We have had a weekend to mull over whether whistleblower Joe Muto is a hustler (that is, totally in sync with capitalist America) or a self-destruct who sacrificed not only a job but one in the glamour industry of broadcasting.
Given the end of the traditional social contract between employer and employee, whistleblowing has become more common. I take a look at this for financial information company Motley Fool. Here you can read that and think about the whole kettle of fish.
On the one hand, a relationship with the high traffic high profile Gawker, the platform for Muto's whistleblowing, can lead to the big time. Authoring the column "Wonkette" gave Ana Marie Cox the ticket to just about any job she wanted in brandname media. Also, Gawker paid Muto $5000. Not a million bucks but a bird in the hand always beats a possible fortune in the bush. Nice chunk of change to pay down credit card debt or the vestiges of student loans.
On the other hand, Fox tracked down the miscreant through a digital trail. Muto doesn't seem too smart to have left one. For example, tipsters to legal tabloid Abovethelaw.com know to leave the building and leak only on their own smartphones. In addition, Fox News is not particularly vulnerable at this time. Its powerful head Roger Ailes is holding a strong hand, including the ability to hire a Manhattan law firm. Whistleblower Greg Smith attacked Goldman Sachs when all of Wall Street has become an easy target. No surprise he received a juicy advance of $1.5 million to continue to rat out his former employer. There a precedent there in Michael Lewis' taking on The Street.
The next weeks will tell the tale about Muto as an entrepreneurial type or naive. Monitoring that story will continue to bring heavy traffic to Gawker. However, Muto could find himself out in the cold with only $5000 to show for taking this risk.