I've seen a few of these pop up from time to time, thought I'd add in my own experiences. I was actually very reluctant to do this AMA, because a few folks I've talked to who have done the same thing ... say they got death threats and other nasty messages. Hence the burner account.

But I don't want the opinions of a few to prevent me from sharing my experiences at FNC. I left last year, after a few years in the newsroom. I worked on the "editorial" side - dayside, specifically - not for any of the prime-time shows (like O'Reilly and Hannity) so I can only speak more generally about them and their relationship to the daytime news operation.

I'll try to answer any questions you may have about the culture, operation and general day-to-day happenings at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. I'm not here to debate politics, as I'm sure the general assumptions about FNC are clear, but my personal beliefs don't really align with the stereotypical Fox viewer.

Mods can contact me for proof, and I will provide it.

Until then - ask away - and be gentle.

12p Edit: have to step away from the computer for a little while. I'll return around 1:30p to answer some more questions!

I'm back. Front page: about what I expected. I'm trying to answer questions as quickly as possible. You may have noticed I've been trying to keep up, even when away. Thanks all for your patience.

UPDATE 3:30p. Have to go off keyboard for a while. Will try to answer some more questions tonight. Thanks for all the thought-inspiring questions, everybody!

UPDATE 5:15p: Thanks all. I hope I answered most of your lingering questions. Keep an open mind, question everything, and America rocks. I'm out.

Comments: 3520 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

sir_fancypants1381 karma

Many of these questions are going to be trying to dig up even more dirt on Fox News, which is fairly redundant at this point. So playing devil's advocate here, what would you say are their greatest positive contributions?

Edit: Thank you for the month of gold, random Internet hero.

one_time_fnc_guy1121 karma

I think our storm and disaster coverage is really good, certainly what I'm most proud of. Hurricanes, earthquakes and the like - just telling the story of those folks and what they're going through is great. Also, letting America know what's happening in Libya, Syria, etc and why is a positive contribution.

electrobutter946 karma

how do FNC folks react to john stewart and the daily show? do folks watch the show? ignore it? laugh at it? take any of the commentary to heart? been wondering this for a while.

one_time_fnc_guy1060 karma

FNC people love it, at least everybody I know did. When the anchors we wrote for made the show, we'd play it in the newsroom with the speakers blasting.

neuquino141 karma

You guys loved it when Jon Stewart was accusing you/your shows/your writing of egregious hypocrisy or malicious partisanship? Did you feel like he was taking things out of context or did you agree with his assessment?

one_time_fnc_guy295 karma

I almost always agree. but he generally says these things about the guests, or F&F, or when Anchors go off script and start riffing like idiots. Then, it's justified.

Greg6711624 karma

Shepard Smith, how does he roll?

one_time_fnc_guy1083 karma

Shep is a very cool guy - and exactly how you see him on air. He's also very nice to his employees, but has a pretty short temper.

cardinalwolsey541 karma

Have you met Megyn Kelly? She is smoking hot. Is she intimidating?

one_time_fnc_guy1412 karma

Intimidating - yes. Some might also say, obnoxious and difficult to work with.

Beasty_Glanglemutton1098 karma

Some might also say

It's confirmed that you worked for Fox.

one_time_fnc_guy508 karma

Haha, nice.

In_It_For_The_Monkey370 karma

Go on...

one_time_fnc_guy571 karma

She's very opinionated, doesn't shy away from letting you know when you're wrong (from her point of view, anyway) ... and has been known to give some of the producers a hard time.

tacomanceralpha529 karma

How did you stop yourself from strangling Anne Coulter when ever you saw her?

one_time_fnc_guy1292 karma

Good question. Saw her once in an elevator. Strangely, a very cold chill suddenly blew in the door. I never saw her again after that, but I felt icky.

tortnotes422 karma

I don't have a question, but I want to thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions. This is a quality AMA. Thanks.

one_time_fnc_guy229 karma


ajlm385 karma

What was the most exciting news story you dealt with?

