The BBC apologized and opened an investigation after it aired an interview with a man posing as Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey.
The network said in a statement that the unidentified man was interviewed on the Newshour radio program last Friday, adding that the appearance appeared to have been “an intentional joke”.
The statement said the BBC apologized to Mr. Booker and the company investigated what went wrong to make sure it didn’t happen again.
The interview was broadcast once, live at 3 p.m. Eastern and mainly in the US and some other places around the world, a BBC spokesman said Thursday. A second edition of “Newshour,” which airs at 4pm, also aired in the US and around the world, but without the interview, he said.
Mr. Booker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
The BBC spokesman confirmed an apology was made on the air on Newshour on Monday, but declined to comment when asked how the man was booked for the show and whether the company has been in contact with him since would have.
When the interview aired last week, several listeners tweeted their concerns about the show, with the scammer talking about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
“Listen to the @bbcworldservice Newshour on @wnyc and see how you did an entire interview with someone you introduced as Sen. Cory Booker. I’m pretty sure he was definitely not Sen. Booker and didn’t realize it, ” said a woman.
At least one other person replied directly to the BBC say on twitter“I’m not sure who the BBC World Service was interviewing on the news about US relations with Saudi Arabia, but it was definitely not Senator Cory Booker.”
Another woman tweeted on Mr. Booker’s Friday, asking if lawmakers were on the agenda. “Someone who didn’t sound like you and without your speech pattern claimed to be you today.” she said.
Mr. Booker, a Democrat, is no stranger to the subject the impostor was talking about. In 2019 he voted in support of resolutions disapproving arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The year before, Mr. Booker called the death of Mr. Khashoggi “terribleAnd said he had joined colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee to impose sanctions on anyone involved in the “terrible” act.
Stories of jokes and impersonators making their way into news broadcasts are not uncommon.
An animal rights activist last December pretend to be the managing director of Smithfield Foods conducted an interview with Maria Bartiromo, the presenter of the Fox Business Show “Mornings With Maria”. At the end of the broadcast, Ms. Bartiromo issued a public correction saying, “It seems we got punk.”