Ian Murphy, 2011
While conservatives have recently dominated the political prank game—from O’Keefe to Lila Rose’s February 2011 stings on Planned Parenthood—it’s still a bipartisan game. On Feb. 23, 2011, Murphy, a reporter with Buffalo's brash alternative-news site, The Beast, decided to see how far he could get by calling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and pretending to be conservative businessman and activist David Koch. It didn’t take long before Murphy was on the phone with Walker, discussing his standoff with Democrats and union members over a plan to eliminate collective-bargaining rights for public workers. Murphy taped the conversations and promptly posted them online. Walker avoided major missteps, but admitted he’d considered planting troublemakers among protestors and said he’d only talk to Democrats to trick them. Here’s guessing his staffers will check the caller ID more closely next time.