one_time_fnc_guy1002 karma

I was there for the 2008 election and the Gabby Giffords shooting, both were pretty exciting. I voted for Obama - so it was fun to see the machine sort of fall apart as he won. Don't even get me started on seeing Sarah Palin in the newsroom.

one_time_fnc_guy1063 karma

I should clarify: the shooting of Rep Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was a very terrible, horrific thing. But when you work in news for as long as I had, you get totally numb to it. It's just facts and witness accounts. You don't even think about the nature of the shooting or what reading about that kind of stuff does to you day in and day out. So I don't mean exciting as in "yay" ... I mean it as in "Holy S, alright let's do this."

edit: put the wrong party affiliation. my bad.

wellifyouinsist789 karma

I should clarify: the shooting of Rep Gabby Giffords (R-AZ)

Dude you just pulled a classic FNC by claiming someone as a republican when they aren't.

one_time_fnc_guy719 karma

Whooops! My bad, she is a democrat!

wellifyouinsist238 karma

I just thought it was hilarious cause I can recall several instances where this kinda thing made it to air and I was like..."when the hell did they change parties?"

whiskeyonsunday189 karma

Arlen Specter must have really thrown you for a loop.

one_time_fnc_guy216 karma


mypretty237 karma


one_time_fnc_guy609 karma

I never worked with her. The general feeling, I'd say, is that nobody's really sure why she resonated with people. I've heard more than a few groans from the newsroom when she's on air.

ajlm109 karma

Well, now you must start. Did you meet her?

one_time_fnc_guy250 karma

No ... only spotted her in various areas. Always with a gaggle around her. With almost any quasi-celebrity, people in the newsroom stand up from their monitors and look. But they have so many politicians (mostly former ones) walk through the halls that it's no big deal. I'd imagine today, she doesn't turn as many heads.

DogBoneSalesman373 karma

Are any of the Fox News personalities secret liberals when they are off the air?

Or for example have you ever had an anchor turn to you when the camera was off and say "I can't beleive some of the bullshit propaganda I just read on air!"

one_time_fnc_guy419 karma

That's a good question. I think Shep is pretty liberal, but then he doesn't really keep it a secret.

somerandomguy0234 karma

I'm waiting for Shepard to announce that he's moving to Colorado. Friend of mine works at the hotel he stayed at for the DNC and that person was saying that his room smelled like a certain illegal substance every morning. He was also a really chill guy and it was funny seeing him come back down all casual in a cap, shorts, and tennis shoes.

one_time_fnc_guy49 karma

He's a big tennis player. Unsure about the other "stuff"

ServerGeek373 karma

How good was the pay?

one_time_fnc_guy839 karma

Not as good as CNN/MS. Even some of the locals pay better. FNC was notorious for "not great pay."

alz1307311 karma

Honestly how biased are media outlets?

one_time_fnc_guy707 karma

That's a loaded question - because I would say there are different kinds of bias. We do a lot of crime stories, and just wording something as "So-and-so Senator is accused of abusing a 14-year-old boy" is somewhat biased. Then you get into the details of the allegation: "Senator So-and-so allegedy fondled the boy in a hotel bathroom."

We're only reporting it because there's been an accusation. And anybody can accuse you of anything. Covering crime stories, there's always an inherent bias towards the accused - which sucks.

On the political side, many reporters and anchors like to stay "objective" ... but then you bring in analysts and opinion folks who tend to skew the whole tone of the coverage. Of course, FNC has a right-leaning reputation, MS a left-leaning one and CNN is considered in the middle. It's fairly obvious those "stereotypes" ... for lack of a better word ... are somewhat well-earned.

alz1307166 karma

Thanks for answering. As a journalism student this is always an issue.

one_time_fnc_guy351 karma

FNC found its niche ... and recently, MS finally understood where it fit, too. Media outlets are only as "unbiased" as the folks writing and speaking for them can be. You see a terrible thing like a shooting or a rapist go free, and the human being in you takes over and sometimes you blurt out the truth. That's just reality.

