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Roger Ailes on Rove and Election Night: “He Was Wrong…Our Guys Were Right”

More than a week since the election, the infamous video of Karl Rove challenging Fox News’ call of Ohio for President Obama, and giving him the electoral votes for reelection, is still being dissected as a demonstration of the perils of partisan media.

This morning TV Newser has an interview with Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who relays where he was when Rove started challenging the projection, which other media pounced on as a kind of mutiny taking place on the Fair and Balanced ship.

Having already gone home shortly after 11 ET, Ailes said he turned on the TV “and the first thing I see is Rove saying something
like ‘you called Ohio too early.’ And I thought, ‘What the? What is
this?’”

Ailes said he instructed exec VP Michael Clemente to not go to commercial but to have Megyn Kelly “go confront the decision team. If you have to, make the decision team confront Rove.”

“As it turned out Rove was wrong. He backed down. Our guys were
right. We stayed with it. Megyn did her famous walk down the hall. And
it all worked out.”

The full interview is here.

Fox News executives see the whole confrontation not as an example of the perils of having Rove, the brainchild of the pro-Romney SuperPAC American Crossroads, on the payroll, but as an example of their journalistic bonafides. The facts won out. Punditry was deflated. So is this a turning point in the spin cycle? Don’t bet on it.

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