FOX MOLE STRIKES AGAIN (BUT LANDS NO SOLID PUNCHES)
On the same day that Gawker.com’s Fox News mole, Joe Muto, was raided by agents of the New York district attorney, who seized his computer and iPhone, Gawker published a new article by Muto, which, like the previous ones, revealed nothing especially salacious or even inappropriate about the operation of the conservative news channel. (It described host Bill O’Reilly’s interview with the onetime TV character Alf.) Even Gawker’s own readers were becoming dismayed by the innocuous revelations. “This article is worse than just meaningless, it actually makes O’Reilly seem like a decent person with a sense of humor,” wrote one. Another: “Agreed, these Fox ‘Mole’ stories are just a waste of time.” Meanwhile, Poynter.com has suggested that Muto may be protected by New York’s shield law that protects journalists from revealing sources or handing over newsgathering materials to lawmen. But Greg Leslie, legal defense director for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said that Muto’s case may be somewhat complicated inasmuch as he is acting both as a reporter and a disgruntled employee. “If they’re going after him solely because he went to Gawker, then … that’s when the privilege would kick in,” Leslie said.