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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Karl Rove's Cookies

I don't like posting this so long after the events, but I submitted it to the New York Times op-ed page. I never got a response, though, so here it is . . .

On November 5th, the day after Barack Obama won the Presidential election, Chris Wallace appeared on the Daily Show. He was armed with a cookie.

The infamous Karl Rove had visited Fox News that day, according to Wallace, and he had been giving out cookies in the shape of HD televisions and sporting the Fox News logo. Wallace said that this cookie was especially selected by Karl Rove for Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

It was a funny moment, and everybody wondered if left-leaning Stewart would dare to eat the Republican cookie. Stewart took a huge bite and chewed it for a moment before spitting it out, saying Karl Rove buys crappy cookies.

That same day, Fox News went loose on Governor Palin.

Fox News' Chief Political Correspondent, Carl Cameron, was on the air explaining that anonymous sources from within the McCain campaign had finally been allowed to speak freely about how difficult Palin had been during the campaign, how she didn't respond well to management, how she threw temper tantrums, how she didn't know Africa was a continent, and so on. Cameron was soon on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" selling the same story.

The Fox story has now been picked up by all the major media outlets. The sources remain anonymous.

Did Karl Rove just happen to bring a load of crappy cookies to Fox News on the same day they aired reports from anonymous sources that Governor Palin had been creating problems within the McCain campaign?

We have been told that these sources, and Fox News, are finally coming clean, finally telling the public what they were forbidden to share before the election was over.

We could believe that.

Or, we could think this is all a political game meant to bury Palin and divert attention away from the Republican party's failure to win the Presidency

There's no way Fox News is going to promote conflict within the Republican party unless they have a good reason--a reason sanctioned by those high up in the party itself. And who is more likely to give the green light than Karl Rove?

The Fox News story is most likely a careful mixture of fact and fiction, a finely spun tale just believable enough to wash, and just dirty enough to get the job done.

It's sad to see all the major media outlets picking up this story, playing into Rove's hand. Sure, it's easy to criticize Palin, and she may deserve a lot of it. But we shouldn't get so caught up in the offensive that we forget how this game is played.

Those are some crappy cookies, indeed, Mr. Rove.