Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo issued an apology at the end of the show on Wednesday morning, in which she was tricked into interviewing an animal rights activist posing as the CEO of a major food processing company.
The “Morning with Maria” host said, “We have a significant improvement, in an interview with Matt Johnson, after an interview with grassroots network Action Everywhere Activist Activist.”
The journalist thought he was interviewing Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ.
“Earlier in the program, I interviewed someone claiming to be the CEO of Smithfield Foods, Dennis Organ. We have found that it was not Dennis Organ, but an imposter who made false claims about the company. He is With respect to the person who does not have Smithfield Foods at all, we apologize to Dennis Organ, Smithfield Foods and our audience for making this mistake. We will certainly be more cautious. “
During the interview, which was uploaded to the YouTube page of Direct Action Everywhere, Bartiromo spoke of pushing food workers to bring the coronovirus vaccine early. Then he asked Johnson about the outbreak of cases at an operation in Smithfield, posing as Organ.
“It’s definitely been a challenging time,” Johnson said, “and we have our workers who are in dire need of these vaccinations and as you mentioned we’re surprised to hear that this second of the CDC vaccinations With the round giving priority to food workers. “
Johnson, in an interview, at one point made other statements claiming that as CEO he would apply “transparency and, at times, brutal honesty,” to his leadership.
He also said that the meat industry could “effectively bring on the next pandemic, with CDC data showing that three to four infectious diseases come from animals and the conditions inside our farms are sometimes petri dishes for new diseases Might be possible.”
Direct Action Everywhere, which has targeted Smithfield Foods in the past, said in a press release that it wanted to alert the public to the “danger of pig farming to public health”.
Johnson said Wednesday that the show “contained fake phone numbers and fake email addresses and was being sent to multiple pitches.”
Smithfield Chief Administrative Officer Keira Lombardo called the section a “complete hoax” and said a simple Google search of its CEO would have prevented Fox from transmitting “misinformation”.
Lombardo said in an email statement, “Statements that are blown up in the air and completely false. Smithfield is a recognized leader in animal goodness and care, protecting the environment and workplace safety.”
“Smithfield employs veterinarians and other specialists from the company who ensure that the safety, comfort and health of farm animals is comprehensive.”
Bartiromo previously worked for CNBC, which is part of the NBCUniversal News Group.