Gawker’s mole at Fox News gets served with search warrant, under investigation for grand larceny

posted at 12:01 pm on April 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via Drudge and Twitchy, just a reminder that your parents were right: what starts in laughter often ends in tears, or in this case, hefty legal bills.  Gawker’s Joe Muto decided to become a “mole” at Fox News and leaked raw video clips to his real employer.  That might sound like a joke to some, but to others — say, prosecutors — it sounds a lot like corporate espionage and grand larceny.  Muto got served this morning with a search warrant on suspicion of the latter charge and watched as his laptop, iPhone, and notebooks got hauled off.

Poynter and Twitchy have Muto’s tweets, and Poynter adds this:

At a talk earlier this month at UNC, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes said of Muto, “The mole shows a culture that believes in theft, a lack of loyalty, turning on his colleagues, lying to management, and there are some real, ethical, serious questions about it.”

In a letter to Gawker publisher Nick Denton dated April 12, lawyers for Fox News said, “Muto’s admissions are admissions of likely criminal and civil wrongdoing on both his and Gawker’s part, which will be the subject of further intensive investigation. … Gawker should immediately stop publishing information and videos that have been unlawfully obtained by or from Joe Muto and return them to Fox News.”

If you’re wondering how lifting a few unaired clips of video amounts to grand larceny, be sure to read last week’s analysis of the issue from Forbes’ Kashmir Hill.  Grand larceny requires that the theft amounts to more than $2500 in value, which might be tough to prove under ordinary circumstances for unaired video.  Unfortunately for Muto — and probably Gawker, too — they set the price themselves:

Lawyers for Fox News sent letters to both Muto and Gawker last week, warning them that their actions were “likely criminal,” and they may have a fairly strong case.

One charge that might be considered for Muto is “computer tampering.” Though Muto, as a (then) associate producer for The O’Reilly Factor had legitimate access to the Fox News outtake videos that he passed along to Gawker, New York law forbids “unlawful duplication of computer related material…[that] wrongfully deprives or appropriates from an owner an economic value in excess of $2,500.” Muto was fingered by Fox as the Mole because he had accessed two behind-the-scenes videos — of Newt Gingrichbeing groomed ‘like a circus walrus’ and Mitt Romney bantering with Sean Hannity — that wound up on Gawker in recent weeks. Gawker told my Forbes colleague Jeff Bercovici that it paid Muto $5,000 for his posts and for those videos, which, by my count, is indeed in excess of $2,500.

Grand larceny may not be the end of the charges, either:

“If I as a company hire someone to break into another company’s database, I could be charged with a crime,” says New York-based Joe DeMarco, a former federal prosecutor who works on Internet crime cases. He declined to talk specifically about the Gawker case, but was willing to speak generally about payments to employees for proprietary information. “Absent matters of public concern, i.e. legitimate whistle-blowing, purchases of inside information raise legal issues. When you’re paying an insider for live, real-time inside information, the chance that you’re committing a crime is pretty good.”

That has the possibility of exposing Gawker management to criminal charges, too.  The fact that both are media companies makes the liability even worse, one would imagine.

Will Fox pursue charges to their conclusion?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Either way, this case demonstrates the need for media outlets to consult with lawyers before launching unprecedented operations against their competition or opposition.  That’s a lot less expensive than having to consult with the attorneys after the fact.


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The left’s version of the Rupert Murdoch hacks.

unclesmrgol on April 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM

…but with the smoking gun.

unclesmrgol on April 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM

But James O’Keefe or something!@!$#!@$!!!!

/moronosphere

Good Lt on April 25, 2012 at 12:06 PM

FOX must SUE. The lefty media would certainly sue FOX in a heartbeat.

Call out Gawkers executives.

originalpechanga on April 25, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I’m no attorney, but the way that was described sounds exactly like corporate espionage.

I wonder what the US Code says about penalties for corporate espionage?