L4NGOS104 karma

I'd like think that funding has some effect on how bias a tv channel is. Many american tv-channels seem, to me as an outsider, to have a fairly well defined political agenda or at least orientation. I'd be surprised if that agenda wasn't affected by who buys advertisement time or who is on the board etc.

Q; Would you say that there are any politically neutral channels in the US, if so which, if not is one needed?

one_time_fnc_guy578 karma


intjlogin302 karma

What do you think of the coverage for Ron Paul after the Iowa Straw Poll? The winner, 3rd place and 4th place were announced with no mention of #2. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show covered this omission.

one_time_fnc_guy636 karma

I think Ron Paul got the short end of the stick in all coverage, from most outlets. It's hard to take him, or any candidate seriously, who's not the top of one of the two major parties. That's actually a HUGE flaw of our current media system, that helps feed the mentality of the U.S. political process being ruled by only 2 parties.

Will say tho, RP got more coverage this time around than last. Whatever he's doing, he should keep it up.

Ecollins22296 karma

What were some of the prevailing orders coming from the top, especially as you were about discuss big news topics, were you getting gentle nods to report in such a way that didn't necessarily line up with your own opinions.

one_time_fnc_guy540 karma

The writers and producers have a lot of autonomy, but you notice the influence in the way you write things on occasion. You avoid sounding too critical of certain people, just for fear somebody will drag you into an office.

Best example I can think of: two years or so ago, all the shows had to use a reporter who's story was blantantly anti-union. Like how unions destroy America, or something. That sort of stuff happened once in a while, and it made my stomach turn.

stupendous--man233 karma

It seemed that during the past election Fox News was the first to call the winner (for president) in many of the states, especially swing states. And I don't believe they were ever wrong with a call - do you know anything about the exit polling and data crunching at FNC that would be different/better than some of the other news orgs?

one_time_fnc_guy279 karma

Every network has their own analysts, and we use a lot of AP stuff. But ultimately it's just the executives' call on what we put on air. If there's enough confidence and your people are all telling you the same thing, you run with it.

riptide13217 karma

Are you aware of any specific examples of anchors who have a specific on-air persona that is entirely different from their actual personality?

one_time_fnc_guy322 karma

TV's Andy Levy is considerably more quiet than his on-air persona. Greg Gutfeld is louder on TV. Everybody else is pretty much how you'd expect. (Again, I never spent time with O'Reilly, Hannity or those folks, so I can only speak for dayside and the o'nights)

underdabridge119 karma

Are Levy and Gutfield genuine conservatives, do you know? Or more just comedians who found a gig.

one_time_fnc_guy177 karma

Never asked. But I got the impression they don't have strong opinions.

one_time_fnc_guy122 karma

I think Gutfeld may be conservative. Not sure about Levy. They're all comedians, and just super glad to be doing the show the way they want on a national network.

Haggis67195 karma

As someone who voted for Obama, how difficult was it to work at Fox during the 2008 elections and listening to how they referred to the President in the derogatory terms they used. (btw, thanks for doing this).

one_time_fnc_guy495 karma

I definitely heard some negative stuff from the opinion folks, but believe it or not a lot of the people who work in the newsroom - A LOT - are democrats or independent. Think about it. FNC is in New York city. The employees are all from NY, NJ and CT, mostly. All heavily blue states. That said, wasn't that difficult. I was so busy and focused on my own work, it's pretty easy to "tune out" all the stuff going on the channel.

DrewBacon964 karma

Woah woah woah woah, So clearly what you are saying is Fox news is a long-con by the democrats to slowly destroy the republican party from the inside out.

one_time_fnc_guy85 karma

Nobody who works at FNC (from the newsroom side of things, anyhow) is that invested to actually damage the GOP. We all have bills to pay.

Yougotredditonyou192 karma

How many years of school did your editorial position require? And what degrees have you achieved? Thank you for the AMA!

one_time_fnc_guy327 karma

I did not graduate with a journalism degree. I majored in Comm at college, bachelor's degree. Your real-world experience is very important. They like to see that you've worked in the NYC market.

stop_drop_rofl172 karma

Have you met Bill O'Reily? Is he as smug and condescending as he appears to be?

one_time_fnc_guy454 karma

Never met him, but first time I became aware of his existence happened this way: I was sitting at my desk writing, when I heard somebody SCREAMING. At the top of their lungs.

