Update: We now know the identity of the Brown student who trolled a local NBC reporter covering the hurricane and it turns out that Daniel Moraff, a 20-year-old member of Brown's class of 2014 and aspiring comedy writer, was not on drugs. He was just trying to make a point about local news.
"Local TV news is a sad thing. They ask sad questions and get sad answers. It's easier to laugh about it than to think about how State House coverage is dying," wrote Moraff in an email to the Atlantic Wire shortly after our original item was published. "I could think about how sad I am that local reporting is sensationalist and frivolous and bad, or I could make a dumb hurricane joke."
Unfortunately, Moraff wasn't satisfied with his performance today. "I'm not super proud of it (just because I think it was a mediocre interview that could've been better) and I'd be happier if my name wasn't on it but: understand if there's nothing that can be done," he said.
But at this point it's inevitable that Moraff's name would get out. Other blogs are picking up the video and it's being passed around on Twitter.
Who knows, maybe this will be the big break Moraff is waiting for in his burgeoning comedy career? He's a staff writer for The Brown Jug, a campus satirical magazine, and the co-editor-in-chief of The Brown Noser, a campus satirical newspaper.
Oh, and how did the NBC reporter react? Apparently she was OK with it. "We talked a lot about how it would be criminally negligent to ignore climate change at this point, and pledged to vote for Jill Stein next Tuesday," he said. The Atlantic Wire was skeptical and asked again whether or not she was mad. Moraff, ever the comedian, said she, "asked me out to a nice restaurant afterward and told me to wear something slutty, but my girlfriend (she is biracial) said no way."
Original: NBC 10's Alison Bologna didn't get the interview she expected from "Daniel," a Brown student, live from Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence. Daniel says the government wants you to think a hurricane happened and that classes are cancelled, but he knows better.
"If I wake up and people say, 'there's a hurricane,' I'm still pretty skeptical," Daniel says. "I don't really believe that there's a hurricane." Bologna corrects him, but he persists. "Think about it: the earth rotates pretty quickly," he continues. He even rotates his arms to demonstrate what he means, just in case viewers are confused. He will concede this point: "It's definitely windy, no, for sure."
"Well, the government definitely wants you to think that classes are cancelled, but I'm not so sure," he says. At this point, Bologna has had enough. She shutters him offscreen as quickly as possible. We suspect that, after they cut filming, she promptly walked over to him and whacked him upside the head, too.
Daniel's trolling is pretty good, all things considered. He has has the "stunned college kid" voice down to a science. It reminds us of Max Rice's performance on Fox and Friends. He was the 20-year old who lied about his credentials to get on air, and promptly sabotaged the clip. Of course, this is all assuming he is a troll.
Realistically there are three explanations for this interview:
- Daniel is an troll. Likely a Redittor, and he wants to get that karma. (Likely.)
- Daniel is high, probably from mushrooms or acid. What does he care? He doesn't have classes. (Less likely, but still a real possibility.)
- Daniel took his critical thinking classes way, way too seriously. (Least likely.)
We'll update if Daniel's identity is revealed anywhere.