Crazy Like a Fox

As soon as MSNBC called Ohio for Obama last night, I couldn’t wait to switch over to Fox, worried about how those poor little troupers were bearing up.   It was a surreal and revealing experience.  The coverage appeared comparatively straight up at first; Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier were in states of robotic catatonia, like children who’d been promised a cookie later if they behaved for once.  But all hell broke loose when Karl Rove, who had just incinerated $300 million to no discernible purpose, went ape shit.  All the fake election night decorum and affected legitimacy went out the window, and Fox suddenly became Fox again.

Although such stinging defeats ought to be getting more familiar to Rove in the last few elections, he still acted as though this was the first time he’d ever been so spectacularly wrong, and his sweaty, panting meltdown made such embarrassing TV that it forced Kelly to leave the set to go talk to the numbers desk (and show her legs on the way, a Fox insider told Media Matters…), to settle the dispute.

What was so pathetic about the whole thing was its rank amateurishness;  for one night every other year, Fox gamely attempts to disguise itself as a real news network, and it clearly has grown unable to pull it off.  The entire cast was reduced to glum resignation (as Charlie Pierce hilariously put it, “I’ve seen cheerier police lineups.”), and one lying, busted charlatan creating the next Youtube sensation, albeit unwittingly.  Unlike at MSNBC, no effort was being made to track other important races around the country, so the usually lightning-paced Fox was a slow, content-free slog through the weary angst of failed carnival barkers.  It not only failed quite dismally as journalism and punditry, but also made depressing, boring TV.  If you wanted to know what was actually happening, you clearly had to go elsewhere, but you wanted to anyway.

The election and Fox’s coverage of it make one thing abundantly clear: that blurring the line between partisan politics and coverage of the news can work, but only if the facts end up reasonably close to the spin.  Leaving the reality-based community utterly behind leads to two death blows to whatever credibility you had: your candidates losing, and your network completely stymied in trying to report said loss.  Both happened last night, and I couldn’t be happier.



  1. Teddy says:

    Bret Baier’s mien was more appropriate to an assassination or an alien invasion: trembling lower lip, cracking voice, eyes fulla tears. And Megyn just had to get up and strut the money-maker!

    • cocktailhag says:

      So hilarious. What a hollow shell of a company they are; pretending to be something they’re not… so badly. There’s a great article about this up at Salon; will being this lame hurt their business? I can only hope so.

  2. Ché Pasa says:

    You know the Murdock/Ailes propaganda media empire is tottering, and all the T & A in the world isn’t going to save it. Well, maybe…

    Nor will the likes of the Would-be Queen Ann and her retainers, let alone that cipher multi-millionaire parasite they were hauling around on the stump, do them any good in the future.

    The torch has been passed, Hag.

    This would be a good thing in any sane world. As it is, we can’t be so sure.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Would that it were so… I fear that that both Ailes and Murdoch are going to far outlive their actuarial life expectancies; perhaps mine too. They have too much more damage they want to cause.
      They may not be successful electorally, but they are still doing a lot of damage.

  3. Chad says:

    This is my favorite twitter feed right now.

  4. dirigo says:

    There’s plenty of room in the dustbin of history.

    • dirigo says:

      “We had no message and we gave it to the worst communicator in the world.”

      – “Top Romney Bundler”
      – via ABC

  5. avelna says:

    From Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic:

    How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File

    On the biggest political story of the year, the conservative media just got its ass handed to it by the mainstream media. And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong, while the New York Times got it right. Hint: The Times hired the most rigorous forecaster it could find.

    It ought to be an eye-opening moment.

    But I expect that it’ll be quickly forgotten, that none of the conservatives who touted a polling conspiracy will be discredited, and that the right will continue to operate at an information disadvantage. After all, it’s not like they’ll trust the analysis of a non-conservative like me more than the numerous fellow conservatives who constantly tell them things that turn out not to be true.

  6. RUKidding says:

    Well Murdoch is being hounded by our cousins in the UK for his phone hacking schemes. No doubt Murdoch & Aisles have done similar phone hacking shenanigans in Team USA, but they’ve probably paid off the right people & will get away with it here.

    So Murdoch is probably a tad distracted and perhaps Aisles is as well.

    I’ve long wondered just how far off the rails KKKarl can push the Southern Strategy & just how batshit insane the nutcases who are radically out of touch with any semblence of reality can get without it all falling apart somehow.

    The lunatic ravings of my family, as discussed, give me pause sometimes bc they are clearly unhinged.

    Will this spell some kind of sea change at Fake? Hard to say. One would like to hope so, but I will continue to prepare for worse.

    I did hold my nose to watch this clip. Sadly I wanted the Rover to look even more desparate than he did. Karma’s meant to be a bitch, and it sure’d be nice for KKKarl to be bitch-slapped real long & hard very very soon. Maybe he was fearing the retribution of Big Guido being sent by Sheldon & the Kochs to knee-cap him on his supposedly “Sure Bet Mitt”??? I can dream, can’t I?

    • cocktailhag says:

      I wouldn’t want to be in Rove’s shoes right now….. He may have to get a real job for the first time in his whole, miserable life.
      Boo f*cking hoo.

  7. mikeinportc says:

    Megyn Kelly (essentially) asking ol’ Turdblossom if he was just making shit up , was priceless. Had to doublecheck, to make sure it was actually Fox.
    She might have had to take that long walk, to make up for the moment of actual journalism. Don’t want to get Banfielded. ;)

    • cocktailhag says:

      That doesn’t generally happen at Fox, which is odd. I would think Shep Smith and even Chris Wallace would have been fired by now for their various heresies, but they haven’t. I guess there’s yet another double standard to go with IOKIYAR; IOKIYAF.