Looked over, and it was O'Reilly, one pod away from me ... yelling at a producer. I thought the ceiling (very low ceiling) was about to cave in. He stormed out of the pod and marched down the hallway. Very tall, intimidating man. Mostly he stays in his office on the 17th floor, so rarely if ever did any of us see or hear him.

Should note, his entire staff was moved up 17 shortly after that little episode.

underdabridge378 karma

Did he happen to say "we'll do it live"?

one_time_fnc_guy700 karma

The one big ongoing joke in the newsroom. Never gets old.

Greg6711152 karma

How have employers reacted to fox news on your resume? Were your interviews any different?

one_time_fnc_guy358 karma

Not really, though it took me a while to find a new job. I also left news entirely, for various reasons. The most any interviewer ever asked about it was: "Oh, you worked for Fox? What was that like?" and "Is that my local fox station?"

A lot of people outside news/pop culture don't know the difference between FNC and local fox stations, believe it or not.

theracheler141 karma

Was your experience there better or worse than your expectations?

one_time_fnc_guy378 karma

I took the job to get out of a very bad situation, and I never watched network news before. That said, overall I was pretty miserable. Not because of the politics, but because the long hours, missed holidays and grinding commute really wore me down.

crumbledykee127 karma

What did your family think of you working at Fox News? Do they share the same political leanings as the channel?

one_time_fnc_guy308 karma

No. My sister once told me she'd disown me. My mom just liked to hear stories from "the other side"

HouseofFools116 karma

How do the narratives put into place by the evening talkers influence the newsroom?

one_time_fnc_guy210 karma

Fox and Friends likes to take that stuff as gospel, it appears. Hence why they had Glenn Beck on, where he famously said President Obama doesn't like white people. Beyond that, the newsroom is very separate from the evening guys. We don't work side by side with their writers. And as was the case with O'Reilly, he has his own staff, editors -- even his own computer editing system. The only guy that seems to bridge the divide is Geraldo.

SammaATL94 karma

Ah, Geraldo! Do you think he's purposely a cartoon character, or just completely misguided by his handlers?

one_time_fnc_guy101 karma

He's a character, of his own making. What you see on TV is 100% him.

Haust112 karma

Did you ever get a chance to work with Shepard Smith? He's one of the few people I really respect over there, and I hope he's a stand-up guy off camera.

On the opposite side, I despise Hannity with a passion. (I just needed to say that).

one_time_fnc_guy191 karma

Shep is very cool. Got a chance to see him a few times, but never really had much one-on-one. He's kind of legendary around the newsroom.

LibertarianGuy127 karma

He's kind of legendary around the newsroom.


one_time_fnc_guy17 karma

That's a very, very old clip. Most of the people who were working on his show then are no longer around.

Froztynuts111 karma

Who is your favorite news anchor?

one_time_fnc_guy344 karma

At FNC, Shep. Outside, Jon Stewart.

zarepath179 karma

As a journalist, you consider Jon Stewart a news anchor?

one_time_fnc_guy373 karma

Yes. For a lot of people, he's the main source of daily news. That, to me, makes him a news anchor. He's also dead-on accurate about the stuff he says, and calls people out on their bullshit. I wish they had a news network like him.

leftlooserighttight81 karma

Did you ever meet Glenn Beck? If so, how did he come across in person?

one_time_fnc_guy155 karma

He rarely came to the newsroom. But his pod got some very crazy packages and gifts from fans.

OxymoronParadox82 karma

How crazy?

one_time_fnc_guy244 karma

Giant metal cutouts of the founding fathers. Anti-Obama and Anti-Liberal t-shirts. More founding-fathers-related items than I can count.

