Gabriel Sherman has an amazing piece about the on-air meltdown at Fox News over the decision to call Ohio for President Obama last night, which contains this charming detail:
With neither side backing down, senior producers had to find a way to split the difference. One idea was for two members of the decision team, Mishkin and Fox’s digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt, to go on camera with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier to squelch the doubts over the call. But then it was decided that Kelly would walk through the office and interview the decision team in the conference room. “This is Fox News,” an insider said, “so anytime there’s a chance to show off Megyn Kelly’s legs they’ll go for it.” The decision desk were given a three-minute warning that Kelly would be showing up.
I suppose when a substantial part of your brand, in addition to hiring commentators for their inflammatory qualities rather than actual credentials, is hiring extremely attractive women, it makes sense to use the assets you’ve invested in. But the decision by the channel last night to break the firewall between its anchors and its decision team on behalf of a contributor, Karl Rove, who helped shepherd hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the outcome of an election and didn’t want to hear the final verdict on his investment, was already a sham, another illustration of a conservative allergy to facts and data. Sending an attractive woman to do that embarrassing work–rather than letting her continue to do her anchoring job, at which Kelly is frequently a credit to the network–on Rove’s behalf, to fake concern for the integrity of election results, and to send her in part so you can get her legs out from behind her desk, is strikingly juvenile and strikingly retrograde.