Whoever at Fox Business booked animal rights activist Matt Johnson, thinking it was Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ, for an interview with anchor Maria Bartiromo has probably resigned or been fired in disgrace. But he or she left behind a lovely Christmas gift for many of us.
HuffPost has a good overview:
On Wednesday’s episode of “Mornings With Maria,” Bartiromo featured an interview she said was with Dennis Organ, the new CEO and president of pork industry giant Smithfield Foods.
However, the interview was actually with Matt Johnson, an activist for the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere.
While posing as Organ, Johnson told viewers that factory farms like the ones operated by Smithfield are likely breeding grounds for future pandemics.
When Bartiromo asked about Smithfield’s processing plant in South Dakota ― the site of a major COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year ― Johnson posing as Organ told her that the company farms are “petri dishes for new diseases” and noted that hog farming also “causes immense damage to our air and waterways.”
As my Crooks and Liars colleague Ed Scarce pointed out, Bartiromo seemed oblivious to what was going on. "Bartiromo rolled her eyes a couple of times, probably thinking that the Smithfield Foods CEO was the not the best spokesman ever for industry PR," he wrote.
By the end of her show, Bartiromo knew the truth. She acknowledged she had been punk’d. She noted that Johnson has “absolutely no relation to Smithfields Foods” and apologized to Organ, the company and to her audience. “We will, of course be more vigilant,” she added.
You can watch her get punk’d below, from the December 23, 2020 Mornings with Maria, via Crooks and Liars.
(H/T reader Eric Jefferson)