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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Muto’

‘Murdoch’s World’ Shines a Light on Reporters’ Interactions With Fox News

foxnewslogoWe picked up a copy of NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik‘s “Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires” this week. In the book, which has gotten attention for its reporting on Fox News and News Corp, Folkenflik details his own interactions with the Fox News media relations department, including his previously-documented 15-month stint on the department’s “blacklist” (which Folkenflik says is internally referred to as “Irena’s doghouse”).

He also offers a detailed report on efforts to discredit a Crain’s New York reporter, Matthew Flamm, by planting a false tip that Bill O’Reilly would anchor the network’s election coverage in 2008. After Flamm ran with the story, Fox News SVP of media relations Irena Briganti told TVNewser: “Flamm is so far off the mark it’s embarrassing and his ‘reporting’ lacks any semblance of credibility.” Folkenflik reports that a former Fox News staffer confirmed the media relations department had been behind the whole thing.

(For more on this: The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple has the emails between Flamm and the fake producer; Flamm offers his own account of the incident at Crain’s New York.)

“There are moments when the essence of Fox News can be discerned mostly clearly in the maneuvers of its public relations department, not on the airwaves,” Folkenflik writes in “Murdoch’s World.”

Folkenflik appeared on Chris Hayes‘ show on MSNBC last night alongside one-time Fox News mole Joe Muto and The Guardian’s Ana Marie Cox, who weighed in on the Fox News details from “Murdoch’s World.” Watch: Read more

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The ‘Fox Mole’ Shares a Day In The Life Of An ‘O’Reilly Factor’ Producer

The “Fox Mole,” Joe Muto has an excerpt in Salon from his new book chronicling life at the cable news channel. Muto, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to misdemeanor attempted theft and computer tampering charges over his Gawker posts, reveals some new factoids about life at “The O’Reilly Factor.” Three takeaways:

  • Bill O’Reilly effectively “writes” the entire show during the car ride from his home to the studio, transcribed by staffers in the office.
  • O’Reilly takes the viewer email segment very seriously, although on one occasion a prank name “Jack MeHoff” led to a humorous end result.
  • O’Reilly really looked forward to when the ratings would come in after 4 PM, “like a kid on Christmas Eve.”

You can read Muto’s whole excerpt here, and an interview he gave to the NY Daily News here.

Fox News Mole Joe Muto Enters Courtroom in Handcuffs

Fox News mole Joe Muto entered a Manhattan courtroom in handcuffs this afternoon, pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges.

A source inside the courtroom tells TVNewser two detectives escorted a cuffed Muto into the courtroom, sat him on a back bench and about 5 minutes later removed the handcuffs as he moved to the front of the courtroom to hear the judge read out the plea agreement. That part of the proceedings took about 20 minutes.

In April 2012, while still a Fox News employee, Muto began writing stories for Gawker about life inside Fox News. He became known as the Fox News mole. After his identity was revealed, he was fired from Fox.

Muto must pay a $1,000 fine, the $5,000 he earned from Gawker which goes to a good cause, serve 10 days of community service assigned by the court, then 200 hours of community service at a nonprofit organization. He’s also not getting back is laptop taken during an early morning police search. Muto had worked at Fox News for 8 years, most recently as an AP on “O’Reilly Factor.”

He’s since written a book about the experience, which comes out in a few weeks. One of the conditions of the agreement: if he is found to be in possession of any Fox News item, whether it be a key chain or an 80′s era image of Bill O’Reilly, Muto could be sent to jail for a year.

A Fox News spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We are very grateful to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for their dogged pursuit of this case and for obtaining justice in this matter.”

See the plea agreement after the jump…

Read more

Fox Mole Joe Muto to Plead Guilty Over Gawker Posts

Gawker is reporting that Fox News mole, Joe Muto, will plead guilty today to misdemeanor attempted theft and attempted computer tampering charges.

The agreement, in which the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has pledged not to file harsher felony charges in exchange for Muto’s guilty plea on lesser offenses, stems from unaired, behind-the-scenes Fox News footage that was published on Gawker last year in posts attributed to the Fox Mole.

Muto was an 8-year Fox News employee — an “O’Reilly Factor” associate producer — who turned on the network, became a “mole” writing stories for Gawker and was subsequently revealed, and fired. He was later charged with a crime. Gawker’s John Cook says Muto will pay a $1,000 fine, forfeit the $5,000 Gawker reportedly paid him, and serve more than 200 hours in community service. Muto’s book, “An Athiest in a Fox Hole” is still set for release in a few weeks.

Fox Mole Joe Muto: ‘For the next phase of my career I’m going to try out this discretion thing that I’ve heard so much about’

Remember Joe Muto, who, after a day of writing anonymously for Gawker was revealed as the Fox mole, then fired? Of course you do. Well he’s got a book coming out this Spring all about his time at Fox News and Jim Romenesko noticed already has the cover art (you can pre-order for the low, low price of $16.73). So Romenesko reached out to the former “O’Reilly Factor” associate producer for a Q&A.