JohnGalt23 on April 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

RedRedRice on April 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Prosecute kids who download $5 worth of music but let Joe Muto go scot free for actual pirating. Year, that’s the ticket these days.

Archivarix on April 25, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Muto has been muted.

Idiot.

Logus on April 25, 2012 at 12:08 PM

You wingers just want to cover up the fact that Romney likes horses…um, he owns horses…er something…SHUT UP!

NotCoach on April 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Jail time. Gawker should lose big for this.

conservative pilgrim on April 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Will Fox pursue charges to their conclusion? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, this case demonstrates the need for media outlets to consult with lawyers before launching unprecedented operations against their competition or opposition. That’s a lot less expensive than having to consult with the attorneys after the fact.

Will Muto and Gawker management get jail time or just a fine? The likelihood is a fine and probation, which will instruct others to:

A) Prepare for the fines
B) Not engage in corporate espionage

Sadly, I think many will choose A.

dogsoldier on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet.

swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Ah, the ethics of the left.
Lethical, you know.

Jabberwock on April 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM

FNC’s product is video information. Taking unauthorized video on their set and selling it is a big deal.

Not to mention that the guy was working for two employers simultaneously. One salary was essentially theft.

forest on April 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM

That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet.

swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

+1. Makes me laugh every time.

txsurveyor on April 25, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Ed, I’d like to take issue with your use of my beloved Duke coaching staff’s triple face palm. Yeah, the picture works for your purposes, but please don’t tarnish their good reputation by associating them with a case like this. Plus, you remind me of our early demise this past March. *sniffle*

conservative pilgrim on April 25, 2012 at 12:15 PM

What a tool.

Red Cloud on April 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet.

swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I think I’m falling for her.

CurtZHP on April 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Out of court settlement likely. But the main thing from Fox’s standpoint is forcing Gawker and Denton to jump through hoops to defend actions they never would have approved of carrying out against MSNBC, CNN or either of the Big Three networks (even though getting something like, say, the NBC out-takes to their edited George Zimmerman transcript would have been far more newsworthy, even if it was just as illegal).

jon1979 on April 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet.

swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Looks like she is going to give Coach K a piece of her mind.
” you put him in to take that bozo shot ?? “

Jabberwock on April 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Will Fox pursue charges to their conclusion? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Choke ‘em out!

Jorge Bonilla on April 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

My guess is the media will run with the “chilling effect on whistle blowers” angle.

Christien on April 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Will Muto and Gawker management get jail time or just a fine? The likelihood is a fine and probation, which will instruct others to:
A) Prepare for the fines
B) Not engage in corporate espionage
Sadly, I think many will choose A.
dogsoldier on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Don’t lose heart. David Kernell got a guilty verdict and jail time for hacking into Palin’s email account.

conservative pilgrim on April 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM

When the left is involved…nothing happens…they count on the judges they’ve appointed.

KOOLAID2 on April 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I can only imagine the screaming, foaming lamentations over at the Gawker network. While I used to visit Kotaku regularly, I got sick of the heavily left-leaning authors and commentariat.

MadisonConservative on April 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM

In the law, we call it a conspiracy. There could even be a RICO violation with treble damages.

Resist We Much on April 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Is Gawker a Soros funded media outlet?

Dr Evil on April 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Sure, but this is Fauxcist News we’re talking about here. They deserve to be shut down so that only approved liberal talking points reach the public. Why do you wing dings hate approval?

Bishop on April 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I really hope Fox bends Gawker over and lets them have it.

Big Orange on April 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Just glancing at every source linked in this HotAir blog post, I realize that most of the people I know in life will never hear anything about this. ..unless ABC or someone airs it. That sucks.

But, I love the internet.

bridgetown on April 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Coach K!!!!!!

cmsinaz on April 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM

But! But! The Pentagon Papers! And! And! Watergate! Yes, yes, Watergate!

We serve and protect the people!

We give you information!

[unless it fails to serve Marxism and Utopia].

