Gawker’s Fox News Mole Outed, Fired

Less than 24 hours after his first post, Gawker’s Fox News mole was outed and shown the door:

Hi. My name is Joe Muto. I was the Fox Mole.

Two hours ago I was called into a meeting with Dianne Brandi, the Fox News Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs and suspended indefinitely… with pay, oddly enough.

They nailed me.

In the end, it was the digital trail that gave me away. They knew that someone, using my computer login, had accessed the sources for two videos that ended up on Gawker over the past few weeks. They couldn’t prove it entirely, but I was pretty much the only suspect.

I denied it, which is why they didn’t fire me outright. But two nice gentlemen from security escorted me to my desk to pack up my stuff, and it was pretty obvious at that point that I would not be setting foot back into 1211 Avenue of the Americas again.


In January 2007, I joined the O’Reilly Factor as an associate producer, and there I have remained ever since.

So there you have it. The “mole” was basically a low level production assistant with delusions of grandeur.

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. W.D. says:

    Delusions of grandeur? Sounds like he is pretty much who he claimed to be.

  2. Franklin says:

    This guys is really confused about what he wants to accomplish. He’s so proud of denying it and still getting paid that he has just blogged the same, which is sure to put a stop to that situation.

  3. Lit3Bolt says:

    The point, Doug misses it.

    This man provided a valuable insider look at the soft white underbelly of Fox News, claimed what provoked his response was the gross institutionalized racism, and in the end decided he couldn’t live or work there anymore and so did everything in his (mostly harmless) power to hurt the leading Republican candidate and Fox News in general.

    It’s a fascinating and interesting story, to which Doug’s opinion is “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING.”

    What a deep and insightful opinion, Doug. Thank you for taking your valuable time to write a sneering blog post and dismiss a continuing story.

    Hell, you couldn’t even write about Fox’s legal options and the likely possibility this guy will be sued out of existence for stealing production property and posting it to Gawker (and possibly for money or the guarantee of money). You couldn’t write about journalistic or workplace ethics! Or even begin to examine the icky notion that yes, Fox News can and does and succeeds in catering to racists with racist imagery, and does so to specifically help Republicans or hurt Democrats.

    Nope. Nothing to see here folks. Just move right along.

  4. wr says:

    @Lit3Bolt: I’m sorry, Lit, but I think you missed Doug’s real point, maybe because it was at the very end. It was this:

    “The “mole” was basically a low level production assistant with delusions of grandeur.”

    In other words, it’s a reiteration of Doug’s key belief — the only proper role of those without vast power or fortune is to spend their lives kisses the asses of their corporate overlords. Anyone who isn’t of the 1% should have no expectation that their opinions — or lives — should matter in the least. And if they do, they’re idiots.

    This, somehow, is described as “libertarianism.”

  5. Hey Norm says:

    “…The “mole” was basically a low level production assistant with delusions of grandeur…”

    Who’d you think it was? Sean Hannity?

  6. John Peabody says:

    I’ve simply got to support Doug. If you read the ‘shocking revelations’ that the mole provided, you could see that it was nothing. Is anyone surprised that he was laid off? Or anything else? Sometimes when people say “move on, there’s nothing to see here” it means to move on…there’s nothing to see here.

  7. Franklin says:

    Agreed. If he’s going to be a whistleblower on ‘creative’ editing or something, there’s definitely some ethical backup for doing what he did. But there’s nothing! He’s a complete failure as a ‘mole’ and not even smart enough to avoid getting caught. Just because you agree with (what we assume are) his politics doesn’t mean he’s a useful bedfellow. He seems pretty incompetent and confused.

  8. Brummagem Joe says:

    So there you have it. The “mole” was basically a low level production assistant with delusions of grandeur.

    Moles are quite often low level folks with access to a lot of sensitive stuff. Bradley Manning for example. It’s the nature of the role which Doug apparently fails to understand.

  9. Tillman says:

    Delusions of grandeur? Sounds like he is pretty much who he claimed to be.

    I believe it’s more the embellishment in his posts about going John McClane on Fox News. I wouldn’t consider that a delusion of grandeur (I mean, it’s Gawker, for Christ’s sake), but it’s not hard to see it that way.

  10. A says:

    An AP on a TV show is much more than a low level PA.

  11. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Great theory, woefully unsupported by anything resembling facts. This “mole” exposed a whole lot of nothing. This would be the equivalent of a White House insider promising the real dirt on President Obama… and then talking about how he’s still sneaking a cigarette every now and then, he plays a lot of golf, and doesn’t like Fox News.

    As the saying goes, “there’s no there there.”

    Feel free to disagree by citing all the big, nasty dirt he exposed about Fox.

  12. PJ says:

    @Hey Norm:

    Who’d you think it was? Sean Hannity?

    I can’t have been the only one secretly hoping that it was Shepard Smith, can I? 😉


    How does a “a low level production assistant with delusions of grandeur” get his hands on a photo of O’Reilly with a topless woman? (Photo is SFW)
    The intranet?
    Was it part of O’Reilly’s obituary file?