Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Karl Rove Throws “Conflict of Interest” Stones At Gwen Ifill From His Own Glass House On FOX News

Reported by Ellen - October 2, 2008 -

As chrish predicted, the FOX News hissy fit du jour yesterday (10/1/08) was about debate moderator Gwen Ifill's supposed conflict of interest. She is writing a book about African American politics “in the age of Obama” and ipso facto the GOP network FOX News has decided that means that she is pro Obama with a conflict of interest. Never mind that this information was available weeks before McCain agreed to have Ifill moderate the Vice Presidential debate. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the outrage developed in the wake of Palin's increasingly disastrous interviews which have prompted several prominent conservatives to question her capability. Republican Karl Rove joined the "conflict of interest" whine fest while concealing, as he usually does, his own role as an informal advisor to the McCain campaign and appearing on FOX News as a supposedly detached political observer. With video.

It was another unbalanced night on Hannity & Colmes last night (10/1/08), another night where partisanship trumped all, even on the night the United States Senate voted for a $700 billion bailout for the finance industry. The show spent a good amount of time with a couple of FOX News reporters discussing the Senate vote. But the only analysts were Republicans: Rove and former Congressman Dennis Hastert, neither of whom have any notable acumen on the economy or finances. In a clear indication that FOX News was more interested in the political angle than anything else, Rove spent the entire hour with the show. Not once was his connection to McCain mentioned.

At the end of the show, Hannity and Rove turned to the “issue” of Ifill. Hannity began with an untruth. He said, “We found out tonight that the moderator, PBS journalist Gwen Ifill, is in fact writing a book due out on Inauguration Day. It's called The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. A lot of people feel - apparently the McCain campaign didn't know about it – a lot of people feel that this is a clear conflict of interest.”

As I posted above, Ifill's book was public information for two weeks before the McCain camp agreed to the debate moderators. If they didn't know, they ought to blame themselves, not Ifill. But either the “We report. You decide” network didn't do its work either or it didn't live up to its own motto.

With a straight face, Rove, the McCain advisor identified only as “FOX News Contributor” by the banner on the screen, said, “She had an obligation to raise this. She needed to be thoughtful about this and raise this a potential conflict of interest... It's a problem.” Rather than consider any McCain incompetence, Rove went on to blame the debate commission for not asking if anyone had a conflict of interest. He added, “This is appalling that (Ifill) did not have the sensibility that this would be a potential conflict.”

Hannity continued by asking Rove what advice he had for Sarah Palin in the debate the following night.

“Be yourself,” Rove said. He went on to repeat his outlandish allegation that Palin had been over-prepared for her CBS interviews with Katie Couric. After extolling Palin's convention speech as “exciting, fresh and new and herself” (and scripted, which he did not mention), Rove said, “And I saw somebody in the (Charles) Gibson interview who did a pretty good job. And in the Couric interview it looked like they had stuffed her with too many facts and prepped her just like they over-prepped Ronald Reagan for debates.”

Sure she was. She just had so many facts in her l'il head that she couldn't think of a single instance of John McCain calling for more oversight of Wall Street, a single newspaper or magazine she reads, a single Supreme Court decision she disagrees with (other than Roe v. Wade) and continued to insist that living near Russia enhanced her foreign policy credentials. I'm sure all that was scripted, probably to enhance her “Joe Sixpack” image. Right.