Maybe pundits should have cut Sarah Palin some slack for believing a porkie from a fake French president.
The final weekend of the US election campaign was enlivened by a prank call to the “pitbull with lipstick” from Marc-Antoine Audette, a Canadian comedian, who broadcast their six-minute conversation on a Montreal radio station.
As impersonators go, Audette is no Tina Fey but he did persuade Palin that he was Nicolas Sarkozy and told her one of his favourite pastimes was hunting.
“I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun,” said faux-Sarkozy.
He went on to suggest the pair go hunting together by helicopter, to which Palin responded: “Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together while we’re getting work done.
“We can kill two birds with one stone that way.”
In Palin’s defence, the idea of a high-profile Frenchman who likes hunting is certainly believable. Take Henri de Castries, the AXA boss who told Insurance Times in July how much he enjoys hunting buffalo in Africa with his daughter.
“She was 18 and she had good marks in school, so I took her to shoot a buffalo, which is an interesting experience for an 18-year-old girl,” said de Castries, with masterful understatement.
“It’s very, very dangerous and you have to get close, within 30 to 40 metres. She did that and I was a proud father.”
But while Audette’s hunting talk might have been credible, the rest of the conflab – where “Sarkozy” tells Palin his wife is “so hot in bed” – really should have raised her suspicions.