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Fox Business Host Pranked By Animal Activist Posing As Meat Company CEO Live On Her Show

Fox Business

The various platforms under the Fox News umbrella has never exactly been known for its attention to detail, but a recent lapse has taken things to a new level.

In a recent segment of her show, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo interviewed a man who she thought was the new CEO of pork-processing giant Smithfield Foods, but was actually animal rights activist Matt Johnson.

The incident happened during a live segment of Bartiromo's show Mornings With Maria last week.

During the interview, Johnson—who works for animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere—posed as Smithfield CEO Dennis Organ.

During his conversation with Bartiromo told viewers that factory farms like Smithfield's were likely to be sources of future pandemics. Following a question regarding Smithfield's meat-processing plant in South Dakota, which was the locus of a major outbreak early in the pandemic, Johnson called factory farms "petri dishes for new diseases."

While posing as the meat company's CEO, Johnson shared statistics about companies like Smithfield's role in spreading disease.

"The truth is our industry poses a serious threat in bringing on the next pandemic, with 3 in 4 infectious diseases coming from animals."

Johnson also said factory farms like Smithfield's pollute our air and waterways and claimed the company will be spending half a billion dollars a year in mitigating their environmental impact beginning in 2021.

Though Bartiromo does roll her eyes at some of Johnson's comments, at no point does it ever seem to dawn on her that a supposed meat-company CEO is casting a damning portrait of his own industry.

By the end of her show, however, Bartiromo had been alerted to the prank.

She issued an apology to her viewership.

"It appears we have been punk'd. Earlier in the program, I interviewed someone claiming to be the CEO of Smithfield Foods, Dennis Organ.
"We've since learned that that was not Dennis Organ, but an imposter making false claims about the company. He is someone who has absolutely no relation to Smithfield Foods."
"We want to apologize to Dennis Organ, Smithfield Foods, and to our audience for making this mistake."

But many on Twitter were not about to let her off the hook.


And many others felt the mishap was right on-brand for Fox.




And, of course, many found the whole thing hilarious.




At the conclusion of her apology, Bartiromo promised her viewership that she and her team will be "more vigilant" in the future.