A little more than 24 hours after Gawker published a post purportedly written by a current, anonymous Fox News employee, the cable channel caught the "mole."
"They nailed me," Joe Muto, an associate producer on Bill O'Reilly's "The Factor" wrote on Gawker late Wednesday. "Two hours ago I was called into a meeting with Dianne Brandi, the Fox News Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs, and suspended indefinitely ... with pay, oddly enough."
A spokeswoman for the network told Yahoo News that Muto would be fired.
"Joe Muto is fired effective April 12," the spokeswoman said Wednesday. "Once the network determined that Mr. Muto was the main culprit in less than 24 hours, he was suspended late today while we pursued concurrent avenues. We are continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others."
Earlier Wednesday, the cable channel said it had identified Gawker's "Fox News mole" and was looking into legal options. "If Fox has smoked me out, it's news to me," the then-anonymous Muto wrote in response. "I'm still here. Back to work." On Thursday, Fox gave him his dismissal letter.
Gawker had promised that Muto, who joined Fox News in 2004, would provide "regular dispatches from inside the organization." It appears he will continue to write for Gawker about his career at Fox—just not from the inside.
"I am a weasel, a traitor, a sell-out and every bad word you can throw at me," Muto wrote. "But as of today, I am free, and I am ready to tell my story, which I wasn't able to fully do for the previous 36 hours. Stay tuned for much, much more tomorrow."
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