December 6, 2012

Where does this guy, the one on the left, sit at Fox News? (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Listen to the mediablabbo-complex these days, and word is that Karl Rove is “benched” at Fox News, thanks to his Ohio-denial act of Election Night on Fox News’s air.

A quick look at www.rove.com/appearances, however, may suggest otherwise. This page is commonly updated on Thursdays, and it contains these appointments for the political guru:

UPCOMING APPEARANCES
Special Report with Bret Baier
FOX NEWS CHANNEL | DECEMBER 10, 2012
6:00 PM ET
Varney & Co.
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK | DECEMBER 13, 2012
9:20 AM ET

Conclusive proof that Rove isn’t “benched,” that he’s all good at Fox News?

Not necessarily. The wellspring of the “benched” talk, after all, is a carefully articulated scooplet from Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine. It states this:

According to multiple Fox sources, Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris.

The New York Magazine article indicates that a Fox spokesperson confirmed the new rules around appearances for Rove and Morris. Perhaps, then, Rove’s upcoming appearances cleared the requisite procedural hurdles. Or they could have been grandfathered in before the new rules took effect. Or the rules could be toothless. Or Fox never intended the rules to actually curb Rove’s appearances; it merely wanted to reap a PR benefit from media stories touting the “benching” of Rove. Or not. Or something else.

An inquiry to Fox News on this matter didn’t receive an immediate response.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.