The "Fox Mole" - whose dispatches for Gawker made headlines in Businessweek, The Hollywood Reporter, and even on The New York Times website - delivers a funny, opinionated memoir of his eight years at the unfair, unbalanced Fox News Channel working as an associate producer for Bill O'Reilly.
Imagine needing to hide your true beliefs just to keep a job you hated. Now imagine your job was producing the biggest show on the biggest cable news channel in America, and you’ll get a sense of what life was like for Joe Muto. As a self-professed bleeding-heart, godless liberal, Joe’s viewpoints clearly didn’t mesh with his employer - especially his direct supervisor, Bill O’Reilly.
So he did what any ambitious, career-driven person would do. He destroyed his career, spectacularly. He became Gawker’s so-called Fox Mole.
Joe’s posts on Gawker garnered more than 2.5 million hits in one week. He released footage and information that Fox News never wanted exposed, including some extremely unflattering footage of Mitt Romney. The dragnet closed around him quickly - he was fired within 36 hours - so his best material never made it online. Unfortunate for his career as the Fox Mole, but a treasure trove for book listeners.
An Atheist in the FOXhole has everything that liberals and Fox haters could desire: details about how Fox’s right-wing ideology is promoted throughout the channel; why specific angles and personalities are the only ones broadcasted; the bizarre stories Fox anchors actually believed (and passed on to the public); and tales of behind-the-scenes mayhem and mistakes, all part of reporting Fox’s version of the news.
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Entertaining but not hard hitting
entertaining, interesting, funny
I say this as a definite Fox-hater and as a progressive: Joe Muto is kind of a prick.The book IS entertaining - the most interesting parts are learning about the working mechanisms of Fox News. It was fascinating to hear how low-budget the whole operation is, as well as the thought processes behind Fox's program development.But Muto himself comes across very smug, ingratiating, and immature. He has to remind the reader constantly about his true liberal feelings the whole time - we get it. He pretends to have been doing his own "small part" to influence the network, I guess to justify his working there, but all his actions (including the Gawker mole business) are petty - sarcastic jabs and pranks. And what did his sex life with his apparently crazy girlfriend have to do with being a "liberal in the Foxhole?" The integration of his persona into the memoir smacked of self-applause and opportunism undeserved of someone who obviously took his former employer's opportunism to heart - garnering himself notoriety and a book deal with minimal journalistic payoff.That being said, it's still an engrossing, lighthearted read and, you know, a good jab at O'Reilly and Fox inanity. Just take Muto with grain of salt and don't expect it to be an expose.
- Caresse "C"