What role was Karl Rove playing when he heatedly contradicted Fox News? – New York Times

THIS IS the question that reverberates after what played out on the evening of Election Day.

Chris Wallace kicked it off by saying he’d talked with the Romney campaign, who was challenging the results of Ohio and the calling of the presidency for Obama. But quickly afterward, Wallace disappeared and Rove took center stage.

Megyn Kelly attempted to wrestle Rove back to reality, but he was having none of it, the whole sorry scene quite a story.

Rove’s reaction was not to move, so Kelly had to, going backstage to question the statisticians at Fox responsible for making the call.

Why did Karl Rove think his role during the broadcast was to supersede that of the news anchors?

Why did Karl Rove believe he had the power to overrule the Fox News channel statisticians?

Rove was playing out in the open the same role that was played behind the scenes in 2000 by a Bush relative who began the frightful fight that would eventually throw the 2000 election to the Supreme Court, where it didn’t belong. He can rebut that it was about networks calling Florida for Gore, but the real reason revolved around him holding off a loss.

Roger Ailes is at the top of this debacle.

It was clear that Karl Rove felt he held the power to sit center screen and command the narrative that President Obama hadn’t really won Ohio or the presidency. His goal to make Obama’s win illegitimate, thus sowing the seeds of more discontent and disrespect on the way to manifesting more dysfunction, his ultimate goal.

Today in the New York Times Fox News executives tell their side of the story.

Mr. Rove’s deep connections to Republican politics are part of the reason that Fox News put him on the air on Tuesday night to rebut what its own team of analysts had concluded.

“The first thing that came to my mind, the first thing burned in everyone’s mind, is Florida 2000,” said Michael Clemente, the Fox News executive vice president for news. “And the minute you hear, “˜Hold the phone,’ you sort of get that oh-my-goodness feeling.”

So Mr. Clemente, who was one floor up in the control room, decided with his team of producers to allow Mr. Rove to say on television what he was finding and hearing from the Romney campaign: that the numbers coming out of Ohio were not necessarily adding up to an Obama victory.

Fox News then let its decision team respond, a logistically difficult task considering it was holed up in a room about 30 yards down the hall from the studio.

The fact remains that the math doesn’t lie and everyone outside the hyper partisan world in which Rove operates knew it.

One Republican closely involved with pro-Romney “super PACs” said Wednesday that Mr. Rove should have had every reason to believe the finding of the Fox decision team.

Karl Rove seduced a lot of big money people to dump tens of millions of dollars into secret SUPER Pacs that in the end couldn’t buy the presidency.

Most telling of all is that when Rove appeared on Fox News channel on Wednesday, he was not asked about his embarrassingly transparent attempt to delegitimize President Obama’s reelection.

Fox News Channel has been revealed for what it had always been. A tool of the Republican Party that will protect Karl Rove and others like him at all cost.