When local NBC 10 reporter Alison Bologna in Providence asked a Brown University student named Daniel on Monday if he felt safe before Hurricane Sandy hit, he replied with a healthy dose of skepticism.
"I don't really believe that there's a hurricane," Daniel said, adding, "Well, I mean I know the government wants us to think that. But, I mean think about it. The Earth rotates very quickly."
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Brown had canceled classes that day, and Bologna asked Daniel whether he knew if the university was planning to cancel classes the following day.
"Well, you know, the government definitely wants you to think classes have been canceled," he replied. "I'm not so sure."
The Atlantic Wire found out Daniel is actually just a student trying to pull a prank on a local reporter:
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."
Daniel Moraff also writes for a couple satirical student publications on campus. He's a staff writer for the magazine The Brown Jug, and he's the co-editor-in-chief of The Brown Noser, a campus satirical newspaper.