RSN April 14 Fundraising
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

"What follows is the inaugural column of a person the website Gawker called The Fox Mole - a long-standing, employee of the Fox News Channel who provided Gawker with inside information on the Fox News organization." 'The Mole' was smoked out just hours ago.

Fox News assistant producer Joe Muto 'The Fox Mole' has been found out. (photo: Gawker)
Fox News assistant producer Joe Muto 'The Fox Mole' has been found out. (photo: Gawker)



Mole at Fox News Reporting to Gawker

By Gawker

12 April 12

 

On April 11 a "spokesperson" for Fox News said they had caught the mole .... not quite, said the mole. But then hours later, "Hi. My name is Joe Muto. I was the Fox Mole ... They nailed me." - CW/RSN

 

always intended to keep my mouth shut. The plan was simple: get hired, keep my head down and my views to myself, work for a few months, build my resume, then eventually hop to a new job that didn't make me cringe every morning when I looked in the mirror.

That was years ago. My cringe muscles have turned into crow's feet. The ten resumes a month I was sending out dwindled into five, then two, then one, then zero. No one wants me. I'm blacklisted.

I work at Fox News Channel.

The final straw for me came last year. Oddly, it wasn't anything on TV that turned me rogue, though plenty of things on our air had pushed me in that direction over the years. But what finally broke me was a story on The Fox Nation. If you're not a frequenter of Fox Nation (and if you're reading Gawker, it's a pretty safe bet you're not) I can describe it for you - it's like an unholy mashup of the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting. Word around the office is that the site was actually the brainchild of Bill O'Reilly's chief stalker (and Gawker pal) Jesse Watters.

The Nation aggregates news stories, gives them provocative headlines, and invites commenters to weigh in. The comments are fascinating actually, if you can detach yourself enough to view them as sort of the id of the conservative movement. Of course, if you can't detach yourself, then you're going to come away with a diminished view of human decency, because HOLY MOLY THESE PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE THE BLACK PRESIDENT. I'm not saying they dislike him BECAUSE he's black, but a lot of the comments, unprompted, mention the fact that he is black, so what would you say, Dr. Freud?

The Fox Nation moderators, realizing that they had a problem on their hands, did the absolute bare minimum, hiring one or two college kids to comb the comments for the most egregiously racist postings, and putting in automatic text filters that blocked various key words. Of course the intrepid commenters quickly found ways around these filters using letter substitutions and spacings, which is why many comments complain about our "n@gger president" and the "M u s l i m in the White House."

So the site has become the seedy underbelly of the Fox News online empire. It's surprising that we even have an online empire, considering that our fan base is mostly septuagenarian technophobes.

Announcing Our Newest Hire: A Current Fox News Channel Employee

The post that broke the camel's back might be familiar to some of you, because it garnered a lot of attention and (well-deserved) ridicule when it hit last August. The item was aggregating several news sources that were reporting innocuously on President Obama's 50th birthday party, which was attended by the usual mix of White House staffers, DC politicos and Dem-friendly celebs. The Fox Nation, naturally, chose to illustrate the story with a photo montage of Obama, Charles Barkley, Chris Rock, and Jay Z, and the headline "Obama's Hip Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs."

The post neatly summed up everything that had been troubling me about my employer: Non sequitur, ad hominem attacks on the president; gleeful race baiting; a willful disregard for facts; and so on. It came close on the heels of the Common controversy, which exhibited a lot of the same ugly traits. (See also: terrorist fist jabs; Fox & Friends madrassa accusations; etc.)

The worst thing about the Hip Hop BBQ incident is that we didn't back away from it. Bill Shine, who is a rather important guy - sort of Roger Ailes' main hatchet man, and the go-between for Ailes and most of the top talent - bafflingly doubled down and defended it. The story still exists on the Fox Nation site, headline and photo montage intact, to this very day.

That was it for me. It wasn't that the one incident was so bad, in and of itself. But it was so galvanizing, and on top of so many other little incidents, that I guess it just finally pushed me over the edge.

So here I am. And I come bearing gifts. The video above is of Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity bantering before the taping of an interview for the "Hannity Vegas Forum" in February. Of note: Romney professes his and his wife Ann's well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the "Austrian Warmbloods" that his wife rides - the are "dressage" horses, he notes - while maintaining his own preference for the "smoother gait" of his own "Missouri foxtrotter."

Now there's nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French.

Elsewhere in the video you will see the two men discussing the possibility that this very footage may one day be leaked, as they warn one another against primping too carefully. "You don't want to have John Edwards moment," Hannity says. "Did you see that?" Romney replies: "Oh, yeah I saw that. It's one thing to do it for a second. It's another thing to do it for an hour." (And it's quite another for Newt Gingrich's wife to groom him like a circus walrus.)

Later, Hannity's producers ask him to change his necktie mid-interview. Here's a little TV trick for you: The show was splitting the Q-and-A over two nights, and they wanted to make the second night look like a fresh, new encounter rather than a rehash from last night. So they made sure to change Hannity's tie lest eagle-eyed viewers spot the repeat. Romney, to his credit, refuses to play along. Offered a pink tie, he says, "I'm not going all Donald Trump today." That day, Trump had announced his endorsement of Romney. In the portion of the interview that was broadcast, Romney said he was grateful for Trump's support, and that "he is a man who'se created a lot of jobs, and he shares my concern about China."

