Fox News ‘Mole’ Joe Muto Gets Trash Duty, Book Deal

Joe Muto, the former O’Reilly Factor producer who turned into a “mole” for the leftist gossip site Gwker, has resurfaced thanks to an AP report which chronicles how he pled guilty to two separate misdemeanors for passing along outtake footage owned by Fox News Channel.

Muto has already begun serving his sentence which includes picking up trash in city parks and also 200 hours of community service. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to give the $5,000 he was paid by Gawker to charity.

Muto's short-lived tenure as the Fox "mole" wasn't particularly well thought-out in the first place. After eight years at Fox, his first job out of Notre Dame, Muto had decided to leave. He said Fox had gotten more conservative since President Barack Obama's election, and he was growing more uncomfortable feeling the disconnect with his own politics. [...]

"I have enough self-awareness to realize that I pretty much made an ass of myself last year," he said. "It was weird, because I would be able to step back from it and say, 'Wow, this guy is really ruining his life here. What is he doing?' Then I'd be like, 'Oh, wait. That's me!'"

Muto realizes his career in cable news is over. Besides writing his book, he's done some freelance work in reality TV since then. He's found many people don't even remember the incident, which may bode well for future employment, if not book sales.

"An Atheist in the Foxhole" mixes work anecdotes with the story of the uncomfortable hours before he was led out of Fox's office. Muto said he wasn't miserable at Fox, even if he'd roll his eyes at some of the things he saw on the air, and misses some former friends who won't have anything to do with him since his act of disloyalty.

Given that the “scoops” that Muto managed to leak out to Gawker involved outtakes of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney talking about his wife’s hobbies and some footage of men’s restrooms at Fox News, it is probably safe to assume that Muto’s book does not really contain anything shocking.

What is more interesting is something that Muto said in a 2012 interview with CNN where he claimed that he was “blackballed” by other television news organizations like ABC, CBS, and NBC back when he was working at Fox.

“I was blackballed within the industry, that people, hiring managers, see Fox News on your resume, and they say ‘this guy’s a conservative, this guy’s a nut, we don’t want him in our organization.’”

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013