Jason Mattera, dubbed "D.C.'s bad boy reporter," proved to bark up the wrong Joshua Tree when he mistakenly cornered a Bono impersonator in an attempt at a ambush interview.
Mattera, editor at large at Human Events, approached said "Bono" and asked him direct questions about U2's taxes, particularly about moving money to Holland for a lower tax base.
"How do you not have control over that? It's your company. Are you not in charge of your own company?" Mattera asked.
"It's not my company," the impersonator responded.
"You have no say in what U2 does?" Mattera pushed.
"Not particularly," said the "Bono."
The reason he didn't have much of a say about his company? Because it wasn't actually his company at all. The impersonator declined to let Mattera in on the little joke, and the reporter went on believing he had captured a real "gotcha" moment.
According to Media Matters, the video was posted on Breitbart.com and Glenn Beck's The Blaze this week, but was pulled and marked "private" on YouTube last night. Lucky for us, and anyone else in need of a good laugh, it has resurfaced. (Watch it below!)
Mattera admits he was duped, but said it was bound to happen.
"I got punked. I thought I got Bono. I didn’t. I got his impersonator apparently. Hats off to him. He got me — and how!" Mattera said in an e-mail to Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple. "After scores of interviews with big-time politicians and celebrities, I finally got had. It was bound to happen sooner or later. On the bright side, if I’m gonna get had as good as I did, it might as well be in pursuit of one of the greatest rockers ever."
As for the impersonator, it was Pavel “Bonodouble” Sfera who said he was only giving answers he knew how to give. In the end, Sfera decided not to reveal his true identity to Mattera.
"I let him go. I didn’t think he was being legitimate and fair," Sfera said.
As Mattera learned first-hand, "gotcha" journalism isn't always fair.