A former Fox exec who's starting his own news website says he's a 'beneficiary' of the #MeToo movement because his recent hire was ousted over sexual harassment allegations

  • Former Fox News executive, Ken LaCorte, has hired former NPR executive Michael Oreskes and another former Fox News top editor, John Moody, to work for his forthcoming news website, LaCorte News.
  • Oreskes left NPR amid accusations of sexual harassment and Moody left Fox News after writing a column that faced backlash for being racist and homophobic.
  • He considers himself a “beneficiary of companies being hypersensitive,” he told Politico, in regard to his staff.
  • LaCorte said his site will be “fair and balanced” and could “save journalism.”
  • LaCorte News is expected to launch in January.

Former Fox News executive, Ken LaCorte has hired a former NPR executive who resigned amid sexual harassment accusations and another Fox News editor who left the company after writing an opinion piece considered homophobic and racist, Politico reports.

John Moody, formerly of Fox, and Michael Oreskes, formerly of NPR, will join LaCorte News as editor in chief and an unspecified member of the editorial board, respectively, per Politico. As of now, LaCorte said the site has five or six full-time employees – and one of them is a woman, he told Politico.

“I’m proud that I pulled in both the former head of news at Fox News and the former head of news at NPR,” LaCorte told Politico. “I’m not going to be egotistical enough to say I’m going to save journalism, but I’m f—— trying.”

LaCorte, who left Fox in 2016, said he is grateful for the circumstances that led him to work with Oreskes and Moody.

“I couldn’t have afforded either one of these guys had we not been in this crazy type of atmosphere,” he said. “In a weird way, I’m actually a beneficiary of companies being hypersensitive.”

LaCorte said the site, which is anticipated to soft launch at some point in January, will be “fair and balanced.”

Read more: CBS boss Moonves reportedly tried to silence sex assault allegations with TV roles – and his $US120 million severance is in jeopardy

In February, Moody wrote a column for Fox saying that the US Olympic team should change its motto to “Darker, Gayer, Different.”

“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the US Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different,'” Moody wrote. “If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.”

Fox ultimately pulled the column after it faced backlash for being racist and homophobic. But speaking to Politico, LaCorte suggested that the piece was intended to be a sarcastic joke.

In 2017, Oreskes resigned as chief of NPR’s newsroom after several women came forward with accounts of inappropriate comments and sexual harassment in the workplace dating back to the ’90s.

Speaking to Politico, LaCorte, who will be the site’s CEO, said that he does not believe the accusations against Oreskes will be an issue in his reporting.

“That’s not a concern,” he said. “If somebody is bothered because decades ago, a guy gave unwanted passes to people, I’m not sure what I would do.”

Per NPR, Oreskes was most recently accused of being sexually inappropriate in the workplace by a female coworker in 2015.

LaCorte said he expected backlash with his hiring decisions, but it doesn’t concern him.

“I am more troubled by this kind of new McCarthyistic era where people are blown out of careers for relatively minor things that might have happened decades ago or being sarcastic in an op-ed,” he said. “I kind of anticipated that by bringing [Oreskes] aboard, some people might find that to be a good reason to dislike my product, this news service, before it started, but it just seemed like the right thing.”

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