OhEssYouCowboys on April 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM

That mole was just a dick, just betrayal pure and simple, screwed over his company to post dumb pointless videos. beyond stupid.

boogaleesnots on April 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM

It sounds like corporate espionage because that is exactly what it is, along with a little sabotage tossed in. There certainly seems to me to be an angle where they were trying to make Fox itself look bad. There seemed to be an attempt to damage Fox’s “good will”.

The thing is that the political left does not see anything that furthers their agenda as “wrong”. Just like the scientist who recently forged papers from the Heartland Institute to make them appear to look bad on the global warming issue. They don’t see this as “stealing” or “forgery”. To them it is almost like a military operation and anything is fair game.

crosspatch on April 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM

That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet.
swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Haha. I just noticed her. That would be a classic picture for “WHAT were you thinking?!?”

conservative pilgrim on April 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I watched the Romney video, waiting to cringe. He comes off again, as a guy who is crazy about his wife. The line where he says he stayed at a less expensive hotel, because he would rather buy ads than pay for hotels? Hot diggety, he is great. He is not going to waste our money folks, it would be against his nature. He is going to be a great President.

Kristamatic on April 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The Gawker site is full of self congratulatory, childish ego maniacs whose instant gratification and need for constant praise will their own undoing.

Damn them. Damn them all.

portlandon on April 25, 2012 at 12:39 PM

That’s a lot less expensive than having to consult with the attorneys after the fact.

Yeah, but you’ll have all the time in the world to mull it over, after Bubba gets tired.

GarandFan on April 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Look like Coach K. When/where was the photo from?

rogerb on April 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I watched the Romney video, waiting to cringe. He comes off again, as a guy who is crazy about his wife. The line where he says he stayed at a less expensive hotel, because he would rather buy ads than pay for hotels? Hot diggety, he is great. He is not going to waste our money folks, it would be against his nature. He is going to be a great President.

Kristamatic on April 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I agree. I don’t think the video hurt him. It reminded me of the tape recording of Bush 43 where he sounded the same as he would if it was an interview on the record.

RedSoxNation on April 25, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I believe this mole should have to face trial in the court of O’Reilly… He’ll be wishing for pinhead status when Bill is through with him

timbok on April 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM

FOX needs to prosecute to the full extent of the law, no out of court settlements, this is outright theft.

burserker on April 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Muto just can’t help doubling down. Shortly after being served, he blabbed on Twitter that he regrets he didn’t hack a telephone or interfere with a police investigation.

Christien on April 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Yeah, like a Dem state’s atty is going to bring charges to protect Fox News…

Jaibones on April 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

This is round 2 for Gawker. Remember the whole iPhone thing? the only reason they got off easy there was because of Apple’s overreaching security team. I hope Fox goes at them hard. They deserve it for breaking Gizmodo.

Dead Hand Control on April 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I thought Gawker’s episode with Palin would have taught them to stop their illegal activities

burrata on April 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I also think that Roger Ailes makes a compelling larger point about creating a culture where people want to blow the whistle on their company and their co-workers.

It is one thing to blow the whistle in the rare situation where turning on your company and co-workers is done for a legitimate reason to stop a pending harm. In those cases, a person is motivated to blow the whistle to stop the harm. In most cases, however, people who blow the whistle simply see the writting on the wall concerning a harm already inflicted and want to parachuette out of a bad situation. And they usually want to be the first person to bring the Que Tam lawsuit where they can collect significant fees for turning in their employer. This is why so many whistle blowers are either lawyers or already have a lawyer when they blow the whistle. Recent government policy has sought to further encourage employees to turn in thier employers.

To me, it is not healthy in society for people to be turning on each other at the drop of a hat with the hopes of collecting money. And that is what the government is promoting with its various whistle blower policies. It was this type of government activity to promote people turning on each other that made living in a communist country so dreadful. It should not be the norm in a free society and it should not be the norm for government policy.

