Cable news network MSNBC and anchor Krystal Ball both fell for a prank caller Thursday, putting on the air a fake Army Sgt. who claimed he saw the Malaysian plane in Ukraine shot down by “a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s ass.”
“Let’s turn now to an MSNBC exclusive,” Ball, co-host of “The Cycle,” breathlessly exclaimed during a discussion of the downed flight. “U.S. Staff Sgt. Michael Boyd is at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine and says that he saw a missile in the air hit the plane. He is on the phone with us. Sergeant, are you there?”
“Yes, I’m here,” the “sergeant” replied. “Can you hear me?”
“I can, please tell us what you saw there on the ground there in Ukraine,” the MSNBC host continued.
“Well I was looking out the window and I saw a projectile flying through the sky,” the prankster claimed, “and it would appear that the plane was shot down from a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s ass.”
“So it would appear that the plane was shot down,” Ball plowed on, seemingly oblivious. “Can you tell us anything more from your military training of what sort of missile system that may have been coming from?”
“Well you’re a dumbass aren’t you?” the prankster laughed, drawing a blank stare from Ball. “Excuse me, sir?” she asked, before the phone call was finally cut.
The network quickly cut to commercial.
This is hardly the first time a news network has been duped into taking a call from a Stern fan during breaking news coverage.
In 1994, as the world waited for O.J Simpson to emerge from his white Ford Bronco, a Stern fan tricked ABC News and the late Peter Jennings into believing he was an eyewitness to a very “upset” Simpson.