In this latest chapter of post-election deck reshuffling, Fox News president Roger Ailes issued strict instructions that former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove and conservative pundit Dick Morris are to be kept off his shows until he says otherwise.
The reasoning behind this move is indicative of a larger shift in the Republican party away from the fringe “conservative entertainment complex” and back to the middle.
Rove, a top Republican voice in the early 2000s, is still well-regarded by all aspects of the party as a political genius, but remains especially beloved by its right wing. Their admiration for the man who coordinated Bush’s back-to-back wins in the first decade of the century was validated on election night, when Rove challenged the “mainstream media” call that President Obama had won Ohio and with it, the presidency.
Rove remained pathetically insistent throughout the night and into the morning on the surety of Romney’s victory in Ohio. Fox took his on-air meltdown so seriously that they brought in data-crunchers from their prediction room to challenge him, resulting in a clip that will probably last as long as the internet itself…
Later, when it became clear that Obama had won, Rove tried to backpedal from the denial on display earlier, but the damage was done. As Neetza Zimmerman reports over at Gawker:
According to a report by New York Magazine‘s Gabriel Sherman, Fox News head honcho Roger Ailes personally ordered his deputy, programming chief Bill Shine, to issue a directive limiting both Rove and Morris’s on-air presence.
Until further notice, “producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris,” Sherman writes.
Though sources told Sherman it was the now-infamous election-night meltdown that ultimately benched Rove, a Fox News spokesman denied that Ailes and Rove were at loggerheads.
And what about right-winger and Clinton turncoat Dick Morris, who’s made some wildly outlandish statements regarding the President’s future plans?
As for Morris — well, the fact that he admitted that his Romney landslide prediction was about telling Republicans what they wanted to hear was likely a bit too on the nose for Fox.
It seems that when alternate reality meets the real world, the real world usually wins.