A Berkeley troublemaker hit the jackpot by successfully fooling Fox Business’ ‘Mornings with Maria’ on a live segment that of course went brilliantly awry.

The brave godless, heathen liberals waging the War on Christmas have scored a glorious victory with an act of espionage inflicting terrible embarrassment onto the enemy. Or more specifically, a Berkeley-based animal rights activist group successfully infiltrated the Fox Business program Mornings with Maria on Wednesday, passing off their press secretary as the CEO of the world’s largest pig and pork producer Smithfield Foods. The merry (Christmas) prankster promptly proceeded to detail “his” company’s terrible track record with workplace COVID-19 infections, and promised a “half a billion dollars” to safety measures that Smithfield Foods is obviously never going to make.    

The full segment is seen above, and Direct Action Everywhere activist Matt Johnson successfully strings host Maria Bartiromo on for six minutes until she figures out the ruse and cuts the interview short. But Johnson plays the long game on her, working it up as a slow boil, though you can see the look of vengeful satisfaction on his face when she starts the interview and he knows he’s pulled off the con.

Posing as Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ, whom he does not really resemble, Johnson delivers a harsh assessment of Smithfield Foods. “Our industry poses a serious threat in effectively bringing on the next pandemic, with CDC data showing that three in four of infectious diseases come from animals and the conditions inside of our farms that can sometimes be petri dishes for new diseases,” he said. “Hog farming also causes immense harm to our air and waterways.”

He then makes a promise that Smithfield surely will not keep. “We’re actually pledging now a half a billion dollars a year, starting in 2021, to mitigate some of these impacts,” Johnson claimed, which seems to be where Bartiromo figures out that this is a hoax.

Meat processing plants have been notorious COVID-19 outbreak hotspots, and Smithfield Foods has been one of the worst offenders at downplaying the problems. When meat shortages hit in May because of soaring processing plant infections, Smithfield admitted in a press release that “a small number of employees” had tested positive. That number was 783 employees at one South Dakota plant alone.  

The above tweet is still posted to Bartiromo’s account, promising the Smithfield CEO on her show Wednesday morning. Smithfield Foods is furious over the incident. “A simple Google search for a photo of our CEO would have prevented this from happening,” Smithfield Foods said in a statement to multiple news outlets. “The statements that were aired are absolutely and completely false. Smithfield is a recognized leader in animal wellbeing and care, in stewardship of the environment and in workplace safety.”

Thoroughly roasted, Bartiromo issued an apology at the end of the show. “It appears we have been punked,” she said. “Earlier in the program I interviewed someone claiming to be Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ. We have since learned that was not Dennis Organ, but an impostor making false claims about the company. He 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.”

You may not always approve of this Berkeley-based animals rights group Direct Action Everywhere, who often dabble in fake blood and graphic photos to shame carnivores. They’re also known for disrupting BBQ cookoffs, storming Chez Panisse to harass meat-eaters, and grabbing the microphone from Kamala Harris at the California Democractic Convention. But regardless, you’ve got to love how the vegan prankster hammed it up on this hoax.

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Screenshot via Youtube