Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
UPDATE: This should help him pay any upcoming legal bills: Joe Muto, the former Fox News associate producer who turned double agent last month, has a book deal.
The Associated Press reports that the self-professed "Fox Mole" has inked a deal with Penguin Group imprint Dutton for a memoir that is set for release in early 2013. Title: "An Atheist in the Foxhole."
Fox execs have said they are looking into possible legal action against Muto for his then-anonymous posts on Gawker.
Wednesday, April 25: Fox News "mole" Joe Muto reportedly woke up Wednesday to an early morning raid from the New York District Attorney's office.
At around 8:30 a.m., Muto tweeted: "I just got search warranted at 6:30am by a very polite crew from the DA's office. Took my iPhone, laptop, some old notebooks."
The former O'Reilly Factor producer turned Gawker double agent says that, according to the warrant, Fox News is "apparently accusing me of grand larceny, among other things."
The DA's office declined to comment on the open investigation to Forbes and other outlets.
Gawker confirmed earlier this month that Fox News attorneys had notified them that they were considering legal action against both the website and Muto, so the search likely didn't come as a complete surprise to Muto.
Meanwhile, the ex-Fox News employee offered one more parting shot at his former employer and its parent company, News Corp.: "I should have done something more innocuous, like hacked a dead girl's phone and interfered with a police investigation."
Thursday, April 12: And the "Fox Mole" was ... Joe Muto, a (now former) associate producer on The O’Reilly Factor.
A Fox News spokesperson told Mediaite late Wednesday that network officials had fired Muto after learning he was the author of the behind-the-scenes Gawker posts, adding that they were "continuing to explore legal recourse" against the former staffer and "possibly others."
In a Gawker post, Muto confirmed the news.
"In the end, it was the digital trail that gave me away," he wrote. "They knew that someone, using my computer login, had accessed the sources for two videos that ended up on Gawker over the past few weeks. They couldn't prove it entirely, but I was pretty much the only suspect."
Wednesday, April 11: Fox News said Wednesday afternoon that it had discovered the identity of a current (but we're guessing soon-to-be former) staffer who began writing behind-the-scenes dispatches for Gawker the previous day.
"We found the person and we’re exploring legal options at this time," a spokesperson for the cable news network told Mediaite.
The unnamed staffer, however, quickly responded with a post saying that as far as he/she knew his/her identity remained a secret within the cable news network's HQ. "If Fox has smoked me out, it's news to me," the person wrote on Gawker shortly after the news broke. "I'm still here. Back to work"
Gawker, which isn't exactly Fox News' biggest fan, went live with its new "Fox Mole" feature on Tuesday, with a post it said was authored by "a long-standing, current employee of Fox News Channel who will be providing Gawker with regular dispatches from inside the organization." Accompanying the post was an exclusive video of Mitt Romney speaking with Sean Hannity before the taping of an on-air interview.
"I always intended to keep my mouth shut," the post began:
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.
That was years ago. My cringe muscles have turned into crow's feet. The ten resumes a month I was sending out dwindled into five, then two, then one, then zero. No one wants me. I'm blacklisted.
I work at Fox News Channel.
Earlier Wednesday, Gawker went live with a second, slightly less ground-breaking installment of the series, a post titled "The Thin White Line That Separates Fox News Staffers From Bill O’Reilly on the Shitter."