The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: April 12

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.


*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 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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