(MCT) — After Max Rice was yanked from the airwaves during a now-infamous interview with Fox News on Monday, the lights were turned off and the cameraman gave him "the disappointed father look," Rice said.
But his real father — a self-proclaimed conservative who regularly watches Fox News — was proud, calling it more of an expose than a prank.
Rice, who grew up in Glencoe, bamboozled his way into an interview on "Fox & Friends," and after the awkward exchange was prematurely ended, it became a viral Internet hit.
He was introduced on air as an unemployed college graduate who voted in 2008 for Barack Obama but now planned to vote for Mitt Romney. In reality, Rice, 20, is an undergraduate film major at Columbia College Chicago and wasn't even old enough to vote in 2008. Evidence of his real biography was easy to find online, Rice claimed, but Fox News didn't confirm.
During the interview, he explained to host Gretchen Carlson that he planned to vote for Romney because he lost a bet over a basketball game — a claim he maintains is true and that he intends to honor.
As Rice nervously looked side to side and took occasional sips from his coffee cup, the interview was hastily cut short, with Carlson telling him he wasn't "ready for prime time yet with this interview."
Online comments were divided over Rice's strange performance, but his father, Mark, said he watched it live and got a good laugh from it.
"That's the funny thing, I'm right (wing), so I don't necessarily agree with him politically on many issues. But I still love him, he's my son," Mark Rice said. "If you know him, you love him and you know he's always very creative and often times funny, so you never know what to expect."
It wasn't Max Rice's first experience with politics. He was elected president of his 2010 senior class at New Trier High School, the school confirmed.
A YouTube video of his commencement address pops up online alongside his "Fox & Friends" interview.
Looking back on it, the aspiring film writer admits he could have done a better job during the interview — "I didn't use my best material" — but insists he was making a political and ethical statement about cable news. And he denies the suggestion of some online commenters that he was somehow impaired during the exchange.
"No. It was 5:45 in the morning," Rice said. "I can't operate at that time."