Photo: Courtesy of Fox News
Max Rice, the “disillusioned former supporter of President Obama” who pranked Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson this morning, couldn’t even vote in 2008. He was 16.But when a “friend of a friend” came calling with an offer to appear on Fox & Friends Monday morning, Rice, who told Business Insider he is a 20-year-old film student at Columbia College in Chicago, morphed himself into a 23-year-old, unemployed recent college graduate who was forced to move back in with his parents.
In a phone interview with BI after the appearance today, Rice said that he didn’t go on air intending to punk Carlson and Fox, but that he felt like a “character” in Fox News’ “movie” when the network fed him talking points and a narrative.
“They gave me a paragraph full of bullshit talking points. … They basically gave me a speech and they thought I was supposed to have it memorized,” Rice said.
Rice forwarded us email exchanges he had with various staffers at Fox News leading up to his appearance.
Here’s a sample from the exchange:
“Great! We will go over details this wknd, but I’m looking forward. Main focus, as we discussed, is – you voted for obama based on the promises of hope and change, that he’d fix the economy…but now you can’t find a job, and that promise hasn’t been kept,” the producer wrote.
Rice even changed his story during conversations with various Fox News producers. One time, he said he graduated with a degree in English. The next conversation, it was a bachelor’s in engineering.
The fact that Fox did not appear to do much background research on Rice — his 2010 high-school graduation speech is easily accessible through a Google search — led him to decide to try to pull the prank.
What followed was the awkward, painful-to-watch interview with Carlson this morning during which Carlson eventually asked him if he was taking the interview seriously.
At least one part of Rice’s interview was true, he insisted — that he is supposed to vote for Romney because he lost a game of basketball to a friend. Still, he’s not sure if he will follow through on that promise.
Rice said he hopes his appearance would give an empirical example of how the media often disregards facts and stays superficial in favour of a compelling narrative.
“Ever since Obama’s American lapel pin, the coverage has just been a joke,” he said. “We’re not talking about things that actually matter when we’re at a low point in our country.
Watch Rice’s interview on Fox & Friends this morning, courtesy of Mediaite:
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