RedSoxNation on April 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM

No doubt that, if Muto had managed to get something really damaging to Mitt Romney, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party would step in to save him. As it is, they don’t care. Muto’s going down for peanuts, and maybe taking Gawker with him.

Schadenfreude.

RebeccaH on April 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM

“That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet.
swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM”

The triple face palm! Awesome…

Jaibones on April 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Muto just can’t help doubling down. Shortly after being served, he blabbed on Twitter that he regrets he didn’t hack a telephone or interfere with a police investigation.

Christien on April 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Muto has Bradley Manning envy ;)

Dr Evil on April 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I don’t get it. What did they hope to accomplish by doing this? Whatever it was it certainly doesn’t seem to have been what the consequences may turn out to be. Who’s going to hire you after you’ve been exposed as a mole?

scalleywag on April 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM

WORTH what the consequences may turn out to be

scalleywag on April 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

You have to understand. Liberals believe that the law does not apply to them, since their intentions are pure. They intend to expose the Evil Republicans for the hate filled, racist, homophobic, liars that the Liberals believe them to be.

The Law is supposed to assist them in their mission.

Snake307 on April 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM

B b b but what does angryed think of all this?

dczombie on April 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Don’t lose heart. David Kernell got a guilty verdict and jail time for hacking into Palin’s email account.

conservative pilgrim on April 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Yes he did! Who knows, maybe the system will work.

Muto just can’t help doubling down. Shortly after being served, he blabbed on Twitter that he regrets he didn’t hack a telephone or interfere with a police investigation.

Christien on April 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Wow that’s crazy. Imagine if FNC was really conservative.

dogsoldier on April 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM

RedSoxNation on April 25, 2012 at 12:43 PM

He comes off as being genuine. All the spin about Romney being coreless and fake- I’m starting to see that they are trying to demonize him because his genuineness is going to be one of his greatest assets. I also loved where he wasn’t going to change his tie. Hannity has some idiot bossing him around, and he is like ok, whatever, and Romney is like no thanks, I’m good. He is comfortable in his own skin. The left is going to have a hard time making him look bad.

Kristamatic on April 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I watched the Romney video, waiting to cringe. He comes off again, as a guy who is crazy about his wife. The line where he says he stayed at a less expensive hotel, because he would rather buy ads than pay for hotels? Hot diggety, he is great. He is not going to waste our money folks, it would be against his nature. He is going to be a great President.

Kristamatic on April 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM

—-

Name one Republican president in the last 50 years whose SHRUNK the size of our Government.

Dont worry. Ill wait.

Politricks on April 25, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Gawker is one of the left-wing sites I lurk on to get an idea of what the “progressive grass roots” are “thinking”.

However, a week or so ago Gawker doubled down on their “drive away all our readers” business model by banning disabling commenting on their main site.

It’s as if Gawker is implementing Obamanomics: every disastrous decision going back at least to the re-boot of all their sites is spun as “winning the future”.

[Note to the Breitbart sites: questionable format switches are not limited to the left-wing side of the Blogosphere.]

MidniteRambler on April 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

In the law, we call it a conspiracy. There could even be a RICO violation with treble damages.

Resist We Much on April 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

RICO requires at least two acts be performed out of a list of crimes. The best fits I’m seeing for this idiot and Gawker would be theft and criminal copyright infringement.

What could get more interesting would be if some ambitious DA or US Attorney starts sniffing around to see if Gawker has a history of soliciting criminal behavior in their “moles” at other organizations.

teke184 on April 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that the buyers automatically turned it into grand larceny by paying $5,000 for the video?

Chuckles3 on April 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

KirtZHP@12:17
Dude, stay away from my bug eyed lady, I fell for her the first time I saw the picture ………;)

angrymike on April 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Discovery?
Isn’t that the treasure trove?

vityas on April 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Gawker’s Joe Muto decided to become a “mole” at Fox News and leaked raw video clips to his real employer.

It’s a Fox employee who decided to write for Gawker and leak video to them.

