During Fox News’ coverage of the alarming mass shooting at historically black Morgan State University in Baltimore on Tuesday evening, an unforeseen disruption provided an unexpected twist. Conservative commentator Mark Dice managed to infiltrate the live broadcast, posing as a supposed witness to the tragedy and took the opportunity to troll the network over its unceremonious dumping of its most popular personality, Tucker Carlson.
Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher introduced a caller named “Tyrone,” expecting a firsthand account of the horrifying events. Instead, the faux-student showered praise on former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “We all get together every Tuesday night, and we watch Tucker Carlson’s show on X. We used to watch him on Fox News,” the caller explained, implying that Carlson’s departure from the network has only bolstered his credibility. He further pointed out that without the constraints of corporate media, Carlson was free from their influence.
I AM CRYING.
— The Redheaded libertarian (@TRHLofficial) October 4, 2023
As the call continued, it became evident to Gallagher and the audience that “Tyrone” was not a genuine student from Morgan State. Interrupting the caller, Gallagher clarified for viewers, “Clearly, that was not a student.”
Soon after the episode, Mark Dice took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to claim responsibility for the unexpected interruption. He clarified that his intention was to make a prank call and “culture jam” Fox News. In Dice’s words, “Culture jamming is when you subvert the media in a creative way in order to use that same form of media to critique media itself.”
"We got Tyrone on the phone" will go down in history as the line that ended careers at Fox.
— Blaise D (@Rhodesdale1) October 4, 2023
Dice expressed dissatisfaction with how cable news channels often exploit tragedies, seemingly gluing viewers to their screens. He stated, “While shootings of any kind are terrible and it’s important to inform the public about a potential danger — cable news always exploits tragedies in order to keep viewers glued to their screens and fill the airtime with anything available to them.”
For longtime viewers, this incident might bring back memories of a similar stunt pulled during ABC’s coverage of the infamous 1994 O.J. Simpson white bronco police chase. A prankster pretending to be an eyewitness named Robert Higgins tricked Peter Jennings with an exaggerated account of the situation.
As the dust settles on this recent incident, Dice’s underlying message is worth considering: How much trust can be placed in corporate media? And how do channels verify the authenticity of on-the-spot informers, especially during sensitive breaking news situations? As long as media exists, there will always be those willing to challenge and critique its operations and intentions.
No matter how one feels about Dice’s tactics, one thing is clear. This event serves as a timely reminder for media outlets to exercise heightened vigilance, especially when dealing with sensitive subjects.