It isn't courtesy of a troop of taunting Frenchmen, but given the topic, we'll take it.
It's actually courtesy of Marc–Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel, better known to French–speaking Québec as "Les Justiciers Masqués" (the masked avengers), a shock jock comedy duo. They are to French Canadian radio (Montréal–based CKOI–FM, 96.9 MHz stereo, to be exact) what Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand were (until quite recently) to the BBC.
Only the Justiciers' target this time wasn't an actor or even a pop idol (although, as a pair of stories from CTV and The Canadian Press indicate, they've been there and done that).
Non, mes amis — actually, their latest target was…
©2008 Les Justiciers Masqués / PointPub Média Communications.
For once, a pair of shock jocks performed a useful service.
UPDATE 2008.11.07: BuzzFlash has a breakdown of the very clues that could have tipped the big spender from Alaska that the chap on the other end of the line wasn't French President Nicholas Sarkozy. And The Canadian Press has a transcript of the call.
My father viewed the incident as "stupid," arguing that les Justiciers had no business sticking their noses into the politics of another country.
Needless to say, I don't concur.
First, it wasn't so much M. Audette who was stupid to put the call through, but rather Mme. Palin, who fell for it hook, line, and YouTube. By allowing herself to get pawned by M. Audette — has she ever heard M. Sarkozy's voice, let alone listen to or watch news coverage out of Europe or Canada? — she demostrated how shallow her world view really is. Had she been elected, the rest of the world would properly view her as the fraud she turned out to be, more in awe of her image than in what her "job" as (vice–)president would actually entail.
Apparently, Monsieurs Audette and Trudel sensed it, and figured they could nail her big time. And, lo and behold, they did just that. Make the results viral, and…
Talk about backing the right horse.
Second, as I discovered merely by listening often to the BBC World Service — as well as embedding a few Al Jazeera news items on this very blog — people all over the world have indeed been following the news dispatches that come from the States. They know damn well about our sometimes warped politics and our recent Election. Some actually feel the might of our presence (through industry, or sometimes military might), often through no fault of their own. People look at us, and ask what our odd little nation will do next. They want their voices to be heard, and not just through the polite channel known as the BBC's World Have Your Say. Moreover, they want us to grow up, and be part of the world for a change.
No doubt, making sure Sarah Palin never assumes a role of power as she almost did would be a great place to start.