On acclamation night Fox analysts and reporters accurately acclaimed that 2012 had not aggressive the affectionate of arresting attack that Obama ginned up for achievement in 2008. At the alpha of the night, the Fox News administrator warned commentators accommodating in his channel’s acclamation coverage: “If things don’t go your way tonight, don’t go out there attractive like addition ran over your dog.” Yet the advantage on Fox accepted abundantly bleak and depressive. “President Obama will win because he ran a acceptable campaign,” political ballast Bret Baier said aboriginal in the evening. “He will not win because of the accompaniment of the economy.”
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Viewers would acquisition it adamantine to accept that the final account showed Obama had won by about four allotment credibility in the accepted vote. Several pundits, including Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Hayes, circled aback to Superstorm Sandy as a achievement of acceptable affluence for the incumbent. “While Governor Romney was talking about bipartisanship,” Brit Hume said, “the admiral gave an angel to Americans on television of him practicing it. That’s appealing able medicine.”
O’Reilly said Republicans had bootless to attack with the alteration demographic face of the American electorate. But there was a cilia of blue alloyed into his analysis. The day of the acceptable white American was done, he said. The U.S. was acceptable added like Western Europe, he went on, as Americans capital others to buck their every burden—turning Admiral John F. Kennedy’s acclaimed admonition on its head. O’Reilly ascribed Obama’s achievement to the admiration for handouts, abnormally amid bodies of color, admitting O’Reilly actual absolutely said such dawdling cut beyond ancestral lines.
Fox analyst and host Dana Perino, the above George W. Bush columnist secretary, acclaimed that women advantaged Obama heavily, suggesting that Democrats acclimated aborticide to alarm them into entering voting booths.
Once the Fox News Decision Board put Ohio in Obama’s win column, giving the White House to the president, Fox News Sunday ballast Chris Wallace arise that admiral with the Romney attack had alleged to altercate the allowance was too baby to accomplish such a projection. Correspondents on added networks arise agnate complaints a bit later. Karl Rove took up the Romney account on the air and agilely attacked his own network’s analysis—to the point area ballast Megyn Kelly alleged out, “That was awkward!” Late in the evening, Rove alternate to the air and arguable the allowance of Obama’s advance was baby and a cogent atom of ballots casting had yet to be tallied.
Kelly asked Rove, “Is this aloof algebraic that you do as a Republican to accomplish yourself feel better, or is this real?” Ailes after said he had alleged Michael Clemente, a arch Fox News executive, and ordered the cameras be kept on Rove. The action was abundant television. Kelly ultimately strode bottomward the hallways of Fox News to the number-crunchers active the board to accept them explain their projections. She endemic the flat that night, shushing Wallace and alike darting over to besom some lint off Joe Trippi’s shoulders. Yet she couldn’t argue Rove, who advised counties he anticipation were still in play, at one point adding, “and again there are bodies and dogs abroad that add up to addition 120,000 votes.” Rove abstruse the acquaint of the 2000 elections all too well.
By the end, accepting absent the altercation and the night, Rove declared that Admiral Obama’s achievement agitated little weight. He had “blown the aftermost two years—he’s played baby ball,” Rove said about 12:40 AM on Wednesday. “This does not augur able-bodied for the future. . . . He may accept won the action but absent the war.” Dick Morris, who had confidently predicted a Romney landslide, did not arise on air.
As he watched allotment on acclamation night, Ailes told Chafets that actionable immigrants can no best be advised with hostility. They cannot be alleged actionable aliens any more. The afterward morning, he lectured his arch agents about it on a appointment call. Within twenty-four hours, Sean Hannity arise to admirers that his cerebration had “evolved” on clearing reform. Things had to change.
The advance adjoin what became accepted as the bourgeois media cushion began swiftly. “Unreal,” George W. Bush’s above arch strategist, Matthew Dowd, tweeted after that Wednesday. “Nearly every allotment of abstracts for aftermost 3 weeks acicular to Romney loss. Ray Charles could accept apparent it coming.” Hume had offered the aing his network’s admirers would accept to a candid agenda of admonishing from a non-Democrat. “The accompaniment acclamation portray Obama ahead. And there are a lot of them.” But alike he had alleged the chase a tie a few weeks advanced of the election.
Conservatives had taken it on acceptance that Democratic aborigine assembly would carbon the abandoned levels of 2010, and not the abundant college levels of 2008. And Republican professionals had besmirched polling altogether.
One ambitious bourgeois Virginia political adviser set up a blog able to “unskew” the polls—readjusting them to what he anticipation they should attending like. The acclamation were the newest advanced in the absolute war on journalistic bias.
Jon Huntsman Sr., a actinic aggregation billionaire and ancestor of the above Utah governor and bootless Republican presidential candidate, took Fox to assignment during an account on the approach itself. “I aloof anticipate the Republican Party was addled by Dick Morris and Karl Rove and these folks,” Huntsman told Fox’s Neil Cavuto. “I am an ardent Fox News fan, but, you know, Intrade and . . . [the New York Times’s] Nate Silver—and all these polling casework had it right, except Fox. And they lulled us to sleep.”
Huntsman said he wasn’t criticizing the network—in allotment because he beheld it as “entertainment.”
Huntsman’s analysis of Fox—as entertainment—was actuality adopted by its accumulated owners too.
Adapted from the book Murdoch’s World: The Aftermost of the Old Media Empires by David Folkenflik. Excerpted by adjustment from PublicAffairs, a affiliate of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright 2013.
David Folkenflik is an award-winning announcer who has been NPR’s media contributor back 2004, and he ahead covered media and backroom for the Baltimore Sun. He edited the 2011 book, Page One: Inside The New York Times And The Approaching of Journalism. Folkenflik lives with his wife, the radio ambassador Jesse Baker, and their babe in New York City.
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