On the same day the Washington Post ran an op-ed in December, asking “What the hell happened to Maria Bartiromo” the former “Money Honey”-turned-devoted-Trumper was duped on her show by an animal rights activist posing as the CEO of a major foods company. Bartiromo, who was once a respected financial journalist, has fully appropriated Donald Trump’s use of language in recent years, ramping it up in the weeks following his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential election. Not only is she parroting his talking points nearly word for word, but she’s also done nothing to challenge the Trump surrogates she interviews. Bartiromo went so far as to tell her audience that an “intel source” told her that Trump had actually won the election. Of course, that ‘source’ was Michael Flynn, her guest from the day before.
So when someone claiming to be the CEO of Smithfield Foods was booked, neither Bartiromo nor anyone on her staff thought to vet their guest. She spent a full six minutes interviewing “Dennis Organ”, who talked about the horrific conditions in Smithfield’s factories, calling them “Petri dishes” and criticized the company under the guise of “transparency” and a relentlessly positive tone that so many spokespeople maintain.
But “Dennis Organ” (really, come on bookers, let’s pay better attention) was actually an animal rights activist named Matt Johnson, who started out the interview with a pretty convincing impersonation of a big-name CEO, thanking the U.S. government for prioritizing food workers for COVID-19 vaccinations. But then Johnson started sliding in some harsh criticisms of Smithfield that no self-preserving executive would dare mention. For example, Johnson said the company had been providing employees with “extensive” PPE and paid leave, but then said those steps have “unfortunately been insufficient.”
Bartiromo, who released a statement saying she had been “punked” was resoundingly dragged on Twitter for once again sliding into laziness instead of doing her job.