Radio station’s Ryan Seacrest interview was a bit and used an impersonator

Update: As it turns out, the story I reported on below was based upon a fake interview. The Trentonian newspaper reported on it as if it was an actual interview, and did not verify Ryan Seacrest’s participation. The Philadelphia Daily News’ Dan Gross also wrote about the incident, and has today apologized, noting that “hosts Craig Carton and Ray Rossi were interviewing a Seacrest impersonator when they repeatedly asked whether the TV star were gay. The radio hosts yesterday acknowledged the prank, which was covered on the front page of the Trentonian, and also led to a flood of media calls to New Jersey 101.5 yesterday.”

One of them, Craig Carlton, confirms that he is an ass and praises himself and his infinite genius, telling the paper, “It’s nice to know a radio station can still pull off a stunt like this … We can take anyone down … it’s within our power. The Washington Post wanted to do a front-page story for tomorrow. That’s the power the Jersey Guys have.” As if anyone outside of Trenton, New Jersey, had heard of him before today.

My original post follows, but of course, is, as it stands, not true:

We all know that Ryan Seacrest is not gay. However, Craig Carlton, a host on New Jersey’s 101.5 FM afternoon drive-time show and no stranger to controversy, apparently was not aware.

So, yesterday, he asked Ryan. And Ryan left the studio without answering. Then Ryan returned, the host asked again, and Ryan left again, clearly affirming his heterosexuality. Here’s the Trentonian’s recap of the event:

“Ryan,” Carton said, “Are you gay?”

Silence.

“Ryan, are you a homosexual?”

With that, Seacrest was headed for the door.

“I can’t stay here, man,” Seacrest said. “I gotta jet.”

That’s when he “stormed out of the studio and into the NJ-101.5 offices, but he was coaxed back into the studio with the understanding that the rest of the interview would center on the television show and not on his personal life,” the paper reports. Ryan returned to the studio, but, predictably, this happened:

Co-host Ray Rossi, an admitted “Idol” fan, was ready to move on, but Carton wouldn’t let up.

“Are you gonna walk out again if I ask you about it?” Carton asked Seacrest.

“Absolutely. I’m outta here,” said Seacrest.

Immediately, Carton asked “Are you gay?” “You know,” Seacrest said, “I don’t know why I trusted you.”

And, again, Seacrest was out the door, this time for good.

The paper reports that Carlton later said, “I think he’s probably a good guy. I don’t know if he’s gay or not, I just know he wouldn’t answer the question.”

Angry ‘Idol’ Celeb to local shock jock: See ya [The Trentonian]
Dan Gross | Correction [Philadelphia Daily News]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.