Got’cha journalism

Governor Palin, we’ve got Santa Claus on line 2 for you.

“Hockey smokes — jolly ol’ Saint Nick? I bet’cha he wants to tell me Christmas is coming early this year — like on Tuesday! Hello, Santa….”

No two ways about it, Sarah Palin got punk’d by a prank phone call Saturday courtesy of a Canadian comedian pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Yep, Sara-cuda fell for it hook, line and sinker. Palin and the phony Sarkozy talked about politics, the dangers of going hunting with Dick Cheney, and about the Frenchman’s hot wife, Carla Bruni. The Montreal comedian radio show host purposly spoke in an over-the-top French accent to drop hints — like lead balloons — that it was a prank. But Palin never caught on.

The two traded words on foreign policy — with the imposter saying he was impressed that Palin could see Russia from her house because he could see Belgium from his home. The dupe thought it was neat that the two shared seeing other countries in common and told him that would come in handy-dandy when she’s VP. The comic then intentionally misnamed Canada’s prime minister, but that didn’t stop Miss Informed from praising the guy anyway. Wait, it gets better: The comic con man got Palin to believe he and his former model wife wrote a song about Palin — “Lipstick on a pig.” The clueless candidate was still somewhere over the rainbow by not getting the French connection when the imposter said France had the equivalent of Joe the Plumber — Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpits.

Once Palin was told it was all just a prank, she took it in stride. Her handlers told reporters the VP wannabe was “mildly amused.” Thanks to Palin’s misadventures, we’ve been a lot more than that.

ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT….

John McCain’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” with Tina Fey as Palin went off without a hitch — and a few lines that must have left you in stitches. The premise was a hoot: Since McCain and Palin-perfect couldn’t afford a 30-minute Obama-like infomercial, they had to hock their wares from their campaign on QVC. McCain and Fey were trying to sell such things as pork (barrel) knives, blank commemorative plates of the 10 town-hall debates that McCain wanted with Obama, and Joe action figures — Joe the Plumber, Joe Six-Pack and Joe Biden, which talks for 45-minutes once you pull the string. And Cindy McCain was perfectly cast as a vapid “Price is Right”-type model running her hands over a display case.

It was all harmless fun, with McCain — as he always is on these shows — in rare form. However, when he showed up later on “Weekend Update” without Fey, some in the audience booed. Tough crowd. But he maintained his cool by again poking fun at his own, uh, celebrity.

“SNL” also featured a lacerating spoof of MSNBC’s “Countdown” and its host Keith Olbermann, the former sportscaster-turned newsman and opinion-meister. Host Ben Affleck’s impersonation of Olbermann, who can get a little pompous at times, was uncanny — even though Affleck at times got caught up in his own performance and nearly broke character. That’s never the case with Fey, who stole a lot of thunder from McCain in the show’s opening sketch. She was especially hilarious when she portrayed Palin as “going rogue” and trying to push the Palin 2012 T-shirts. Reports say that Fey is tired of playing Palin and is secretly hoping she won’t have to do it much longer. Come Tuesday, a majority of voters may be in on the joke and grant her wish.

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