Apr
20
2012

NYT Finds Fox News Whistleblower!

Brian Stelter reports in the New York Times that Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity are renewing their contracts…meaning that we'll be enjoying–and paying for–their talents through the 2016 election season.

Not many people around Fox wanted to speak on the record about the new deals, but Stelter granted anonymity to one Fox insider who was more than willing to spill the beans:

A colleague of Mr. O'Reilly's, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Fox had not given permission to speak on the record, said he seemed as engaged as ever, despite having had the job for 16 years. "He always brings his A game," the colleague said. "Every single day."

What, nothing about how charming and funny he is in real life?! Surely a well-placed whistleblower could have clued us in on that too.

It's worth mentioning–again–that the Times is supposed to have rules that limit the use of anonymous sources:

The New York Times rules state, for instance, that anonymity is "reserved for situations in which the newspaper could not otherwise print information it considers reliable and newsworthy," and "should not be invoked for a trivial comment, or to make an unremarkable comment appear portentous" ("Confidential News Sources Policy," NYTCo.com).

It's hard to see how "Bill O'Reilly is awesome" meets the standards set out in the Times anonymity policy. But those are rules that are apparently made to be broken, especially if it means getting this kind of vital news into the paper.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.