The veteran journalist told The Hollywood Reporter that he was “interviewed” by a man in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank. Koppel’s description of the individual sounds a lot like the person former Fox News pundit and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin described earlier this week. Both now suspect the man asking them questions was Baron Cohen, heavily disguised.
But unlike Palin and former Alabama judge Roy Moore, Koppel seemed unfazed by the incident.
“Everybody loves seeing well-known people get duped,” Koppel told The Hollywood Reporter. “I relish it too, when it’s done well.”
The journalist said he realized fairly quickly that “something was really wrong” when the man “interviewing” him questions kept asking about President Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd size, rather than the line of questions the journalist was told the conversation would tackle. Koppel added that he did not sign a release form.
Koppel told The Hollywood Reporter he agreed to the sit down after receiving an email from a producer claiming to work on a six-episode Showtime project that would feature “distinguished experts in science and public policy, highlighting the brightest and most reputable minds on today’s most important topics.”
Baron Cohen’s Showtime series “Who Is America?” has been getting a ton of attention this week as high-profile figures have come out admitting they were duped. Palin, who flew with her daughter to Washington, D.C., for the “interview,” attacked Baron Cohen as “evil and sick” for tricking her. She also called on him to donate the proceeds of his show to veterans. Moore, who threatened legal action against Showtime and Baron Cohen, also said he was prepared to defend America against the comedian.
The admissions follow a teaser trailer Baron Cohen tweeted on Sunday that included a clip of former Vice President Dick Cheney signing “a waterboard kit” at the request of an off-camera interviewer, who is presumably the U.K. comedian disguised in character.
“Who Is America?” will debut on Showtime on Sunday, July 15.