Somebody also once mailed a gigantic hand-painted mural with a bald eagle on it ... and some stuff about "don't tread on me." It was bigger than a full sheet of plywood. Must have cost a fortune to ship to NYC. To this day it sits in the hallway near his old pod, never touched.

TheSelfGoverned127 karma

To this day it sits in the hallway near his old pod, never touched.

How sad.

one_time_fnc_guy102 karma


HoppyIPA72 karma

We all know about FNC's reputation, especially here on Reddit. You mentioned there are many democrats/independents in newsroom, can you share any stories of other employees acknowledging this reputation?

In other words, do employees ever joke about how Fox isn't really "balanced"?

one_time_fnc_guy212 karma

A lot of people just did their best to actually live up to the "fair and balance" mantra, although they were well aware of the feelings of bias from outside as well as within.

Mostly, people just complained about having to constantly defend FNC to family members (myself included.)

vanilla08968 karma

Does the show the newsroom have any truth to it?

one_time_fnc_guy122 karma

I've only watched a couple of episodes. In terms of FNC, the anchors are not nearly that much involved. Also, we used iNews (the computer software used in the show) ... and it was exactly the same (down to the alert sounds.) We never did shout out things in the newsroom about who has what info, though. In that way, newsroom looks very local news to me.

Also, you wouldn't have a bunch of people in the room making calls like that. Shows have bookers, and all networks have an assignment desk that gets info and posts it to iNews, so everybody can read it. We didn't go with anything unless the assignment desk confirms it.

MrF3367 karma

Outside of the editorials which are obviously opinionated and inflammatory, do you think that the actual news reporting content of FNC is particularly biased, sensationalist, or as accurate as any other news outlet?

one_time_fnc_guy169 karma

I think it's as accurate as other networks, particularly if we're comparing dayside news. FNC hires lots of blondes, has some well known personalities, and their graphics tend to be very flashly. FNC puts a lot of emphasis on urgency.

ciampam964 karma

what particular experience shocked you the most while working there?

one_time_fnc_guy104 karma

Shocked -- from a news perspective? The Gabby Giffords shooting probably sticks out more than most. I was not there when Studio B accidentally aired that guy offing himself after a car crash. Had I been, that would be the most shocking.

kimchi4life61 karma

How are the personalities of the on-air anchors and such? (Especially with the ones that seem haughty) Any good stories from meeting these people, good or bad?

one_time_fnc_guy122 karma

Most are pretty level-headed folks, pretty true to their on-air personas. I saw them every day, so it was sometimes a hand shake or what have you. Perhaps you can ask about a particular person and I can answer.

NotVerySmarts54 karma

How do you feel about news headlines that are just questions, and therefore aren't required to be accurate?

"Is your tap water harming your children?"

one_time_fnc_guy72 karma

haha, well that's a tease - not a headline. And we were always told not to write them, it's lazy journalism and often misleading.

DeuceStarcraft47 karma

Since starting this AMA, has your burn account received any of the aforementioned hate mail/death threats?

one_time_fnc_guy66 karma

Thankfully, none. Which I greatly appreciate.

the_deliman38 karma

How's Greg Gutfeld in real life? I don't agree with him on various topics but I admire his quick wit.

one_time_fnc_guy59 karma

Very funny guy, very approachable. As one other Redditor said, you'd want to have a beer with him and he'd be hilarious at a party.

twonineteen32 karma


one_time_fnc_guy23 karma

Haha, I have no idea.

[deleted]27 karma


one_time_fnc_guy52 karma

Again, Megyn Kelly is very opinionated. That said, it surprised the hell out of me that she said that. I was like ... "THAT WAS AWESOME!"

Also - did not watch FNC on election night. Mostly MS.

pandausername17 karma

Anything you have seen that made your jaw drop while on set?

one_time_fnc_guy33 karma

Honestly, not really. Cable news is rather boring.

kinaaaa14 karma

What brand of eyeliner does Shepard Smith wear?

one_time_fnc_guy26 karma

ALL of the anchors have make-up on, some more than others. I don't know what kind of make-up Shep wears specifically.