Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo 'Punked' on Air by Animal Activist Posing as CEO

The host issued a correction and apology at the end of her show

Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo alerted her audience on Wednesday that her show’s bookers had been “punked” by an animal rights activist who secured a six-minute interview under the guise of being the CEO of Smithfield, a food processing company.

“We have an important correction to make,” the “Mornings With Maria” host said at the end of Wednesday’s show. “It appears we have been punked. 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. We will of course be more vigilant.”

During the interview itself, Bartiromo rolled her eyes at one point, signaling she sensed something fishy in the segment.

The faux CEO, who is actually Matt Johnson of Direct Action Everywhere, was booked to discuss vaccine distribution for employees at a plant that has had a coronavirus outbreak.

Johnson stayed in character as Organ the entire time, at one point asserting that the meat industry could be “effectively bringing on the next pandemic, with CDC data showing that three of four infectious diseases come from animals and the conditions inside of our of farms can sometimes be petri dishes for new diseases.”

News organizations employ dozens of bookers for their shows whose job it is to find reputable sources to speak on-camera about the issues of the day. It was not immediately clear how Direct Action Everywhere got Johnson onto the show, but the animal rights group released a statement later Wednesday.

The action is part of DxE’s ‘No More Factory Farms campaign, which calls on government officials to proactively prevent future pandemic outbreaks by introducing a moratorium prohibiting the construction of new factory farms and slaughterhouses,” the group said. 

Watch above, via Fox News Media and Direct Action Everywhere.

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