Fox News hired gun Karl Rove shoots himself in the foot by arguing with Fox stars after they called Ohio for Obama …
… Prompting Megyn Kelly‘s “that’s awkward” walk to the “Decision Desk” to verify the call after Chris Wallace sided with Rove:
Erik Wemple Washington Post: Whatever you think of Rove’s objections — perhaps the whining of a Republican partisan who didn’t want to let go; perhaps the legitimate objections of a pure political genius — the moment of dissent at the Fox desk spoke to one of the network’s strengths. On-air dissent, that is.
Determined to take advantage of this conflict, Kelly introduced something she dubbed “Cage Match 2012.” It pitted Michael Barone, who was working the decision desk, against Rove. They talked things through. Rove said that he didn’t want Fox to be “leading the pack for the sake of leading the pack.” By this point, Obama had widened his Ohio lead over Romney in Ohio, and Rove looked a little silly for raising his objections. In the process of silliness projection, however, Rove, Barone, Kelly and Baier taught viewers a bit more about the Ohio political map. Fox fun.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lit into Rove: “Karl Rove is now trying to get on air the Fox News Channel to rescind its call in Ohio in favor of the candidate that he has bankrolled to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a remarkable thing.”
“I don’t mean to cross-advertise here, but on the conservative cable news network Fox News Channel – Fox News Channel called Ohio for Obama, but the on-air talent at Fox News Channel is refusing to concede that they believe it.”
Chris Matthews: “Can you define that word ‘talent’ for the people who are not in this industry. They happen to have positions. It doesn’t say anything about their quality.”
Maddow: “People who are wearing makeup and have cameras pointed at them. It’s not everybody who’s on Fox News tonight, but some of the people who Fox is putting on tonight are refusing to believe their own network’s call in the state of Ohio.”
Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik: Bret Baier looked like he was trying to do some informational work at the Fox News anchor desk. But Bill O’Reilly was too much to bear with his “white establishment” talk, and when Karl Rove, a featured analyst, couldn’t accept what the data told him and everyone else about Mitt Romney losing Ohio, I had to tune the channel out. It was embarrassing for a guy this smart to behave that badly — and management to let him do it on-air. Fox News should be ashamed — if Rove isn’t.
NBC News was the first to anoint Obama the winner after the Ohio numbers came in.