Earlier this week, The New Yorker reported that former Fox News editor Ken LaCorte killed former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone’s story about Donald Trump’s hush money payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
Jane Mayer reported that LaCorte told Falzone, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.”
LaCorte has denied the veracity of this aspect of Mayer’s reporting and told Business Insider he was joining Falzone’s call for Fox News to lift the non-disclosure agreement. He also said “at least two other editors that were involved” who still work at Fox News, and who he believes may be under NDA.
“I would love to have a full discussion about it in lieu of anonymous leaks and sniping lawyers,” LaCorte said via email, referring to a statement released by Falzone’s attorney on Saturday that similarly called to lift Falzone’s NDA while also accusing LaCorte and Fox New media reporter Howard Kurtz of defamation.
On Friday, LaCorte published his own account of killing the story on Mediaite, writing that it was shot down because of a lack of evidence and proper sourcing rather than because of political bias or concerns pertaining to Murdoch. Kurtz has repeated those claims on Fox News.
In response to a question about Falzone’s call to lift her NDA, LaCorte said, “I 100% support Diana Falzone being allowed to talk about this incident. I’d go further and encourage the company to allow the other editors who worked on this story to speak publicly and to release all correspondence related to it.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Mayer cites a single unnamed, secondhand source in her discussion about what LaCorte told Falzone. LaCorte says other editors who were involved would corroborate his version of the story, if the network would allow them to talk openly about the incident.
“At least two other editors were involved, neither of whom encouraged me to run the story and both of whom still work at Fox,” he said.
After LaCorte published his piece on Mediaite, in which he complained that Mayer never directly asked him about killing Falzone’s story, Mayer defended her reporting on Twitter, arguing that the three sources corroborated Falzone’s account.
Falzone herself supported the account in a piece she wrote for Vanity Fair, where she repeated the reporting about LaCorte as fact and said that NDAs “enable companies to buy their way out of sexual harassment and discrimination claims, without having to come to grips with the corporate culture that allowed or even encouraged that very behavior.”
Falzone sued Fox News for gender and disability discrimination after she was demoted following an article she published about her struggles with endometriosis, which can cause menstrual problems and pain. Fox News and Falzone settled out of court. Their agreement reportedly included an NDA that barred her from speaking about her work at Fox News.
The story involving Falzone and LaCorte was only a part of Mayer’s much larger piece that painted a picture of intimate entanglements between Fox News and the Trump White House. After the story was published, Democrats announced that Fox News would be barred from covering the Democratic primary debates.