Karl Rove and his whiteboard are about to become a faded memory for Fox News viewers.
Fox President Roger Ailes has drastically limited both Rove’s and conservative commentator Dick Morris’ exposure on the network’s airwaves. New York magazine is reporting that Senior Vice President of Programming Bill Shine has ordered all show producers to get permission from network execs before booking either pundit. His explanation was a terse, “The election is over.”
Both Rove and Morris were prominent on Fox’s programs in the months and weeks leading up to the November election. They were at the forefront of the anti-Obama crusade and were leading members of the don’t-trust-the-polls crowd. Two days before the election, Morris predicted that Mitt Romney would win “by a landslide” with 325 votes in the Electoral College. Rove’s detachment from reality prompted him to sketch out on a whiteboard his case against the statisticians, and prompted his now-notorious refusal to accept even Fox News’ own call that Ohio had gone to President Obama, sealing his re-election.
The decision to bench Rove and Morris comes at a time when Fox News lacks a clear message and the network’s constituency, the GOP right, is disheartened and drifting. Some Republicans are trying to re-brand themselves and their party. Will Fox News lead them or remain in its alternate universe?