Karl Rove vs. math

Fox News analyst and GOP rainmaker Karl Rove went to war on election night against his own network's arithmetic. NBC and Fox called Obama's re-election at around 11:15PM ET; after Fox called Ohio (and, accordingly, the election) for the President, Rove started complaining—on Fox News!—that Fox had called it prematurely.

James Poniewozik in TIME:

“Do you believe that Ohio has been settled?” Chris Wallace asked him. “No, I don’t,” Rove said, adding that he had the director of the Romney Ohio campaign on the phone. “I would be very cautious of intruding in this process.” But Rove was not cautious of intruding in Fox’s independent election-calling process. Fox, like many networks, keeps a separate “decision desk” of analysts to make calls on states independent of influence by anchors and on-air talent. It’s not unusual to call states, even if there’s only a small gap in the reported vote, on the basis of what they know about the vote yet to come in. (And as it turns out, they were absolutely right.)

What is unusual–really, one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen on cable news–is for one arm of a network to basically turn against itself on-air. “Here’s what we’re going to do!” said anchor Bret Baier. “We’re going to get someone from the decision desk and we’re going to bring them in here and we’re going to have them on air and we’re going to interview them about this decision.”

More at TIME.

And, Salon breaks it down play by play for those too skeeved out to watch the video.

Most disturbing of all, Karl Rove was fondling his Mac.


  1. Pretty sweet to have Barack Obama backed in red with a yellow effect moving back and forth below… burn baby burn.

    Keep up the fine subliminal messages Fox!

    1. 4:17, looks like he is about to laugh, perhaps having a hard time believing the BS spewing from his own mouth?

    1. Actually Fox called most of the states really early.  I suspect they really do have a pretty good news organization but (obviously) they usually ignore it for the mo-money-makin conservative nutjob stuff.

    2. Poniewozik is absolutely correct about the bizarreness of an anchor turning on his own network’s decision desk just because a pundit (let alone one like Rove) doesn’t like the direction things are going. Getting put on that desk for election night is a major vote of confidence from a news director or EP, and I’m sure they’ll lose some of their best staff members because of this stunt.

      1. It looked to me more like the anchor turning on Rove. “Oh yeah? Well let’s go talk to these guys directly and compare their data to your unsubstantiated gut feeling and see which one comes out on top.”

  2. If Rove had a shred of credibility left, he lost it last night. I switched to Fox News just to see how they were handling the news of Obama’s victory.   Even though it was Fox, I was shocked to see and hear what Rove was spewing.

      1.  Yeah, if we can’t get rid of Bill Kristol or Dick Morris, there’s no possible way we’ll ever be rid of Rove.  :/

    1. That Was The Week That Was [TW3]

      The Republican platform:  “Life Begins at Rape” falters and . . . . .

      Female voters in Indiana and Missouri discover their brain and vote properly — for a change!

      Massachusetts’ voters rediscover their brain and vote for Prof. Elizabeth Warren over that random slitch, Scott-what’s-his-face!

      Wisconsin voters finally use their brain and voted the intelligent, desirable dyke over that whackjob, Tommy “all Americans should be microchipped” Thompson!

      Hallelujah ! !

      Magic Underwear Guy Loses

      Willard Mitt Romney’s career as a tax dodging, draft dodging, queen of debt creation evidently didn’t impress enough members of the electorate.  Apparently Romney’s prime example of business acumen:  putting a poor dog in a cage atop a speeding car and watching him crap over the car’s windows didn’t impress enough voters either.

      The Challenge

      An offer of a $1 million prize to Linda McMahon to wrestle Donald Trump in a “Stomp the Trump’s Rump” exhibition match.  (Maybe NYC Mayor “Elizabeth Warren is a socialist” Bloomberg will put up the prize money?)

      The lesson of the very close popular vote?

      Un-privatize the national voting process — centralize it — and hire the McDonald’s Corporation to expedite it — if they can do fast food, then fast and efficient voting should be a real cinch for them!

      Nineteen woman senators?  It’s a good start . . . . .

  3. Urrrgh, uhng, heee hee haha… I’m having mirth pains and shooting thrills down my funny bone.  Please, call a doctor (or clown) I think I’m suffering a schadenfreude overdose!  Oooohhh, Karl you went and done it, this is the big one!!  It’s gonna take the sugeons 45 minutes just to get the smile off my face!!!

  4. This doesn’t look to me like as big of fuss as is being described here. I dislike Rove as much as anyone, but deciding to call a count in a close race is a matter of interpretation, and Rove just wasn’t in a hurry to concede that interpretation. It didn’t look like a Fox news melt-down. There’s plenty of other more interesting things to dislike about Fox news.  

