John Moody had long been recognized as one of the most senior and influential editorial staffers at Fox News Channel. He is a former Time magazine correspondent whose name got thrown around as a potential replacement for Roger Ailes when that executive was ousted from the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet after being accused of sexual harassment.
But on Friday, Moody’s work was removed from Fox News’ web outlet after generating multiple complaints about its subject matter. The column, posted Wednesday, criticized the presentation of teams at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang: “Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different.'” Moody wrote. “If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.”
Three prominent advocacy organizations – including GLAAD, the National Center for Gay and Lesbian Rights and Human Rights Campaign – issued statements of complaint about the column.
“John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of Fox News and has been removed,” the network said in a statement Friday.
Under Ailes, Fox News almost never retracted a story. Indeed, when the news outlet in May removed a story about the murder of Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, it marked a rare instance of the company spiking a news report in the course of more than two decades of operation.
Editors at FoxNews.com did not put the column through the proper vetting process, according to a person with knowledge of inner workings at the network,which is why it was taken down. This person suggested Moody has not performed the duties of his title for several years. Moody’s online bio says he is a vice president and executive editor for Fox News.
A handful of executives who had close ties to Ailes left the network after his departure in July of 2016. Brigette Boyle and Nikole King, the senior vice president of recruitment for Fox News and Fox Business, and the senior vice president of business development and mobile for Fox News, respectively, left in August of 2016. Bo Dietl, a celebrated private detective who had been an on-air contributor at Fox News, also left quickly after Ailes did. Dianne Brandi, the network’s longtime top legal counsel, went on leave in October of last year.