Fox News's Maria Bartiromo Got Scammed On-Air by Animal Rights Activists, Merry Christmas!

Illustration for article titled Fox News's Maria Bartiromo Got Scammed On-Air by Animal Rights Activists, Merry Christmas!
Image: Fox Business

Listen, Christmas is in a couple of days and the dawn of a new year begins the week after that. Everybody’s brain is on holiday time, I get it. I really do. But would I be so checked out that I interview an animal rights activist posing as the CEO of the world’s largest pork producer? Probably not. But I can’t say the same for Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo.

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The once respected business reporter has spent the last few years as a loyal follower of Trumpism, making headlines just last month for conducting an interview with President Trump that was condemned as “soft-ball” and “propagandistic.” On Wednesday’s episode of Mornings With Maria, she embarrassed herself anew: She interviewed animal rights activist Matt Johnson who was posing as Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ during a segment about food safety and Smithfield’s Hong-Kong based parent company.

Johnson, playing Organ, wasn’t all that polished in his delivery, but he managed to be relatively convincing for much of the interview: At one point, Bartiromo asked what processing securities Smithfield has in place to assure Americans that their pork is safe, even if it comes from Big Scary China™, and Johson detailed a laundry list of safety protocols put in place in Smithfield factories.

But there was an obvious tell.

“As the new CEO and president of Smithfield, I personally promise that we’re going to do better, and the first change under my leadership is transparency and at times brutal honesty,” said Johnson posing as Organ. “And the truth is that our industry—in addition to the outbreaks that are happening in our plants—our industry poses a serious threat in affectively bringing on the next pandemic.”

Hm, not exactly the kind of rhetoric one would expect from a meat supplier.

This interview went on for six minutes, by the way.

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To be fair... Johnson could pass for Smithfood’s real CEO; they look somewhat similar if you squint a bit. But how an activist for Direct Action Everywhere, who advocates against factory farms, managed to end up on Fox-fucking-Business is unclear, despite a press release from the organization detailing the stunt.

“We’ve been punked!” Bartiromo exclaimed at the end of the episode.

Amateur hour, folks. But good for Johnson.


CNN reports that President Trump vetoed a $740 billion defense spending bill because it doesn’t repeal Section 230, a law that “shields internet companies from liability for what is posted on their websites by them or third parties.” In other words, he wants to punish the tech companies that Trump is convinced are biased against him, and he’s big mad that Congress doesn’t give a shit.

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But the bill also requires military bases named after Confederate figures to be renamed and limits the amount of money Trump can use for his pet border wall project, so there are plenty of reasons he might bristle.

Of course, Republicans are furious about the move—one that may be useless anyway considering the fact that the Senate approved the bill with a veto-proof 84 to 13 majority. This might just be a bitch fit that goes nowhere, but there is one Trump tantrum I hope makes Congress leap into action...

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  • And temper-tantrum is Trump’s insistence that Americans receive $2,000 in covid-19 relief checks instead of $600. JUST DO IT! [Business Insider]
  • Asian actors Kal Penn, Kumail Nanjiani, and more have come together to tell Sen. David Perdue to fuck off.

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

DISCUSSION

hiemoth
Hiemoth

I’m struggling with Trump’s move on the COVID relief bill, or as much as I can be confused by anything the dude does. I mean, he has to know that not only was the relief amount because of Republicans, it was actually his own treasure secretary that was playing hardball on it.

It’s a temper tantrum, sure, but I don’t know if it is more hilarious or despairing if it ends ups sinking the relief bill.