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Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo Punk’d on TV, Shows She is Not a Journalist

INCOMPETENT AND STUPID Hey Maria, ever heard of Google? A simple search would have showed her guest was not CEO of Smithfield. Het MB staff YOU’RE FIRED!



“It appears we have been punked,” said the Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, after the latest on-air mishap to hit the conservative network.

In a segment broadcast on Wednesday evening, Bartiromo appeared to believe she was interviewing Dennis Organ, president and chief executive of the pork-producing giant Smithfield Foods. In fact, she was interviewing Matt Johnson of the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere.

The six-minute interview started with Bartiromo asking about a Covid-19 outbreak in a Smithfield plant in South Dakota and the company’s plans for vaccine distribution. Johnson responded by discussing “dedicated and resilient” staff and a company commitment to provide “extensive personal protective equipment” to employees.

But soon the tenor of the encounter changed, as Johnson “personally promise[d] that we’re going to do better, and the first change under my leadership is transparency and, at times, brutal honesty”.

With that, he launched into a diatribe about the food industry and how it could contribute to another pandemic. Farms were “petri dishes” for infectious diseases, he said, drifting into tell-tale smirks and pauses before Bartiromo pulled the plug on the interview.

Responding to a request for comment, a Fox News spokeswoman pointed to Bartiromo’s on-air correction.

“We want to apologise to Dennis Organ, Smithfield Foods and to our audience for making this mistake,” Bartiromo said. “We will of course be more vigilant.”

Smithfield’s chief administrative officer, Keira Lombardo, said in a statement: “A simple Google search for a photo of our CEO would have prevented this from happening. This allowed false information to be aired, and Fox has aired an apology for this complete lapse.”

Johnson told the Wrap he did not have “too guilty of a conscience” over the stunt, which he said was in part inspired by a recent on-air factcheck about voting fraud claims and involved “fake email addresses and fake phone numbers and lots of pitches”.

Critics of Fox News and Fox Business pointed out that this is hardly Bartiromo’s first encounter with false information, referencing more than just the on-air factcheck of claims about Smartmatic, a company which makes voting machines.