Since the November election, two of Fox News' most prominent political commentators — Karl Rove and Dick Morris — "have virtually vanished," says Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast, "seemingly airbrushed from the airwaves." What's going on? "Turns out they’ve been sidelined, at least temporarily, by Roger Ailes." New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman was the first outsider to notice. "Multiple sources say that Ailes was angry at Rove's election-night tantrum when he disputed the network's call for Obama," Sherman reports. Former George W. Bush strategist Rove, Kurtz says, "drew national ridicule for challenging Fox's own projection that Obama had won Ohio, and with it a second term."
Fox had to do something to deal with Romney's crushing defeat and the reality of Obama's second term, despite their predictions, says Josh Voorhees at Slate. Getting the two faces most likely to evoke the election off the air seems a logical first step.
Liberals who love to hate both Rove and Fox are elated, says Billy Hallowell at The Blaze, but the inside story isn't as sexy as they've made it out to be. Rove and Morris' absences just reflect the fact that the election's over. Ailes simply issued a new rule saying that, now that the news has moved on, producers have to get approval from above before booking the guys who were the channel's go-to commentators on electoral matters.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
This is part of "a serious reckoning with reality" that everyone associated with the GOP is, or should be, facing, says Alex Moore at Death and Taxes. "Sometimes numbers and facts are irrefutable — sometimes when you lose you can no longer credibly scream victory in the face of defeat, as Karl Rove tried to do in his now-famous election night meltdown ranting against Fox News' own statisticians. Rove may still be in denial, but Fox News for their part is facing reality and moving on."
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.