Is there anything more cynical than presenting Karl Rove as some kind of independent analyst to comment upon the Democratic National Convention? That’s exactly what Fox News has been doing. Last night, The O’Reilly Factor, that supposed zone of “no spin,” called upon Rove to dissect Bill Clinton’s speech the night before. There was no discussion about how Rove just happens to be a power player in the Republican party.
Instead, O’Reilly asked Rove to “give me a grade” on Clinton’s speech. Surprise! Surprise! Rove used the opportunity to attack President Obama, O’Reilly feigned balance by saying he thought Clinton’s pro-Obama speech was “effective.” Nice trick! Give Karl Rove an opportunity to do his thing and then distance yourself from what you’ve done by sort of arguing the other side.
I say “sort of” because O’Reilly went on to criticize Clinton’s speech as “too long” and saying that while Clinton “did what he had to do” by making Obama “sympathetic,” he did not make Obama “authoritative.”
Rove agreed, saying that Clinton made Obama look “weaker.” In fact, that was an opening for Rove to go on a long, anti-Obama rant about “all these explicit promises that have not come to pass” and that Clinton’s speech was “not exactly the strongest expression of support.”
“That’s right,” O’Reilly agreed, adding that Clinton “set the table” for people to feel sorry for Obama. But then O’Reilly set off on his own attacks: “Nobody’s mentioning gas prices which I think are going to be big,” he said. He added that if he were Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, “I’d be going all over the place on the gas prices.”
Not to worry! Rove assured O’Reilly that there will be lots of ads on the subject by “full disclosure” American Crossroads. Rove seemed to think that saying “full disclosure” was all the disclosure he needed about his relationship with that group and just how intertwined with Republican politics they are. But O’Reilly didn’t want to bother his viewers with those pesky details. All part of his job of looking out for us, no doubt.
By the way, it wasn't just O'Reilly. Rove was back on Fox News later that night after President Obama's speech for some more "analysis" with Greta Van Susteren.
A query off-topic: does anybody know how many of the 300,000-odd people who dropped out of the job market in August were baby-boomers leaving on retirement?