If there's one thing Fox News chief Roger Ailes can't stand, it's leaks from inside his news operation. Notoriously secretive (and paranoid), Ailes has made it plain to staffers that insiders are never to speak with reporters about their time at Fox News without proper authorization, and they're certainly not allowed to be critical of his shop.
Even after they stop working for him.
The obsessive secrecy helps reinforce the image of Fox News as a hush-hush political organization, as opposed to a transparent news one. So the revelation that a Fox mole ("a long-standing current employee") emerged this week and is having his/her unflattering dispatches published on the media website Gawker is likely causing consternation inside Fox's Sixth Avenue headquarters in New York City, where the brazen mole works.
Last year, a former Fox News employee agreed to talk to Media Matters, anonymously, and detailed the open partisan activity inside the Ailes operation. "It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats," the source told us. "They're a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news."
Contacted about Gawker's Fox mole, the source confirmed that "[y]ou can't say jack shit about that place without authorization" and that it's professional "suicide" to dish dirt about Fox to the press, even among alumni. "When you leave, and you're signing your separation agreement, and taking your severance pay, there is a lot of strong language about never saying a word about Fox the rest of your natural life, or they'll come and take back all your severance," the former insider explains.
The source's reaction to this week's mole? "I'm laughing my ass off thinking of management's reaction. Ailes will get Nixonian on the place. There will be plumbers, they'll comb an Enemies List out of the staff, psychological profiles, particularly if the mole starts leaking good stuff. They will probably narrow a list of suspects, and feed some warped information to each of them, and look to see if it leaks. Personally, I'd be sweating my ass off in there, even if it wasn't me leaking."
"The very fact that he's outed himself is probably the most alarming and intriguing bit of the story," says the former Fox staffer of the mole's decision to start penning anonymous, and taunting, blog posts while still on the Fox payroll. "I'm not sure why he or she would do that, except they really do have a death wish, and seriously want to get the boot from there, instead of letting nature take its course."
The source isn't surprised about the internal carping. "There are always a few people in the place that can't bring themselves to kiss off the paycheck, but find it so objectionable that they slowly but surely arrange for their own demise."