good. I feel like we're in a marathon, and at the very end of a marathon, you get your second wind, and you plow through the finish...
Avenger: You see, I got where I am in France because I'm real, and you seem to be someone who's real as well.
Palin: Yes. [giggle] Yeah. [giggle] uh, heh, Nicholos, we so appreciate this opportunity...
Avenger: You know, I see you as a president one day, you too
[giggle] Maybe in 8 years
Avenger: Well, uh, I ... for you. You know, we have a lot in common because personally one of my favorite activities is to hunt too.
Palin: Oh, very good, we should go hunting together.
Avenger: Exactly, we should go try hunting by helicopter like you did, I never did that. Like we say in France [something in French]
Palin: I think we'd have a lot of fun together, as we're getting work done -- We can kill two birds with one stone that way
Avenger: I just love killing those animals, mm mm, take away life that is so fun.
Avenger: I'd really love to go as long as we don't bring your Vice President Cheney [laugh]
Palin: No, I'll be a careful shot
Avenger: Yes, see, you know we have a lot in common also because except from my ass I can see Belgium, that's kind of ...
Palin: Well see, we're all next door to countries that we need to be working with, yes.
Avenger: Some people said in the last days that you weren't unexperienced enough in foreign relations, and you know, that's completely false. That's the thing I said to the prime minister of Canada Stef Carse...
Palin: Well, he's doing fine too, and Yeah, when you come into a position underestimated, it gives you an opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong, you work that much harder...
Avenger: I was wondering because you are so next to him, one of my good friends also the prime minister of Quebec Mister [Franc Ouvrier?] has met him recently did he come to one of your rallies
Palin: I haven't seen him at one of the rallies, but it's been great working with the Canadian officials in my role as governor. We have a great cooperative effort there as we work on all of our resource development projects. You know, I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife, oh my goodness, you added a lot of energy to your country with uhm with that beautiful family of yours.
Avenger: Thank you very much. You know my wife Cécilia would love to meet you, uh, you know, even thought she was a bit jealous today that I was supposed to speak to you today.
Palin: Well, give her a big hug from me.
Avenger: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model, and she is so hot in bed, she even wrote a song for you.
Palin: Oh my goodness, I didn't know that.
Avenger: Yes, in French it's called [says something in French] or if you prefer in English, Joe the plumber, [singing] it's his life, Joe the plumber
Palin: Maybe she understands some of that unfair criticism, but I bet she is such a hard worker too, and she realizes you just plow through that criticism, and ...
Avenger: To be sure, I don't quite understand the phenomenon Joe the plumber, that's not your husband?
Palin: That's not my husband, but he's a normal American who just works hard and does not want government to take his money
Avenger: Yes, yes, I understand, we have the equivalent of Joe the plumber in France, it's called [says something in French]
Palin: Right, that's what it's all about, is the middle class, and government needing to work for them, you're a very good example for us here.
Avenger: Uh, I see a bit about NBC even Fox News was not an ally sorry about as much as usual.
Palin: Yeah, that's what we're up against.
Avenger: I must say Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know uh, Nailin' Palin
Palin: Oh good. Thank you. Yes.
Avenger: That was really edgy.
Palin: Uh, well good. [giggle]
Avenger: I really loved you, and I must say something also governor. You've been pranked. By the Masked Avengers, we are two comedians from Montreal.
Palin: Ohhhh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this?
Avenger: This is for CKOI in Montreal.
Palin: In Montreal? Tell me the radio station call letters.
Avenger: C-K - hello?
[unintelligible talking in the background]
Avenger: If one voice can change the world for Obama, one [unintelligible] can change the world for McCain.
[unintelligible talking in the background]
Palin's staff member: I'm sorry, I have to let you go, thank you.