The BBC is issuing an apology and a correction after airing an interview with a man who falsely claimed to be U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
The broadcaster apologized for airing what turned out “to be a deliberate hoax” and has reached out to the real Booker with an apology. The BBC says they “are looking into what went wrong to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The hoax interview aired on BBC’s Newshour radio show on Feb. 26, regarding the U.S. placing sanctions on Saudi Arabia following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Twitter users questioned the legitimacy of the interview, noting the voice and speech pattern did not match Booker’s.
@CoryBooker did you do an interview today with the BBC discussing the Khashoggi killing? Someone sounding nothing like you and without your speech pattern was claiming to be you today.
— Tyresse Horne (@Thorne4184) February 26, 2021
Listening to the @bbcworldservice Newshour on @wnyc and trying to figure out how they did an entire interview with someone they introduced as Sen. Cory Booker, who I'm pretty sure was definitely not Sen. Booker, and didn't realize it. 🤔
— Amy Eason (@AEasonNY) February 26, 2021
Just heard @BBCNews issue correction/apology for hoax interviewer claiming to be @CoryBooker last week on @NPR @kjzzphoenix. I was listening to said interview & was VERY confused. I Googled to see if there was a different Cory Booker. Bizarre! Who was it? https://t.co/Twauaq0Z3Z
— Charles Clarkson (@CCPolitico) March 1, 2021
The BBC confirmed the interview “only aired once” during the radio broadcast and did not appear online or anywhere else. It is unclear if the prankster had a deliberate agenda or was just trolling the BBC with the impersonation.
Booker has not publicly commented on the hoax.