Former Fox News Editor Publishes Spiked Stormy Daniels Story in Response to New Yorker Report
The former Fox News editor who killed a story about the alleged affair between Stormy Daniels and President Donald Trump published the spiked post in its entirety as part of an effort to prove his editorial decision was not political.
Ken LaCorte, the former head of FoxNews.com, released the unpublished Daniels piece on Thursday. It comes a week after a story from the New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer reported — per a source — the Daniels story was killed by Fox News after LaCorte told the reporter working on it that Rupert Murdoch “wants Donald Trump to win” the 2016 election (LaCorte has denied making this comment). LaCorte previously made the case for why he spiked the report in a column for Mediaite.
LaCorte argued that the story, which outlines information about Daniels’ claims that have since been reported, was actually spiked for journalistic reasons. Mainly, he claimed much of the information included was not confirmed by Daniels and was instead given to Fox News by a questionable online tabloid, which published a post about the affair several years earlier.
The FoxNews.com story, written by former Fox reporter Diana Falzone, relied on primarily on a two word comment from a rep of Daniels:
A representative for Stormy Daniels, who has appeared and directed in dozens of porn films since WHEN, told FoxNews.com the 2011 report in TheDirty.com, which detailed an alleged affair that took place in 2006 and 2007, was in fact accurate. “It’s true,” the spokesperson said, before adding Daniels “will not comment further” on the story.
LaCorte noted outlets like “Slate, The Daily Beast, Good Morning America and the Daily Mail” had the same information but did not publish a story about the affair prior to the election.
“[Daniels] was seeking a $200,000 payment to tell her side in the weeks before the election,” he explained. “None of these outlets published anything until well after the election when the Wall Street Journal broke the story of Trump’s lawyer arranging a payment to Daniels.”
LaCorte went on to explain that while Daniels’ then-manager confirmed said the account was “true,” Fox News was never able to get confirmation from the adult film star personally.
He was also concerned with the fact that the “awful, misogynistic” online gossip site The Dirty did much of the heavy lifting for the piece.
“Seriously, The Dirty is part of every paragraph of this story except the last,” the editor explained. “I wouldn’t consider staking my or Fox’s journalistic reputation on it, and you can’t get inside of my head if you don’t see it and understand how vile it is.”
The original piece now released by LaCorte was titled, “Porn star Stormy Daniels says 2011 story about affair with Donald Trump is true” focused on comments from Nik Richie, an editor for The Dirty who published the Daniels post:
“I spoke with Stormy Daniels back in 2011 after following up on a submission by a source to TheDirty.com,” said Nik Richie tells FOX411. “The submission was about Donald Trump allegedly having an extramarital affair, which led to the breakup of the source’s relationship. Stormy was very nice and open about her 11-month relationship with Donald.
“She said they met at a celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe in August 2006. She then told me they headed to the nightclub after with Ben Rothelisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who Trump requested that Ben walk Stormy back to her room so they wouldn’t be seen together. Trump and Stormy exchanged contact information after the event and met up on other occasions.”
When The Dirty actually published the story about Daniels, she sent a cease and desist letter demanding they not use Daniels’ name.
Fox was contacted by another source who alleged that she was aware of Daniels’ relationship with Trump, saying the two met “One night Donald was in town at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I drove her to meet him. I took her to the side entrance. Someone came out and met her. I know they stayed in touch.”
LaCorte concluded the saying his “reputation has been smeared on this” and “no one at Fox News encouraged me in any way, shape or form to publish this or speak out.”
[Image via Ethan Miller/Getty Images]