The Fox News Mole says that Bill O'Reilly "has a chip on his shoulder that…the rest of the media world has never really given him his due".
Joe Muto, who once worked as a Producer on O'Reilly's show talks about his time in the Fox den in his book An Athiest in the Fox Hole .
Muto thinks that O'Reilly believes that the TV critics mainly ignore him. “He thinks no one will give him the credit; that media critics love to look at other people like Anderson Cooper or Morning Joe on MSNBC…meanwhile, he’s still Number One and critics are ignoring him.”
But Muto does still have kind words for O'Reilly calling him “self-made man” and “master of the medium.”
As for his and everyone else's job at Fox News?
“Everyone knew that our job was to sort of stir up viewers and make them angry and, you know, get them to watch more,” he said. “Because angry people keep media on for longer, basically.”
By the book’s end, Muto writes he’d most like the see Fox News Channel “drop the veil” and present its pro-conservative partisanship openly. “I’d want (founder and president) Roger Ailes to come out and say…its harmful to the discourse and harmful to our viewers when we pretend we’re the fair ones and everybody else is biased.”
So why don’t they do that?
“I think the network still craves legitimacy,” he said. “Everyone knew we’re the partisan network. But the want plausible deniability…(they) worry if they went over all the way, then people would just be able to write them off as the crazy, right wing network.”
Muto hops to write another book, admitting his days in TV news are likely over, undone, in part, by his underestimation of how interested the world would be in discovering who the Fox mole really was.
“I thought there would be, maybe, three dozen people in midtown Manhattan who would read the post and would give a crap,” he said. “It blew up a lot bigger and faster than I expected.”