    1. Yeah, but usually when the Rove has gotten breathless on-air, FOX NEWS has swirled around him and intensified the shit storm.

        1. Technically, “There’s plenty of other more interesting things to dislike about Fox news”, fits the bill. Don’t pay attention to this because there are other areas of greater concern.

          Although I wouldn’t have interpreted it that way.

  5. What else do you expect from the guy who blithely dismissed the concerns of the “reality-based community” back during the Cheney Regency? I’m only surprised that toads don’t leap from his mouth when he speaks.

  6. I admit that it seemed to me last night that they were too quick to call Ohio for Obama. That too many votes were yet to be counted and at one point Romney actually took the lead in Ohio by several thousand votes after it had been called for Obama. Looking at the various interactive maps, there seemed to be just as more counties leaning Romney than Obama where left to be counted.

    It was made very clear to me when one of the news channels pointed out that in Ohio that about 740,000 votes were left uncounted from Obama leaning counties and 140,000 votes left uncounted from Romney leaning counties. That info was hard to get from the interactive maps.

    Still as others point out, it’s nice to see FOX actually let math and facts rather than Karl Rove dictate the coverage.

    1. Edited to reflect that I was basically agreeing with you, except that the early calling seemed to me to be more for drama and to keep eyeballs on the screen than because there was any question. FOX certainly didn’t call it first, and they sprinkled in their usual dose of FUD.

  7. We spent a few minutes watching Faux News just to see how they were covering the election and happened to catch Turdblossom’s rant real-time.

    I appreciated his point that it may have been premature to call the results with only a 900 vote spread and over 22% of the votes yet to be counted.

    But he and the rest of the Faux News staff were ignoring the bigger picture which was that there were still three other states in question, any of which would have given Obama more than the 270 electoral college votes he needed to win.

    This is what in fact happened, and while Turdblossom was still ranting, Obama was declared the winner in Colorado, making the Ohio results moot.

    1. I thought that hardly rated as a rant.  Grumbling and maybe sulking, sure, but it’s not like he was waving his cane at the sky or yelling at an empty chair.   It’s not even up to “It’s just a flesh wound!”, but it may count as “I’m not dead yet!”, with Fox’s anchors complaining about how Karl won’t get on the cart.

  8. I can’t wait for Rove and his ilk to decide that oxygen is a liberal plot and refuse to breathe.

  9. My guess is that Karl believes that reporting the vote influences the vote so he doesn’t want to “jinx” Romney, which might be true earlier in the day, but *after* the vote has closed it doesn’t matter.

    This Karl Rove story is getting a lot of publicity, I wonder how Fox feels about that.

    If you look at all the predictions of a Romney victory from assorted conservative pundits and websites, they were all based on selectively using polls that fit their narrative, and they all turned out to be wrong.  Rove has been wrong about math before, at what point will conservatives toss or at least temper their belief in “liberal media bias”?  The polls were mostly right, they weren’t skewed towards Obama. 

  10. did I mishear him or did he say the chief election officer of ohio is the romney campaign chair in ohio? If so, that is the problem. What I see happening here is that Rove tried to set up another Florida 2000 situation in Ohio and this was part of the play. this is particularly persuasive to me IF the Ohio Secretary of State is the Romney State Campaign Chair. This was an attempted theft ala Florida 2000 that was thwarted by Team Obama’s superior ground game.

  11. Rove understands math just fine.  He was just flustered that he couldn’t find a way to spin the news in his favor this time.  His calculations always revolve around the best way to lie to suit his own agenda.

  12. It was truly a glorious sight to behold.

    He bilked Adelson and the Koch Brothers for $45 million. Some may think he’s crying all
    the way to the bank, not me. Rove wasn’t just in denial about Romney’s loss. He was watching his reputation and legacy as GOP kingmaker go up in smoke, and now he’s always going to be looking over his shoulder for the black maria pulling up behind him in the employ of the Kochs.

    Also, best thing I saw on Twitter last night:

    “Does Karl Rove know he is basically enacting a liberal fantasy of Karl Rove Reacting to Losing an Election?” – James Poniewozik

    1. How has the Democratic Party managed to get a sleeper agent as Republican candidate for President twice in a row now?

  13. What he *wanted* to say was, “But. . .but. . .I *bought* Ohio!  I have the receipts!  I bought it WEEKS ago!  Seriously, guys, I bought it!”

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