- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2013

Fair and balanced?

In unguarded moments off-camera, Fox News journalists acknowledged their mission was to pander to their conservative base, claims ex-producer on “The O’Reilly Factor” and company mole Joe Muto in a recent interview to promote his tell-all book about his eight-year stint at the cable news leader.

“Even the true believers, the conservative producers,” Mr. Muto told the Associated Press, “are like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re here to dole out red meat to our conservative audience. We’re not here to be fair and balanced. We’re here to stir up the crazies, basically. We’re here to stoke up anger in our conservative fan base, and that’s how we get ratings.’”

Last year Mr. Muto was promptly fired from Fox after he was exposed as the anonynmous author of an insider column for the Gawker website purporting to reveal what it was like to be a liberal behind enemy lines at the network the left loves to hate.

Mr. Muto singles out his ex-boss Bill O’Reilly as an independent-minded exception at Fox whose “opinions aren’t knee-jerk or unhinged,” according to the Associated Press.

“I actually like Bill O’Reilly,” Mr. Muto told the AP’s David Bauder. “He might even be one of the most misunderstood media figures of all time.”

On May 9 Mr. Muto pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors — attempted unlawful duplication of computer material and attempted criminal possession of computer material — stemming from his betrayal of his employers. In a bid to prove his insider credentials for his Gawker editors, Mr. Muto had shared two proprietary Fox News video outtakes with the popular media gossip site, which then posted them online.

For his crimes, Mr. Muto was sentenced to 10 days of court-ordered service and an additional 200 hours of private community service, fined $1,000 and ordered to turn his $5,000 fee from the Gawker over to charity.

Mr. Muto’s book, “An Atheist in the Foxhole” (Dutton), is being released Tuesday