Newt Gingrich and the Disgruntled 'Fox Mole' Have Something in Common
By Sara Dover | April 13, 2012 1:20 AM EST
It's not unusual for Fox to be attacked for bias, but two recent and surprising instances have put the television news network in the spotlight this week.
One accuser is the infamous - and now outed - "Fox Mole." The other is former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
The Fox Mole
"The Fox Mole" made his debut on Gawker earlier this week as an anonymous writer vowing to expose juicy details about Roger Ailes' network from the inside.
"I always intended to keep my mouth shut. The plan was simple: get hired, keep my head down and my views to myself, work for a few months, build my resume, then eventually hop to a new job that didn't make me cringe every morning when I looked in the mirror," the Fox Mole wrote.
The drama surrounding this double agent was much more buzzworthy than anything he leaked himself. After a video of Romney talking about horse-back riding and an article about the "soul-crushing" offices, a funny satire written by Buzzfeed and slightly more silly gossip about Romney's supposed "gay voice," the writer was outed by Fox as Joe Muto, an associate producer for the O'Reilly Factor, and was suspended indefinitely with pay.
"I am a weasel, a traitor, a sell-out and every bad word you can throw at me... 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," Muto wrote.
Gingrich: "CNN is less biased than Fox this year"
Another former employee of Fox News - albeit one who left the network last year - also expressed strong disapproval of the network. While Muto said "race baiting" and "willful disregard for facts" put him over the edge, Gingrich accused Fox for being too pro-Romney.
At a small private meeting with Delaware Tea Party leaders, Real Clear Politics' Scott Conroy reported the GOP hopeful, who is stuggling to remain relevant in a presidential election that has largely narrowed down to Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, added Fox News to his blacklist of media outlets he does not approve of. Gingrich had worked there as a contributor before quitting last spring to launch his presidential bid.
"I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through," Gingrich said, according to Real Clear Politics. "In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than Fox this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are out of Fox, and we're more likely to get distortion out of Fox. That's just a fact."
"I assume it's because Murdoch at some point said, 'I want Romney,' and so 'fair and balanced' became 'Romney,'" Gingrich said, referring to the network's owner.
Fox News isn't the only conservative-leaning news outlet that has been accused having a pro-Romney bias. Rick Santorum called the Drudge Report Romney "propaganda" earlier this month.
But the comment is particularly surprising considering Gingrich famously slammed CNN's John King at the South Carolina debate for asking about his alleged affairs.
Fox wasn't the only outlet Gingrich said he was displeased with. The former Speaker went off on ABC television commentator George Will, another leading conservative voice, claiming his criticism came from a "personal jealousy" against him.
"In the case of Will, I was on [George] Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning with him, and it was kind of a 'You're not allowed to run for office - I mean, if you could run for office, why am I not running for office?'" Gingrich said. "And it's almost like they were personally offended. You know, 'This can't be real, and how can this guy go do that?' I got that reaction from Will a few years back about writing a book because I'm supposed to be a politician. He's supposed to be the writer. Well, I've now written 24 books, and 13 of them are New York Times bestsellers. I mean, there's a morning when George ought to just get over it."
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