If this had happened in any of those countries where our press is always ready to perceive election fraud—Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Belarus—its meaning wouldn’t
have been whited out, as it is here.
But this is the United States, where no one ever steals elections; and so, according to our press, Rove’s meltdown did not mean that he was furious because Fox wasn’t playing ball, and helping Romney/Ryan “win” by contradicting all the other major media, and saying: “Hang on a minute! Wait! Romney takes Ohio!”
That’s what Fox did twelve years ago, when everybody thought that Al Gore had won Florida, and, therefore, the White House; but then, after midnight, Fox suddenly reversed itself, and turned the tide by calling it for Bush (after several telephone confabs between Rupert Murdoch, Jeb Bush, and Bush cousin John Ellis, who was manning the decision desk at Fox that night).
And that would clearly seem to be what Rove had planned this time, as he insisted, with amazing brass, that Hamilton County was going to change everything—the very county where the votes were being counted by machines from Hart InterCivic, a company in the hands of Romney partisans; in a state whose SoS, Jon Husted, had illegally placed untested software patches on the machines in some three dozen counties, and had just made it near-impossible for the state’s provisional voters to have their ballots counted, and done much else along those lines as well.
But it didn’t happen, for whatever reason; and so Rove melted down, and Romney—who was also weirdly certain of his “win” that night, although things weren’t going his way—was forced to ad lib his concession speech.
Since, however, this is the United States, where such things never happen, our press couldn’t see it; and so that staggering dead giveaway was just another minor story of another on-air “gaffe.”
How Karl Rove Fought With Fox News Over the Ohio Call
By Gabriel Sherman
Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes assembled his network’s election team in a second floor conference room at Fox’s midtown headquarters to discuss the night’s coverage. He prepared them for the worst. “Guys,” he told them according to a source familiar with the exchange, “if things don’t go your way tonight, don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog.”
Six hours later, American Crossroads co-founder and Fox News contributor Karl Rove was on-camera seeming to ignore his boss’s orders. Shortly after 11 p.m., Bret Baier went on-camera to read a script written by Fox’s Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, based on an analysis by the network’s decision desk, announcing Ohio for Obama. “That’s the presidency, essentially,” Baier said.
Instantly, Fox phones lit up with angry phone calls and e-mails from the Romney campaign, who believed that the call was premature, since tallies in several Republican-leaning Southern counties hadn’t been been fully tabulated. “The Romney people were totally screaming that we’re totally wrong,” one Fox source said. “To various people, they were saying, ‘your decision team is wrong.'” According to a Fox insider, Rove had been in contact with the Romney people all night. After the Ohio call, Rove — whose super-PAC had spent as much as $300 million on the election, to little avail — took their complaints public, conducting an on-air primer on Ohio’s electoral math in disputing the call.
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