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An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal's Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media Hardcover – Jun 4 2013

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (June 4 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953951
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #513,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Well-written and structured in surprising ways" - Tampa Bay Times
(Joe Muto)

About the Author

JOE MUTO graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Film and TV, then landed a job at Fox News as a freelance production assistant. He remained at Fox for eight years. He was an associate producer for The O'Reilly Factor when he was fired after being outed as Gawker's "Fox Mole."

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By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 12 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Okay, here's the problem with young Joe Muto's first book, "An Atheist in the FOXhole". It simply isn't very good because Muto and the publisher sat down and took what could be considered a very long magazine article about goings-on at Fox News, and wrapped it in a boring personal odyssey of Joe Muto's life and career. And that career - which isn't very long because he's 30 years or so old - simply isn't worth the time it takes to read about.

What were Muto's - and his publisher's - aim here in producing a book-length piece of writing? Obviously to make money, but also to provide Muto with some career choices. After reading "Atheist", I don't think too many job opportunities will open up for him. Maybe that's okay and he'll move back into his parents' house in Ohio.

Anybody with half a brain - liberal or conservative - knows that Bill O'Reilly must be a difficult boss and that those above him in the Fox hierarchy - Ailes and Murdoch - are also not very nice. This is a fact and everybody should know it by now. Joe Muto's book didn't share anything we didn't already know. But to take this material and wrap it in the fish-paper of Muto's personal life is a publishing sin.

So, I don't care what your personal political leanings are, I'd avoid this book as a total waste of time. (Unless you're a Notre Dame grad who wants to relive old times.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa5e600f0) out of 5 stars 113 reviews
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53e7324) out of 5 stars Good, but Not Quite What You Think It's Going to Be June 8 2013
By Timothy P. Young - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joe Muto was the now infamous 'Fox Mole,' who posted a couple of semi-scandalous items about the inner workings of Fox News on Gawker back in 2012. He's now written a book about his experiences there. When the reader looks at the cover, and even the title, what we expect is a scathing take-down of Fox News and especially Bill O'Reilly, since his head looms large over the rest in the artwork. That's not what we get at all.

Instead, what we get is a very personal account of Muto's time at Fox. It's a memoir. And a pretty good one. The reader will learn tons about the inner workings of a cable news network (and that stuff is fascinating), and tons about Muto's love life (not as much). While the book is at Fox (80-85 percent of the time), it's a fairly good read. When it strays into his personal life, via the copious footnotes and anecdotes liberally sprinkled throughout, it loses steam.

I did enjoy the book. It's a quick, breezy read, well-written, often funny. A lot of people who liberals like to cast as villains come off better than you'd expect. I like O'Reilly more than I did before now that I've seen him up close and personal. Ditto for Shep Smith and Megyn Kelly. I appreciated getting a closer look at the inner workings of cable news. I just wish Muto would have stayed there, and with his coworkers, throughout the book.

Still, with that minor caveat, more than worth your time.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53e75e8) out of 5 stars It Took 3 Days to End an 8 Year Career and All You'll Get is this Book June 30 2013
By Erick J. Rhoan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting and light, but not the damning exposé that some people may be expecting. More like the summary of the authors day to day tribulations of working at a place that was ideologically opposite of him. There is no great catharsis, lessons learned (other than knowing how easy it is to throw away one's career), and no great secret demystified. The central narrative flow is an average-enough liberal cog's knock around grind in Fox's vast empire. You'll have to decide if that's enough.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53e75ac) out of 5 stars Quick read with some fun insight June 14 2013
By Scott H - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I remember the Gawker mole story well and was interested to read the behind the scenes build-up on why someone would ruin their career the way the mole did. First, I really enjoyed reliving what it was like to be in a newsroom at that point in time. The insight on how Fox ran their news operation was interesting and filled with details on how the big names treated their people. I like Bill O'Reilly a little more after reading this book. Muto is a great example of how a lot of Millennials approach business. I also don't think he's trying to get sympathy for himself. He admits he made some bad decisions along the way (and even knew they were bad when he was making them.) It seems to be a fairly honest assessment of his short TV career. I blew through the book in a few sittings. Not very long, but definitely a fun read if you have interest in the TV business and/or Fox News. Plus as a South Bend native, I got a kick out of his Notre Dame references.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53e78a0) out of 5 stars Behind enemy lines Nov. 19 2013
By D. Roberts - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joe Muto is a midwestern guy who grew up with dreams of moving to the Big Apple & establishing a career. Unfortunately, his only "shot" of getting his proverbial foot in the door is to become an employee of FOX News. As a Liberal, this is quite a complex and convoluted direction to take.

Such is the story told within these pages. Muto finds himself getting by on a meager salary whilst working for the "evil empire" that is Rupert Murdoch's prized network. He ends up rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Karl Rove. Not exactly "natural surroundings" for someone of the leftist mindset!

Muto gives short intermittent chapters that take us through his last day @ FOX News; the day he was identified as the (gasp!) mole who leaked unauthorized footage of Newt Gingrich getting his hair done & Mitt Romney discussing horses with Sean Hannity. {Gosh, those FOX News buggers sure are touchy, eh?} The chapters in between are flashbacks to his first days on the job & detail his meteoric rise to becoming an assistant for the bombastic Bill O'Reilly's radio show.

The book is told with a sense of humor unbecoming a Notre Dame grad, and that was refreshing. Not surprisingly, Muto describes his fiery Irish boss as being every bit as bellicose in person as he appears to be on TV. Somewhat surprisingly, he describes Ann Coulter as being very friendly so long as she's not in "attack dog" mode. Least surprisingly of all, he characterizes Sarah Palin as being even more(!) clueless than people give her credit for. Of course, this should not come as a shock to anyone who has watched Game Change.

For myself, the most curious part of the book is the revealation that there are actual human beings(!) with personalities(!) who work in the control rooms & behind the scenes @ FOX. I never gave the matter much thought, but I always pictured the FOX building as being full of stodgy, overdressed & humorless Right Wing drones who cared for nothing save the company line. Interesting.

The title of the book is a bit of a misnomer as Joe doesn't really delve into atheism. That he is an atheist is nothing more than a sidenote as he doesn't compare this aspect of his outlook with the hardcore Religious Right. For those who are expecting a book of this type (as I was), that's not the case. I get it: A LIBERAL IN THE FOXhole doesn't have quite the same ring to it ~ for obvious reasons.

If you're a Left Wing type who relishes anything that pokes fun at the pompous pundits on the Right, then you're sure to enjoy this book. Much of it, in fact, reminded me of The Newsroom: The Complete First Season as it peeks into what goes on behind-the-scenes in the making of news shows. As for Joe, here's to hoping that you find a career where you can feel good about yourself!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53e7900) out of 5 stars Funny, Smart, and Enjoyable June 15 2013
By PV - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a hard hitting expose into the workings of Fox News, this isn't the book for you.

If you're politically interested, engaged, and thoughtful about cable news, democracy, and human beings, you'll love this. Joe completely embodies his name with his writing style - reading the book is like hearing from someone you feel like you know. There aren't any huge surprises here, of course, but his experience is insightful, interesting, and witty.

A few days after finishing the book, I happened to flip on O'Reilly. Now, I've never really watched his show earnestly before, but watching the show through the lens of Muto's book is completely revelatory and kind of jaw dropping.

I highly recommend for those who are into politics, concerned about rhetoric, and like to laugh at the folly of human beings.