Fox News’ own Judas Iscariot doesn’t seem to value himself much.
Joe Muto, the so-called “Fox Mole” worked for Fox News nearly 8 years, recently as a producer on The O’Reilly Factor. He got into bed with Gawker, who paid him for shaming information regarding the controversial news network. Muto had his “anonymous” posts about his employers traced back to him within 24 hours. So what was the Fox News mole worth? About $5,000. Not exactly 30 pieces of silver.
“For Muto, it’s not such a great deal, unless he manages to get a book deal out of the whole thing. On the other hand, it got him out of job he says he hated but somehow couldn’t bring himself to quit for eight years, so maybe it was really Gawker that did him the favor”, said Forbes. What did Gawker get for its troubles? Good traffic, for one. But not much on Fox News. Though the Fox Mole promises more to come, so far the best Gawker has been able to churn up is a picture of a young Bill O’Reilly hanging out with a topless babe and a Fox cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action to accompany it.
As for Muto, “I think its pretty safe to say my career in cable news is over,” he told the Daily News in a phone conversation. “I did not expect this amount of attention,” Muto said. “And I’m currently planning my next move.” He didn’t specify further. “I’m looking forward to pursing other opportunities,” he said. “I don’t know what they’ll be yet. Time will tell.”
Quitting probably would have been easier. Rich Hanley, associate professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University said that Muto “may discover the sad irony that runs through television — in a business fueled by gossip, rumors and savage whispers, going public with internal details of network television is an unpardonable sin,” continuing, “All kinds of transgressions concerning drug abuse, sex and other things may be forgiven in that environment, but a breach of corporate trust generally leads to an epic career fail.”
And that’s the real issue here no matter what any of us feel about Fox, good or bad. This man sold his soul for a decent flat screen TV. Muto’s “career suicide” cost him mere pittance. His pageviews are up to 1.5 million despite not doing a single decent thing to earn them. Gawker’s traffic has paid Muto’s price-tag a dozen times over. I suppose in a strange way, everyone has won here… sort of. Muto has gotten himself (in)famous. The Fox expose fell a bit flat. Gawker gets the traffic. The only thing it cost was a measly $5K. Oh, and Muto’s career.
I appreciate a good prankster, but was it really worth your career, Muto? Was it worth your dignity? Did you think about life after your 15 minutes as the Fox Mole?