Announcing Our Newest Hire: A Current Fox News Channel Employee

"So why not just leave Fox News?" you might ask. Good question! I've asked myself that same thing many times. And I am leaving. Sooner rather than later, I'm guessing. But I can't just leave quietly, can I? Where's the fun in that? So I'm John McClane-ing this shit. I'm inside the building, crawling through the air vents, gathering intel, and passing it along to Carl Winslow.

(Note: Please don't misunderstand, and take my Die Hard metaphor as a threat of violence. Like most left-wingers I abhor actual violence, but am still hopelessly enthralled by the Hollywood machine that glorifies it. Also, that was a 20th Century Fox movie. Synergy!)

Watch this space for future dispatches from the Fox Mole.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
-5 # juliajayne 2012-04-12 07:36
Mole, you say? Ha! You've been working at Fox too long, sir! A real mole would give us actual information we didn't already know. THIS is why you can't find a J.O.B. ;-)
 
 
+25 # cordleycoit 2012-04-12 08:38
Some one from Fox with a sense of humor, I"m surprised he wasn't axed for smiling at real humor. Also an ability to write well, not a Foxy type at all. And imagine a member of Fox who is offended by their mocking of race, gender and disability. Welcome back bro see if you can get disability for the damage you have suffered at the hands of Murdock's minions.
 
 
+35 # James38 2012-04-12 08:52
Come on, Julia, that is way too harsh. Besides, if Muto can come up with gems like the following, he is a treasure.

"Now there's nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French."

Hilarious. And then we have, "And it's quite another for Newt Gingrich's wife to groom him like a circus walrus"

How wonderful, a dead on and totally original and perfect description of the Grimgrinch. "Noot the circus walrus will now toot his horn." "The band begins at ten to six...."

Three cheers for Muto!
 
 
+10 # juliajayne 2012-04-12 09:27
Maybe he could find a job as a satirist? Hehe. Stewart or Colbert might like his work ;-)

I was just hoping a mole would have more scoop than this...Ah well. I wish him well, incurring the wrath of Roger Ailes as he has.
 
 
+1 # jimyoung 2012-04-15 12:41
Add another name to the rolls of former insiders of all levels who can be used to reveal the corrupt workings of "psuedo conservatives". Look at Bill Moyers recent guests and marvel at the high level insiders who disagree with the current Republican usurpers and Tea party leaders who now seem to excuse Republican bailouts. The case can be made with no so-called liberals or socialists at all, only the former rank and file of conservative movements that turn out to have consciences, and prefer independent thought to the current bullied dogma of the far right.

I appreciate everyone that tells us what their conscience tells them, in spite of incurring the very real wrath of their sponsors, employers, or others who try to force them to subjugate themselves to the party line. Seems a bit like the courage it took to step away from any of the bullying parties in Italy, Germany or Russia, before they started more drastic acts against their opponents.
 
 
-44 # Robt Eagle 2012-04-12 10:24
Oooooooh, what great dirt! Come on this is trash talk and much worse goes on at NBC, by far. They change things to incite race wars, like what they did with Zimmerman's call to the cops. Stop this trite crap and get to real news, like Obama cares about women in America. If he did he would do something about the price of gasoline. If Obama cared about any one in America he would leave the White House as soon as possible and take all his failed policies with him!!!
 
 
+9 # juliajayne 2012-04-12 10:34
Oh hush, ha!
 
 
+34 # lifetimeliberal 2012-04-12 11:25
Robt, just what would you like Obama to do about the price of gas that your buddies the speculators are manipulating for their greedy hands? As was pointed out by Fox over and over when gas spiked during W's time, there is nothing a president can do about the price of gas as much as I'm sure W would have liked to raise it and as much as I'm sure Obama would love to lower it, especially in an election year. Get informed for heaven's sake.
 
 
-5 # Robt Eagle 2012-04-13 08:34
lifetime, nothing can be done overnight short of releasing oil reserves, which would be only a drop in the problem...so what really needs to be done, is a long term solution that Obama refuses to do. He wants to process algae. OK, so what needs to be done is allow drilling within safe environmental parameters and get the oil flowing, so that over the next ten years we will have oil coming out of our own ground. Also there needs to be a tax credit given to any company that will build refineries. Also, and I think I'm correct environmentally on this, do NOT allow fracking for natural gas. There are just too many problems with our water supply if fracking is allowed. We MUST at all costs safeguard our fresh water or we will be building desalinization plants all over our coast lines to provide what we need to live on. So lifetime, you see I am an environmental type, but we are getting our clocks cleaned under Obama with regard to oil.
 
 
+1 # Walhalla 2012-04-14 00:30
Stewart or Colbert might like his work
I hope not.......ever.
 
 
+6 # Walhalla 2012-04-14 01:02
OK, so what needs to be done is allow drilling within safe environmental parameters and get the oil flowing, so that over the next ten years we will have oil coming out of our own ground.
,,,,just so that the Oil Co's (leasing the wells) are getting their share of profits selling the Crude on the World Market (and pocketing Government subsidies) ...Get a grip dear RobtEagle, please.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN