Look, you invite the “Birds Aren’t Real” guy on live TV and you’re sure to get trolled. WGN News in Chicago found out the hard way.
In a clip that has gone viral, Peter McIndoe – the 23-year-old creator of the fake conspiracy theory – pretends to vomit milk as he speaks to news anchors. At first, however, things seem normal in the interview. McIndoe talks about how “Gen Z is full of amazing men, women and kids ‘(lol)’ who are aiming for change and I think that’s what our movement is all about.”
But when the hosts try to step in with more questions, McIndoe pretends to vomit what looks like milk into a coffee cup.
“Oh my God, I’m so nervous, I’m so sorry,” McIndoe said through a spit. Hilariously, he’s miserable and sticks to the bit as the anchors cut through time, unsure of what’s going on. It’s pretty awesome.
If you’re unfamiliar with the “Birds Aren’t Real” movement, it’s a bogus conspiracy theory that pokes fun at other conspiracy theories such as all the QAnon nonsense. It’s basically a group of Gen Z kids pretending that all birds have been replaced by drones by the government in order to spy on Americans. the New York TimesTaylor Lorenz wrote a definitive play featuring McIndoe break character briefly to explain the move.
It’s not entirely clear if the Chicago news station knew McIndoe was falsifying the conspiracy theory – hopefully they read the Time article – but at the very least they set themselves up for a massive troll. Invite the “Birds Aren’t Real” guy on live TV and you get what you get. Online terminals would have expected this – they’re in on the joke – but a local news station was sadly unprepared for the ten layers of irony in every Internet joke.
To wit: The Birds Aren’t Real TikTok account — which is verified (lol) and operated by McIndoe — was already joking about the troll, acting like he really threw up. “The most embarrassing moment of my life”, McIndoe wrote on viral moment. But make no mistake, it was definitely a troll.
One commenter wrote: “They used ‘birds’ to poison his coffee.”
To which the Birds Aren’t Real account replied, “We are looking into this but have no conclusive evidence to suggest.”