At 11.13 Eastern Time US Fox News called Ohio for Obama. That was it. Romney had lost. Fox could no longer fight the facts any longer. Or could they?
On calling Ohio for Obama and thus wiping out Romney’s only slightly realistic route to Electoral College victory Fox News presenters Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly were baffled but accepting.
“It’s a major setback for Romney.” exclaims Baier. Yes Brett, he’s lost the election, so it’s about as big a setback as someone trying to be President could get.
“What does it mean?” Asks Kelly.
“That’s it, the President has won.” Explains Baier.
Having come back from the break the Obama win is sinking in. It’s nearly half eleven at night here now and every other network is calling the election for Obama. People are cheering and whooping outside my window in New York. The Empire State Building has turned blue for Barack. It’s a done deal.
To conclude, the hosts turn to Chris Matthews and Republican King Pin Karl Rove. Bear in mind Karl Rove claimed Romney would win comfortably with at least 285 votes. He is here as an expert.
Matthews explains how he has “great respect for our Decision Desk” but that Rove is still claiming the election is not over.
Rove is asked: "Do you believe Ohio is decided?"
“No. This is premature." says Rove before banging on for ages just barking out numbers and names of counties.
Hosts Baier and Kelly are in shock. Kelly says, "That's awkward". Kelly had already lost her rag with Rove earlier in the night when despite a clear coming loss for Romney she said to Rove "Is this math you do as a Republican to make you feel better or is this real?”
Back to now and Brett Baier looks off screen. It appears Fox are going to run with this. One man in America thinks the election is being called too early and thus one of the most watched news channels has to follow it up. It’s not as if Rove has any history of being a part of a dodgy election call before…
Kelly has no choice and knows she has to reach out to the Fox News Decision Team “We are going to interview them" she tells us.
As Kelly is now striding through the corridors heading to the room where the election experts that were hired by Fox to call the election are, it becomes clear that Fox News has jumped the shark.
Kelly opens up the idea that is all a rehearsed bit of electoral subterfuge by explaining that:
“When we practiced this before the audio went out.”“Can you hear me Megyn?” Asks Baier back in the studio. She can’t.
Kelly is in the room with the decision team. She asks how they feel about their call.
"We are quite comfortable with our call." Responds the Fox hired expert, fighting back the urge to explain how the entire world has already called the election and that the Ohio Republicans have literally packed up and gone home
“Explain his theory? And why you disagree with it.” Asks Kelly. Rove’s partisan insanity has now been upgraded to a theory. Holding a higher ground on Fox than evolution and climate change.
“It's not I disagree with his theory. It’s just the polling, the history is so strong.” The fella there, trying to prove his points with history and facts.
Kelly asks what his “Percent certainty is?”
“99.9 %” Claims the Decision team member. Will Rove claim that with 0.01% of that mans opinion still to report that this is call is premature?
Is Karl backing down? Nope. Not even a little bit.
Megyn Kelly, now back in the studio can't believe it. Think of all the mad stuff she has seen on Fox through the years and she is shocked. Rove is just babbling now muttering numbers and counties. Frightening.
"We had one instance of something being prematurely erroneously called,” explains Rove. When he and his team stole an election from Al Gore in 2000. Perhaps he fancies another go.
Megyn Kelly now furiously shouts at Rove "You know how science works"? Again, a bold call on Fox to a Republican…
Fox then show footage of the Chicago crowd dancing and whooping to the Obama victory that happened everywhere else on earth except that one Fox Studio. Kelly, now my favourite person in America says: “The folks in Chicago aren't listening to Karl. They don't care what Karl says”
They go to a commercial. After a few minutes of Gold ads aimed at scared old people we hear Baier say "Welcome back to Fox News" then cut straight back to commercial. Imagining a feral Rove tearing up the studio.
Fox finally returns to the head of the Decision Team calmly sat next to Rove slowly explaining why he is wrong. It is a scene from a doctor’s surgery telling a man that he needs to stop bathing in his own mess.
"I'm sensitive about this,” explains Rove. As if because he can’t handle Obama smashing Romney in the Electoral College is enough for a national recount.
After five minutes Rove slowly realises the game is up and admits defeat.
Kelly, overjoyed she can finally go home says “We are all on the same page now, between two brilliant people.”
After that farce no one could possibly think Rove is brilliant ever again. Or that Fox are on the same page as reality.
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