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Joe Muto is not a Mole

by Jolly Evil

Hi Joe. I’m Jolly Evil, and I work in cable news.

When I read that first Gawker article, I was psyched. In one newsroom where I worked, my co-workers and I actually had a running “Fox Mole” joke, because all the guests we booked would appear on Fox News airwaves before our show.

Suddenly, I had “regular dispatches from inside the organization” to look forward to. You were off to a good start, unburdening yourself for all the crow’s feet earned from years of cringing. Calling Fox Nation “an unholy mash-up of the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting.” The tidbit about Roger Ailes' “main hatchet man” was a nice insider-y tease. What sullen cable news peon hasn't dreamed of going all yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!! on their way out? I was hooked.

Your second installment was far less enthralling. I don’t need to tell you that a post about bathrooms isn’t really the kind of dirt anyone was thinking of. My reaction to your whiny description of the Fox Building? Suck it up.

Newsrooms, particularly the 24-hour cable variety, are generally soul-sucking, grimy places. That’s where all the Clorox® wipes/hand sanitizer/canned air jokes come from. Are you operating under the impression that other TV grunts eat luxurious lunches away from their desks? You lost me at leaving to get a sandwich -- I’ve mastered the art of bringing one-handed food to work for years.

Let’s talk about years, because in your “big reveal” post, we learned a bit more about you, Joe Muto. You started as a Production Assistant and worked your way to Associate Producer. You put in almost 8 years and didn’t enjoy your time. Cry. Me. A. River.

Working in the cable news business isn’t that much fun. Fox may have spawned the opinion-as-news plague, but we’re all infected now. Everyone in television has moments where they’re forced to go against what they believe is right. Sadly, it’s just part of the job these days, but at least they paid you to do it. (Incidentally, I’ve heard that Fox pays better than its competitors. So your bathrooms suck? Wah.)

Here’s my main problem with this whole stunt: You weren’t a mole. You lasted from Tuesday afternoon to the end of the day Wednesday, when they canned you. Oh, they may not have officially canned you YET, but that’s just because they’re still figuring out if they want to sue you first.

They snuffed you out by noon. Why? You didn’t cover your tracks. You used your own network login to grab those clips. You didn’t even try. The mole stays inside, feeding intel from the belly of the beast. But you had no intention of staying; you made it perfectly clear you’d been trying to leave for years. This was a calculated jump from Fox to Gawker, nothing more.

You played your readers. You promised one thing and delivered another. You say the final straw came last summer, but what have you been doing since then? Before security escorted you out, you managed to leak two video clips and a picture of some toilet paper. I seriously hope you have more scintillating content tucked away at home. Somehow I doubt it.

Image courtesy of Business Ethics (obligatory reference)

Jolly Evil covers the media matters for The Inclusive. This is her second contribution. Follow her on twitter @jollyevil.