"With us today from the oppressive capital of our nation, Washington, D.C., we have Sen. Mark Begich" isn't how the Alaska statesman is often introduced, but then again, politicians usually don't make willing appearances on Alaska Robotics News.
Times, it seems, have changed. Just a week after President Barack Obama sat down with comedian Zach Galifianakis for a sketch on "Between Two Ferns" to promote his health care law, the Alaska Democrat appeared on the YouTube channel for Alaska Robotics News, an obscure satire news show from his home state.
The show is edited to look like a homemade talk show with cheesy background graphics, which are common online, and stock music.
In the episode, Begich, who is up for election this fall, mainly discussed the National Security Agency's domestic spying program while the host made cracks about Alaskans and the federal government.
"Maybe you're spying on me right now, listening to me right now," the host tells him.
"No," Begich replies. "I stopped listening a while ago."
It's rare — and delightfully refreshing — to see lawmakers poke fun at their state, their government and themselves.
"Sen. Begich is a good sport with a great sense of humor," Begich spokeswoman Devon Kearns told Yahoo News. "He’s always willing to talk to any and all Alaskans."
And lest anyone think Begich is just copying the White House's approach to outreach, the senator's staff told Yahoo News that they had arranged the video with Alaska Robotics News before the president's appearance with Galifianakis.