If someone at CNN or MSNBC were to write about the behaviors there and leak unflattering video of Obama that would be the equivalent.

The formulation used here is more like if someone like O’Keefe or Lila Rose were to become an employee at Planned Parenthood in order to get information.

While I agree that that leaking video that is not your property is unethical and probably illegal, I don’t think reporting the behaviors of the organization you work for should be off limits in general. We would want to hear about ABC deliberately slanting stories, or misuse of funds by a government contractor for example.

BBegley on April 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM

I don’t get it. What did they hope to accomplish by doing this? Whatever it was it certainly doesn’t seem to have been what the consequences may turn out to be. Who’s going to hire you after you’ve been exposed as a mole?

scalleywag on April 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM

It just shows you how mean and nasty the Left is. They play for keeps.

But engaging in this type of corporate espionage is a serious screwup for Gawker. Sometimes companies like to do outrageous things to attract attention, figuring the profit they’ll receive frm the attention is worth the price. But here’s where the possibility of criminal or civil conspiracy liability comes into play. If Gawker is convicted of conspiracy, and/or is found civilly liable as a conspirator, it may have to surrender all of the profits it received from the leaked videos. Kinda takes the fun out of it. . .

Outlander on April 25, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I’m no lawyer but this sounds like a RICO case:

From Wiki:

“The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually do it.”

Rico, its not just for organized crime any more.

Fred 2 on April 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM

angerymyke on April 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Well, you can have her! She probably bats for the other team anyway!

;-P

CurtZHP on April 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Man, I really am kind of starting to enjoy this stuff. I truly am.

The entire Left, from Barack Obama’s reelection campaign to Lefty lapdog tools like Gawker, every time they make a move they can’t walk 5-paces without stepping on a rake.

*BLAM *-* FACED* … over and over and over again.

They really thought they were so clever. They thought they were really going to get one over on FOX News and the ‘neo-con’ Right for many months to come. They even bragged how much (or how little as the case may be) they paid the ‘heroic’ and ‘oh-so-cunning’ “Fox News Mole” which gave value to the information above the minimum standard necessary to charge them with felonious crimes.

And all they got was just 36-hours and a few posts consisting of some disgruntled employee claptrap, Romney likes horses and Hannity uses a teleprompter, where Bill O’Reilly poops, and a picture of a picture of O’Reilly at a Miami beach with a couple of pals and a blonde good looking topless gal from 30-years ago.

Oh, the horror. The horror.

Now Muto and Gawker both face criminal and civil prosecution. They’re lamenting those facts with a single paragraph today. And, they even turned off comments so that they won’t have to be subjected to the ridicule they so richly deserve because they just can’t handle it.

Combined with every other rake the entire Left has been stepping on in their efforts to demonize everyone around them not toeing the liberal line so far — it’s almost as much fun to watch as a Charlie Chaplin movie marathon.

FlatFoot on April 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Respondeat superior.

‘Nuff said.

madmonkphotog on April 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

RICO statutes can be used to prosecute the tots, who’ve set up lemonade stands, and who’ve conspired – with their parents – in order to do so.

Holder is on top of it.

Of course, these stands can, also, be regulated under the Commerce Clause.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 25, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Do the subjects of the video have a legal complaint as well? Seems like they might.

TexasDan on April 25, 2012 at 1:38 PM

someone shoukd sue him for sexual harassmnet…. cause he is a F _ _ _ up

charmingtail on April 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Social Justice Department drops charges. Case closed.

Grunt on April 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM

B b b but what does angryed think of all this?

dczombie on April 25, 2012 at 1:03 PM

you mean what his but thinks, absent thinking organ? well, you know the usual crappola :-)….

jimver on April 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Fox should definitely sue…let them spend the little that they make on legal fees, less money for campaigning overtly for The Once…

jimver on April 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

About that pic….what’s the story on it?

