CNN Pranked By Kimmel Troll Claiming To Be Walker Voter

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The usefulness of news outlets cherry-picking voters to highlight on TV has always been questionable, but one voter that was shown Thursday’s CNN Newsroom wasn’t actually voter, he was a troll sent by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

Covering the Senate runoff in Georgia, scandal-plagued co-host Jim Sciutto introduced two clips, “CNN spoke to one of these split-ticket voters that Warnock references as well as someone standing by [Herschel] Walker despite the scandals that have plagued his campaign.”

The first clip showed a man named Blake Briese declaring, “The interviews we’ve had, the type of stuff that Herschel Walker says, I’m of the opinion he’ll say pretty much anything to get elected.”

The Walker voter shown to be Jacob Byrd “I just like how he talks and like the stories he tells, and, you know, he just, he’s off the cuff. He’s not all serious about everything. Everything is not a big deal to him, you know. Is he the best candidate for the job? Maybe not. I mean, is he the most qualified guy in the world? I don’t know. Maybe not. But does he have a great attitude? Yes.”

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As it turns out Byrd is really Tony Barbieri who, according to Mediaite, has shown up at various GOP functions for Jimmy Kimmel Live! While it may be forgivable for CNN to not recognize Barbieri, his lack of a serious answer either in favor of Warnock or opposition to Raphael Warnock should have been a red flag. If they missed that, the Hillary Clinton-esque “I’m with Herschel” shirt was another sign something could be off.

Later in the segment, co-host Bianna Golodryga asked Georgia Public Television’s Bill Nigut about Walker “voters” such as “Byrd,” “What we just heard in that piece, specifically the voter who is supporting Walker, now he by no means represents every Walker supporter, but to hear him say, is he the best candidate for the job, probably not. Also knowing that the Senate is not up for grabs with this runoff, how concerning should that be for Republicans ahead of next Tuesday?”

Nigut responded by predicting Georgians will be more like Briese, “Well, I do think it’s– there are many Republicans who share that voter sentiment who have decided they won’t cast a ballot for Walker because they don’t think he’s the most qualified. It’s important to remember that on Election Day, Herschel Walker underperformed every Republican on the state ballot. Every other Republican won their elections by significant margins. Herschel Walker underperformed Brian Kemp by more than 200,000 votes.”

Kimmel despises Walker, so while this is an opportunity for him to mock the liberals at CNN, he will probably still use it to attack Walker by arguing “Byrd” was so believable that CNN reasonably fell for it.

This segment was sponsored by ServPro.

Here is a transcript for the December 1 show:

CNN Newsroom

12/1/2022

10:22 PM ET

JIM SCIUTTO: CNN spoke to one of these split-ticket voters that Warnock references as well as someone standing by Walker despite the scandals that have plagued his campaign. 

BLAKE BRIESE: The interviews we’ve had, the type of stuff that Herschel Walker says, I’m of the opinion he’ll say pretty much anything to get elected. 

JACOB BYRD: I just like how he talks and like the stories he tells, and, you know, he just, he’s off the cuff. He’s not all serious about everything. Everything is not a big deal to him, you know. Is he the best candidate for the job? Maybe not. I mean, is he the most qualified guy in the world? I don’t know. Maybe not. But does he have a great attitude? Yes.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: What we just heard in that piece, specifically the voter who is supporting Walker, now he by no means represents every Walker supporter, but to hear him say, is he the best candidate for the job, probably not. Also knowing that the Senate is not up for grabs with this runoff, how concerning should that be for Republicans ahead of next Tuesday?

BILL NIGUT: Well, I do think it’s– there are many Republicans who share that voter sentiment who have decided they won’t cast a ballot for Walker because they don’t think he’s the most qualified. It’s important to remember that on Election Day, Herschel Walker underperformed every Republican on the state ballot. Every other Republican won their elections by significant margins. Herschel Walker underperformed Brian Kemp by more than 200,000 votes.

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