P is for Preposterous – The Alphabet Series

Aging & Attitude


New Thought on Words

We know preposterous means; absurd, unbelievable, or outrageous. However, after reading about Joe Muto, Gawker’s Fox Mole, I am confused.

I vaguely remember Muto being fired by Fox Television last April but was unfamiliar with the media blog Gawker, so I looked online. Wikipedia identifies the parent company, Gawker Media, and states “Gawker is a blog based in New York City that bills itself as the source for daily Manhattan media news and gossip and focuses on celebrities and the media industry.” Yesterday’s post featured a story about Donald Trump (I still want to call him “The Donald”) giving away suitcases of money.

Joe Muto, a graduate of Notre Dame, worked as a producer for Fox Television for eight years. Disenfranchised with their increasingly conservative view and refusal of co-workers to bring a fair and balanced approach to the broadcast show, Muto met with Gawker editors and when asked to prove he worked for Fox, provided two outtakes. I gather contacting human resources was not an option, and he may not have had an employee photo ID or pay stub. Regardless, Muto knew it was a crime, and although surprised Gawker posted the videos, does not blame them for his criminal record.

Muto’s sentence:

  • Ten Days of Community Service
  • Two hundred hours of private service at a Brooklyn literacy organization
  • A one thousand dollar fine
  • Forfeit to charity the five thousand dollar fee Gawker paid him

“John Cook, editor-in-chief of Gawker, called the sentence ‘preposterous’ and suggested Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was trying to curry favor with Fox and its powerful chairman, Roger Ailes.”*

What is preposterous?

It is preposterous that Gawker cajoled Joe Muto into thoughtlessly providing outtakes and knowing it could subject him to criminal charges posted the videos.

It is preposterous that Muto now writes for Gawker. Some say the lucrative deal for his book, “An Atheist in the Foxhole,” cushioned the experience.

While cleaning trash in a city park Muto struggled to explain to a fellow community service worker why copying an outtake of Newt Gingrich fussing with his hair is a crime. The guy’s offense was getting drunk and stealing a cab for a joyride. It is rumored Muto answered, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Is  that preposterous?

….just saying

*The News-Journal, “Fox News ‘mole’ resurfaces with book” June 6, 2013

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