Snitchmo on April 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM

FlatFoot on April 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Thank you, Sir!

angrycodgr on April 25, 2012 at 1:53 PM

What I find most telling is how much Gawker wants to “investigate” Fox News. the lefts’ hatred of Fox for actually deigning to challenge their monopoly on news knows no bounds.

The left knows that it cannot survive if the public has access to information other than its propaganda – that it cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas. Thus, it’s irrational hatred for Fox news and Rush Limbaugh.

And, to me, the funniest thing is that Fox is hardly very conservative. It is slightly right of center with a couple of conservative opinion shows. I wouldn’t even call O’Reilly conservative. He’s a populist blow-hard.

Monkeytoe on April 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM

That chick witht the bug eyes makes that the best face palm pic yet. swamp_yankee on April 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I gave up on singles bars because of that look.

Akzed on April 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Will Fox pursue charges to their conclusion?

Fox may not have much to do with the decision to file criminal charges. They can file a complaint with law enforcement, but that is it.

The evidence of criminal conduct has been published. Any law enforcement official with potential jurisdiction could take notice of that information and pursue an investigation.

Fox decides about filing civil suit. Fox is a victim and its employees are witnesses to any crime, but even if Fox chooses not to notify authorities those authorities will decide what charges will be filed, if any.

novaculus on April 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Gawker: The equivalent of robbing a store with your posse then bragging about it on Facebook, complete with evidence of the crime, pictures of yourself and posse members, and video confessions.

Then wonder where it all went wrong.

BobMbx on April 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

About that pic….what’s the story on it?

Snitchmo on April 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Looks to be a screencap from a Duke/NC state game.

http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/01/25/wake-up-call-if-her-head-starts-spinning-im-outta-here/

TexasDan on April 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Given the commercial sensitivities of Fox’s broadcast material and that this guy was paid cash to steal proprietary information, this looks like straight-up corporate espionage.

As for Being worth over $2500? Please. The air-time sales figures alone for a given segment on FNC dwarf that amount. If you concede theft, you’ll never beat it down to misdemeanor.

CorporatePiggy on April 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Before anyone tries to use the “it’s just like O’Keefe” excuse, it is not.

O’keefe stole no property to the best of my knowledge.

Get ‘em.

hillbillyjim on April 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Given the commercial sensitivities of Fox’s broadcast material and that this guy was paid cash to steal proprietary information, this looks like straight-up corporate espionage.

CorporatePiggy on April 25, 2012 at 2:31 PM

The mole meme was a meant to distract from…

Gawker paid someone to steal for them.

faraway on April 25, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Muto is a straight up hero among the so-called progressive left, for whom there are no moral absolutes (except that Bush is a war criminal and Obama is teh awesome) and any activity that sheds light on how evil Fox News is will be praised by the left regardless of its legality, or lack thereof.

“By any means necessary” as theyre so fond of saying.

If you doubt me, talk to a lib friend or better yet a lib reporter friend if you have one. Buy them a few beers and then ask them what they think of Muto and what he did, and if they think its OK to pull shit like this because after all its just Fox News.

You’ll be amazed at what you hear.
Or maybe you wont.

Sacramento on April 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM

It also shows that Gawker is making way too much money if it pays that much for stuff as uninteresting as this sounds.

flataffect on April 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Here’s hoping that FOX gets the criminal prosecution going…and that after the convictions of Gawker personnel FOX follows up with a big civil suit.

landlines on April 25, 2012 at 2:53 PM

They need to prosecute to the full extent of the law, and make an example of them. All of them who were involved.Time for conservatives to take the gloves off.

