Wisconsin Governor Gets "Punked"


The Story

In the midst of heated debate over the Wisconsin budget bill about workers' collective bargaining rights, Governor Scott Walker, received a phone call from someone impersonating a major campaign donor.  Walker addressed the incident in a news conference, below.  On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart mocked the governor's response.

Discussion Starters

  • View the video of the governor's response to the prank call. How well do you think he handled the situation? What tactics is he using to recover from the potentially embarrassing call? 
  • Listen to part of the call or read the full transcript of the call.  In your opinion, do you think the governor should have known better that the call was a prank?  What evidence do you see--or not?

 Assignment Ideas

  • In small groups, discuss the value of interpersonal communication via the telephone.  If this call were from a real donor, why do you think the phone would be a more effective means of communication than, for example, email, and what are the downsides?
  • With the rest of the class as your audience, prepare and deliver a two-minute presentation to the governor, recommending ways that he can protect himself in the future against this type of prank.