Sources told the magazine that in an effort to protect the company’s brand, Fox News chief Roger Ailes has issued new orders to staff that faces associated with election coverage must go off air. Additionally, programming chief Bill Shine has reportedly sent orders that producers must get permission before booking them.
A network spokesperson confirmed these rules with the magazine and that message is simply “the election’s over.”
News of the benching of Rove and Morris came weeks after Rove’s public meltdown on air on election night, when President Barack Obama won re-election. Several sources told the magazine that Ailes wasn’t pleased with Rove’s behavior after the network called the presidency for Obama.
Rove, who actively worked to get Republican candidate Mitt Romney elected, was in denial, questioning the network’s judgment, and was trying to figure out how his candidate could still capture Ohio. [See the video below.]
“You gotta be careful about calling things when we have like 991 votes separating the two candidates and a quarter of the votes yet to count,” Rove said.
Producers sent anchor Megyn Kelly to talk to the election team, live, to find out if Fox News statisticians stood by their call. They were “quite comfortable” with the call in Ohio, especially with many Obama votes still outstanding.
Still a blubbering mess, Rove responded that in 2000 things were prematurely called: “It looks a little odd for us to be making a call,” Rove said.
Morris is a former political adviser to former President Bill Clinton. He worked as a Republican strategist before joining that administration. This year, Morris falsely predicted Romney would win in an electoral landslide.