“It seems we have been misled,” said Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, after the latest on-air mishap that hit the conservative network.
In a segment aired Wednesday night, Bartiromo appeared to believe he was interviewing Dennis Organ, president and CEO of the pork-producing giant. Smithfield Food. In fact, she was interviewing Matt Johnson of the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere.
The six-minute interview began with Bartiromo asking about a Covid-19 outbreak at a Smithfield plant in South Dakota and the company’s plans for vaccine distribution. Johnson responded by speaking about the “dedicated and tough” staff and the company’s commitment to providing “extensive personal protective equipment” to employees.
But soon the tenor of the encounter changed, as Johnson “promised personally[d] that we are going to do better, and the first change under my leadership is transparency and, sometimes, brutal honesty ”.
With that, he launched into a tirade about the food industry and how it could contribute to another pandemic. The farms were “Petri dishes” for infectious diseases, he said, turning into revealing smiles and pauses before Bartiromo canceled the interview.
In response to a request for comment, a Fox News spokeswoman noted Correction to the air of Bartiromo.
“We want to apologize to Dennis Organ, Smithfield Foods and our audience for making this mistake,” said Bartiromo. “Of course we will be more attentive.”
Smithfield Managing Director 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 passed on, and Fox has issued an apology for this entire lapse. “
Johnson he said to the coat he did not have “an overly guilty conscience” for the stunt, which he said was inspired in part by a recent on-air fact check on allegations of voter fraud and involved “bogus email addresses and fake phone numbers and many pitches.” .
Critics of Fox News and Fox Business pointed out that this is not Bartiromo’s first encounter with false information, referencing more than just the airborne fact-checking of claims about Smartmatic, a company that makes voting machines.
Bartiromo got an interview in November with Donald Trump, his first after your choice loss by Joe Biden. At that meeting, the host referred to Trump’s unfounded claims “many times that this election was rigged, that there was a lot of fraud and the facts are on his side,” then she supported the president.
“Then they made landfills,” he said, referring to claims that Democrats flooded states with fraudulent votes, “massive massive landfills, in Michigan, Pennsylvania and everywhere else. This is disgusting and we cannot allow the US election to be corrupted. “
The host later said an unidentified “source of information” was “telling me that President Trump did indeed win the election.” In fact, his own network, like others, has called for the election of Biden and election officials from the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security they have said there was no fraud.
Bartiromo “used to be King Larry of the corporate world,” Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary, told the Washington Post. “But I think he saw the ratings of people like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity and even Lou Dobbs, and he saw that the way to survive on Fox is to bet on Donald Trump.”
Bartiromo has maintained access to the president, interviewing him, since other reporters have been marginalized. She told the Post: “Since I started covering President Trump and covering the coup and the effort to topple him, I have become an enemy of the media, activists and mobs. I have an advantage. I mean, I stand my ground and I’m not easy to fly. “
In a previous role as a CNBC reporter during the dot-com boom, Bartiromo attracted a cult following and became known to some as the “Honey of Money” or even the “Sophia Loren of Journalism. financial”. Among her fans was Joey Ramone, lead singer of the Ramones, who began contacting her for advice on actions.
Speaking to The Guardian in 2006, Bartiromo said: “I started getting emails from him and he said, ‘Maria, what do you think of Intel or what do you think of AOL?’ and I thought, ‘Who is this person sending me an email? It’s crazy, he calls himself Joey Ramone.
“It was indeed him and we developed this friendship. And it was in tune with the markets. He really understood his own investment portfolio. Joey Ramone was a fantastic investor. “
The leader, who died in 2001, later contacted Bartiromo to tell him that he had written a song about her and invited her to CBGB to hear it. Bartiromo did not come to the concert, he had to get up at 6 in the morning, but he sent a camera crew.
“Indeed, the cameraman returned with the tape and there he is and his band with this song Maria Bartiromo and I love it. It is a tremendous tribute. I love that. It’s great, just great. “
The song appeared on Ramone’s latest album.
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