Queen0fCups on April 25, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Sue the pants off of them and send the leftist criminal to jail. Until there becomes some sort of penalty to breaking the law against conservatives and assuming it is OK because you are a liberal it will keep on happening…happening a=more often.

jukin3 on April 25, 2012 at 3:07 PM

“These right wingers don’t play fair!!!!111!!!”
/

Strike Hornet on April 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

i so hope fox news goes after gawker. they are such a self-righteous group. they took a good tech blog gizmodo and ruined it with constant lib talking points.

i would love to see gawker have to post a public apology and pay a huge fine that would hopefully put them out of business.

jetch on April 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The comments at Gawker were astonishing. One lone guy who described himself as a liberal had the gall to criticize Muto’s lack of ethics and loyalty to his employer and made the non-controversial point that people should act appropriately in the workplace. The Gawker-ites went nuts and vilified the guy for daring to side with Fox.

LASue on April 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Muto is a straight up hero among the so-called progressive left, for whom there are no moral absolutes (except that Bush is a war criminal and Obama is teh awesome) and any activity that sheds light on how evil Fox News is will be praised by the left regardless of its legality, or lack thereof.

“By any means necessary” as theyre so fond of saying.

If you doubt me, talk to a lib friend or better yet a lib reporter friend if you have one. Buy them a few beers and then ask them what they think of Muto and what he did, and if they think its OK to pull shit like this because after all its just Fox News.

You’ll be amazed at what you hear.
Or maybe you wont.

Sacramento on April 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM

agreed! reading lib blogs as i do, i can’t tell you how often i read the term “faux noise” or some varient. they so hate fox news, that can’t bring themselves to write it properly. that’s just so irrational.

jetch on April 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Awesome.
So Fox wants even more people to know all the embarrassing stuff this guy was sharing?
I’m all for it.
And, a good chance ‘the mole’ save some bits for later.

As for all the ‘how dare he’ oh so ethical folks –
You’d be fine if it was some MSNBC mole feeding stuff to Malkin.

And…
“Via Drudge and Twitchy…”
Yea, this story is HUGE.
Ha.

verbaluce on April 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

also think that Roger Ailes makes a compelling larger point about creating a culture where people want to blow the whistle on their company and their co-workers….
…To me, it is not healthy in society for people to be turning on each other at the drop of a hat with the hopes of collecting money. And that is what the government is promoting with its various whistle blower policies. It was this type of government activity to promote people turning on each other that made living in a communist country so dreadful. It should not be the norm in a free society and it should not be the norm for government policy.
RedSoxNation on April 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Well-said. Sadly the left have but one moral code to guide their behavior: Any means necessary.

I also loved where he wasn’t going to change his tie. Hannity has some idiot bossing him around, and he is like ok, whatever, and Romney is like no thanks, I’m good. He is comfortable in his own skin. The left is going to have a hard time making him look bad.
Kristamatic on April 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I watched it awhile ago so may have misremembered, but I thought they were trying to get Hannity to change his tie…

The comments at Gawker were astonishing. One lone guy who described himself as a liberal had the gall to criticize Muto’s lack of ethics and loyalty to his employer and made the non-controversial point that people should act appropriately in the workplace. The Gawker-ites went nuts and vilified the guy for daring to side with Fox.
LASue on April 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Heh. I hate to say it but that sounds like some Hot Air commenters too. There are certain unspoken rules which cannot be broken about who can and can’t be criticized here lest the wrath of the mob be unleashed.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2012 at 3:36 PM

“If I as a company government hire someone to break into another company’s private citizen’s database, I could be charged with a crime protecting national security.

FIFY.

Nutstuyu on April 25, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Principle-free moron.

Tim_CA on April 25, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I hope Ailes buries Gawker.

budfox on April 25, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Will Fox pursue charges to their conclusion? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, this case demonstrates the need for media outlets to consult with lawyers before launching unprecedented operations against their competition or opposition. That’s a lot less expensive than having to consult with the attorneys after the fact.

Ed, that suggestion, over time would tend to lead to collusion by omission. Its bad enough already that the MSM does not point out each other errors as a means of professional courtesy. So now you are suggesting that competing MSM organs not report actual real news of a crime committed by another MSM outlet?

Its called willful suppression. The public is not served by it.

Dr. Dog on April 25, 2012 at 8:47 PM