On writing the book, Muto says, it “was both easier and harder than I expected. Easier, because the words just flowed and I never experienced anything resembling writer’s block; harder because crafting everything into a cohesive narrative instead of just an episodic collection of random anecdotes took a lot of work, a lot of planning, a lot of sweating the details.”

Romenesko: What’s next? Have job offers come in?

Muto: I have 8 years of TV production experience, a disturbingly intimate familiarity with the mind of Bill O’Reilly, and I’ve spent the last six months writing a book making fun of Fox News Channel. If that doesn’t at least get me into the room for a job interview with The Colbert Report, I don’t know what will.

But honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I’ve been busy with the book basically up until this week, so I haven’t pursued anything too seriously yet. Whatever I end up doing, I doubt I’m going to be talking about any of it much. For the next phase of my career I’m going to try out this brand new “discretion” thing that I’ve heard so much about.

Media ‘Mole’ Muto Mulls Memoir

The Fox News “mole” Joe Muto is making the next logical step after losing his producing gig at the network: writing a tell-all memoir. According to the New York Observer‘s Kat Stoeffel, Muto is shopping the book (tentatively titled An Atheist in the Foxhole) with the promise of salacious details from his tenure at FNC, including gossip related to Bill O’Reilly:

Unlike’s straight-faced The Fox Effect and Gabriel Sherman’s forthcoming (and reportedly deeply reported) The Loudest Voice in the Room, Mr. Muto’s book is pitched as a How to Lose Friends and Alienate People-style industry memoir in a Dave Barry/David Sedaris tone. The proposal outlines chapters devoted to the “cheapness and stinginess” of Fox News (“cannot be overstated”), Mr. O’Reilly’s morning ritual (“lots of yelling”) and—“in what’s certain to be the most talked about chapter of the book”—the 2004 sexual harassment suit filed against Mr. O’Reilly.

More from the Observer, here.

DA Executes Search Warrant on Fox Mole Joe Muto

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has apparently executed a search warrant on Fox News “mole” Joe Muto. On his Twitter feed the morning, Muto said that the DA seized his iPhone and some laptops, and is accusing him of “grand larceny.”

He also used the opportunity to take a dig at FNC parent company News Corp.

Fox News Mole Doesn’t Do Much for CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’

CNN’s “Reliable Sources” booked former Fox News employee Joe Muto on Sunday. Host Howard Kurtz talked with Muto for about 10 minutes (about 5 minutes aired on the TV show) on why he did it — “I couldn’t be in that building one day longer without exploding;” and what comes next — “I think it’s pretty safe to say my career in cable news is over.”

Here are the cable news ratings for that hour:

  • 11am Sunday, April 15. Total Viewers / A25-54 viewers

Fox News — 1,019,000 / 185,000
Weather — 777,000 / 330,000
CNN — 413,000 / 100,000
MSNBC — 356,000 / 97,000
HLN — 318,000 / 133,000

With tornadoes having swept across the Midwest in the early morning hours, the Weather Channel topped all cable newsers, except FNC (which also led with the tornadoes at 11am). But a closer look at the numbers shows Muto’s appearance, as well as a discussion of 2012 politics, the Trayvon Martin coverage, and memories of Mike Wallace, didn’t seems to be a draw for CNN viewers.

“Sources” was down -22% in Total Viewers and down -43% in A25-54 viewers vs. the year-to-date average of 529,000 Total Viewers / 175,000 A25-54 viewers. Its lead-in “Fareed Zakaria GPS” was also down, but just -1% in Total viewers and -13% in younger viewers vs. year-to-date.

Fox News at 11am was up +1% / -20% vs. year-to-date, while MSNBC was up +18% / +3% vs. the year-to-date average of MSNBC Live and Melissa Harris-Perry which debuted in February.

Many viewers looking for the news about the weather at that hour, may have switched to TWC. In fact, the Weather Channel was up +254% in Total Viewers and up +200% in younger viewers compared to the week earlier.

One person who did catch the show, at least a clip of it later: Bill O’Reilly.

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Bill O’Reilly Responds to Claim That He Damages The ‘Fox News Brand’

On his program, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly responded to a claim made on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that he is “damaging” to the “Fox News brand.” No, the claim wasn’t made by his former staffer Joe Muto, but rather radio host Julie Mason. O’Reilly went on to talk to his usual media-analysis guy, Bernard Goldberg.

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Where Does Joe Muto Go Next?

Toward the end of his interview with Howard Kurtz on “Reliable Sources’ Sunday, former Fox News associate producer Joe Muto said he’s staying positive about his next job, but he’s pretty sure it won’t be in cable news.

“Well, I’ve been passing my resume out around here, no takers yet,” said Muto to Kurtz. “I think it’s pretty safe to say my career in cable news is over. I don’t foresee anyone outside of Current TV, hiring me. But I’m looking forward to some new opportunities.”