LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – The Bill O’Reilly divorce story this week is heating up one of the most notable Fox-Gawker battles since the network found a mole last year. Joe Muto, a then associate producer on Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor, was an alleged Gawker mole fired by Fox in 2012. His firing, moreover, came one year after O’Reilly claimed Gawker reports about his divorce were false.
A year ago next month, Dianne Brandi, the Fox News Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs, fired Joe Muto Joe Muto, an associate producer on Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor”, later identified as an alleged “Fox News mole” for Gawker. “If Fox has smoked me out, it’s news to me,” Muto first noted. “I’m still here. Back to work.”
But Fox fired him on the spot. “Joe Muto is fired effective April 12. Once the network determined that Mr. Muto was the main culprit in less than 24 hours, he was suspended late today while we pursued concurrent avenues. We are continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others.”He later admitted his dismissal. “They nailed me,” Muto told news.
Muto fumed at the time “I am a weasel, a traitor, a sell-out and every bad word you can throw at me. But as of today, I am free, and I am ready to tell my story, which I wasn’t able to fully do for the previous 36 hours. Stay tuned for much, much more tomorrow.”
One year before Muto’s firing, Gawker ran an allegedly false Bill O’Reilly divorce report, that Fox News denied.
Gawker this week publishes a boring docket entry allegedly from O’Reilly’s divorce. “The mother claimed that the [father] had repeatedly violated conditions of the agreement. The mother further alleged that, after the execution of the agreement, the father had hired the children’s therapist as a full-time employee to perform virtually all of his parental duties.” The docket further reads “The mother’s affidavit contained specific allegations concerning the father’s repeated violations of the custody provisions of the agreement since its inception. … Moreover, the full-time employment of the children’s therapist, the person designated in the agreement as a neutral third-party ‘arbitrator’ of custodial disputes, by the father, constitutes a significant change of circumstance which could undermine the integrity of the agreement’s custodial provisions.” The story’s lead assertion this week is the same made by Gawker two years ago, one year before the mole’s firing, and previously denied by O’Reilly.