Media on Media
EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here for four reasons we are running an excerpt from Roger Ailes: Off Camera [Penguin/Sentinel, $26.95].
In the fall of 2011, Roger Ailes told journalist Howard Kurtz that he was turning down the partisan heat at the network. Ailes didn’t say so, but he had already decided that, in the interest Read More
Fox News chief Roger Ailes is trying to get that paper. Elsewhere in News Corp, two locals go all Benedict Arnold on a certain tablet newspaper and a certain tabloid newspaper. What’s it like to get an employee evaluation at Reuters? How’s that whole Media-and-Race thing going? All that and more in your Thursday Evening Media Briefs.
off the record
As News Corp. shores up its print and television properties leading up to the company’s highly publicized split, its scrappy and beloved internal newswire Newscore has quietly gone dark, with at least 20 positions eliminated—and possibly more than twice that if cuts hit bureaus in London and Sydney.
Launched in 2009, Newscore collected and redistributed the news stories from News Corp.’s reporters in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, while racing rivals AP and Reuters on breaking news. Newscore CEO John Moody, a former Fox News executive, was reportedly inspired by a moment of synergy between Fox News and The Australian in covering Heath Ledger’s death.
Former Fox Mole Joe Muto reappeared on Slate last week, writing about the verisimilitude of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO Series, The Newsroom.
“I spent almost eight years working in cable news before I decided earlier this year to exit the industry in a quiet, dignified fashion, so naturally the show piqued my curiosity,” he wrote. “Sorkin deserves credit for Read More
Last week, Fox News chief Roger Ailes came under fire for characteristically incendiary remarks he made about The New York Times (“cesspool of bias,” “a bunch lying scum”) and other media organizations during a lecture at Ohio University.
The event was woefully underreported, but an unnamed “senior Fox executive” told Howard Kurtz that Mr. Ailes thought he had gone too far in the lecture. He respects Jill Abramson, the source said, and thinks the Times has been fair under her. At that lecture, he was speaking exclusively about Russ Buettner, who reported that Mr. Ailes had pressured Judith Regan to lie to federal investigators about her relationship with Bernie Kerik.
The full transcript of Mr. Ailes’s May 21 lecture at Ohio University is now online (via Romenesko), and it reveals plenty more original Times commentary. Mr. Ailes said former executive editor Bill Keller was fired for publishing biased news (it went down a little differently in the Ken Auletta version) and that Mr. Keller’s stated opinion of Fox News amounts to sour grapes because the newspaper industry is dying and Fox is thriving. He also said that the two of them are getting a drink.
[UPDATE: That rendez-vous hasn't happened...yet. Mr. Keller told The Observer in an e-mail: “After my column identifying Fox as a satanist front, he sent me a light-hearted email. I offered to buy him a drink. He hasn’t taken me up on it yet. Stay tuned.”
Below, an excerpt of his conversation with moderator Andy Alexander.
off the record
Can’t say no one saw this coming: Gawker’s Fox News informant, Joe Muto, is taking meetings with publishers this week for a proposed book about his eight years inside the cable news network, tentatively titled An Atheist in the Foxhole.
Mr. Muto, a former associate producer for Bill O’Reilly, was identified and fired by Fox Read More
Well, it wasn’t long, but Gawker’s Fox News Mole, Joe Muto, was nabbed. Meanwhile, sometime after Fox News chief Roger Ailes joked to the New York Times‘ David Carr about the incident (“‘I am the Fox Mole,’ he told me, then quickly added. ‘Who cares? We have nothing to hide.’”) Roger Ailes and Fox News demonstrated just how much they care. By sending to Gawker a vague legal threat with the clear aim of scaring the blog posts back into Muto’s id, where they will never emerge from again.
Naturally, Gawker published that legal threat (alongside an old picture of Bill O’Reilly with topless women, of course). Entertaining as it is, we’ve taken the liberty of annotating the best parts of Fox’s legal letter to Gawker, right here:
Sutherland (Getty Images)
Per Deadline, Donald Sutherland has signed on to a comedy pilot at Fox set in the rollicking world of NPR. While it’s purportedly a pilot focused on a father-son relationship, we’re sure the setting will have some impact upon the plotlines, especially since Fox’s Read More
Fox CEO Roger Ailes is writing an autobiography, reports New York magazine’s Gabe Sherman. Yay! It’s a book that will certainly be an important contribution to the right-wing literary school known (around here at least) as Magical Republicanism.
Last week, New York’s most notorious literary agent, Andrew Wylie, almost certainly by design—and certainly not for the first time—caused a fuss. Being interviewed on a BBC Radio 4 news show on July 18, Mr. Wylie invited a comparison that nobody had yet bothered to make, likely because it seemed ludicrous to compare the mundane Read More