One of the most amazing events of election night was likely missed by many viewers if they were not tuned in to Fox News Channel at just the right time. In the video below Fox News political analyst, former Bush senior adviser, and the man behind the Super PAC Crossroads GPS, argues with network’s decision to call Ohio for the incumbent.
What appears to happen is that Rove overrides the messages coming from the directors and sends Megyn Kelly on a bizarre journey deep into the bowels of the network to confront the back-end analysts who are making the state calls. The whole episode is notable since it is obviously unscripted and offers a glimpse into the way media outlets stage manage election nights.
As a media outlet Fox has always been slightly suspect due to their often open political allegiances and advocacy on a number of social and political issues. But last night showcased how strained that relationship can become as the elements of the organization geared towards traditional movement activities like framing and motivating the base, came into confrontation with the media business side of things which, as can be seen, at the end of the day is what Fox is actually invested in.
And for viewers and scholars of social movements we are left with a vivid example of what can happen when a movement gets too comfortable with a media ally and expects a certain degree of compliance, forgetting that ultimately mass media will often work with certain movements, but that their goals will nearly always be something different from the movement’s.