Media news derivatives: April 12

April 12, 2012

In case you missed it---The Fox Mole! What else is there to talk about in the media world these days? A quick roundup:

Tuesday afternoon: Gawker debuts a new column titled “The Fox Mole.” An anonymous thingy, the column promises regular insider information from Fox and includes some video from a break in a Fox interview with Mitt Romney. So far, so good.

Wednesday morning: The Mole posts again on Gawker, this time about bathrooms at Fox News.

Wednesday noon: Mediaite reports that Fox is claiming to have found The Mole.

Early Wednesday afternoon: Gawker posts another item by The Mole saying that Fox hasn’t tapped him on the shoulder yet. Fox later reiterates to Mediaite that it has its guy.

Wednesday evening: The Mole ID’s himself as Joe Muto, an associate producer on the “O’Reilly Factor.” He’d been busted.

Seeking some input from Muto on all this, I sent him a message last night. He responded: “No comment for now. More stuff on Gawker tomorrow though.”

Wednesday night: Fox tells Mediaite that Muto has been fired. “We are continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others,” says the network.

*Jack Shafer of Reuters takes a dim view of The Mole’s work and writes this:

The toughest part of serving as the Fox News Mole is this: Practically nothing he overhears in the newsroom, pinches from the email threads or purloins from the video stream can be half as outrageous as what Fox News broadcasts every day.

Elsewhere:

*Sean Hannity says his program won’t join any rush to judgment but wonders aloud whether George Zimmerman has been overcharged: “I want justice in this case,” says the host.

*Jeff Bercovici of Forbes reports that Patch.com editor Brian Farnham is leaving with the hope of getting involved in a new project.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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