(UPDATED) Why “FoxNews = Faux News”: Planned, Staged, Scripted Outrage “Breaking News” During Election Night Coverage
(4pm 11/8/12: Updated as apparently others are now questioning Karl Rove’s role in this on-air farce.)
Below is a clip of Rove from Election Night:
“The first thing that came to my mind, the first thing burned in everyone’s mind, is Florida 2000,” said Michael Clemente, the Fox News executive vice president for news. “And the minute you hear, ‘Hold the phone,’ you sort of get that oh-my-goodness feeling.”
So Mr. Clemente, who was one floor up in the control room, decided with his team of producers to allow Mr. Rove to say on television what he was finding and hearing from the Romney campaign: that the numbers coming out of Ohio were not necessarily adding up to an Obama victory.
Fox News then let its decision team respond, a logistically difficult task considering it was holed up in a room about 30 yards down the hall from the studio.
So at 11:33 p.m., Megyn Kelly, an anchor known for her no-nonsense style, began her walk down the hall and did the questioning.
The leader of the decision team, Arnon Mishkin, laid out its case, with some help from a more polished television presence, Chris Stirewalt.
“Arnon doesn’t do TV very often, and Megyn can be very pointed,” Mr. Clemente said. “So I said let’s have Arnon with the facts, and Chris — because he’s on TV every day — to put it in English.”
By that point Fox had already declared Mr. Obama not just the winner of Ohio, but the winner of the presidency. And when Mr. Rove next appeared on camera, his demeanor was more deflated.
So do we now have a FoxNews executive VP lying to cover up these misdeeds? At what point does their electioneering and blatant misinformation, given out to audiences when the polls were still open in some states, be seen as manipulative? Will the FCC investigate or other media outlets call Fox out?
Much still needs to be seen.
From the video clip’s description:
“Fox News called Ohio for Obama, Karl Rove challenged the decision on-air, causing what can only be described as a kernel panic. Fox News’ decision desk, its institutional center of authority for making sound election calls, had issued its decision. And Fox News, in its capacity as a newsgathering operation, had called the election for Obama. But Karl Rove, Fox News’ ideological paymaster, challenged the decision. So Megyn Kelly got out of her anchor chair, walked down the hall, and interrogated her own highly trained election analysts on Rove’s behalf.”
Okay, now let’s examine that tape a bit.
- (0:07-0:12) Apparently “Fair and Balanced” doesn’t apply to the riser nor stairs that the Fox News reporters navigate, as co-host Bret Baier escorts Ms. Kelley down the treacherous 2 steps on her way to confront the analysts.
(0:19 mark onward) FoxNews host Megan Kelley begins her now infamous “Walk of Shame” to “try to get to the bottom of this”.
(1:07)That awkward moment when Kelley, in a moment of unscripted ad-libbing, openly admits to the viewing audience that she- and others- had previously rehearsed and scripted this lil stunt.
We are watching the host, during Election Night coverage, get up and leave her seat, taking with her multiple camera and light crews, positioned in front and behind her. No one questions her doing this, nor seems even slightly surprised by her decision to stroll about the studio on a self-propelled field trip.
We later hear the host herself admit THAT THEY HAD REHEARSED THIS WALK BEFOREHAND, lamenting that same as before, her audio cuts out around a corner. An unidentified man speaks into the audio feed, asking if she can hear him and registers no surprise that she does not respond, nor has he spoken up questioning her before this point.
This photo found online was taken three days before the election. Note that Kelley is wearing jeans for the rehearsal but the same top as Election Night, all the better to let the audience focus on her gams.
(We’ll ignore the long established sexism within the entire network for the moment…)
What does this mean? How did the producers decide this stunt Megan Kelley pulled might prove to be necessary?
Fox News- and Karl Rove- knew the numbers in advance that they were reporting in the waning moments of the campaign season were NOT accurate and so were bracing for tremendous backlash with their audience and financial backers. They KNEW there was a strong possibility that they were going to lose- and big.
$390 MILLION dollars spent by TPTB- and they lost. Not just the White House but so many other races and decisions across the country.
So, Fox set up this ridiculous farce as CYA, damage control, a contingency plan- whatever you want to call it. The photo, dated November 4, is the smoking gun.
While others in media insist this was a moment of in-fighting, the fact remains that the photos show clearly that what happened on Election Night on FauxNews was calculated and planned.