By now, most of you have no doubt seen or read about the election-night stare-down between the anchors at Fox News and Karl Rove, who, apart from running a “super PAC” that aimed to defeat the president, also served as an on-air commentator. While news outlets love access to insiders, Mr. Rove’s two roles seemed to be in profound conflict after Fox’s decision desk projected that the president had won Ohio, all but guaranteeing him re-election. Mr. Rove said that the call was premature and that the decision desk was ignoring important data.
While Fox News allowed him to say his piece, it didn’t cave — and, more important, it didn’t question the legitimacy of the election over all, a move that could have led to all manner of unhealthy speculation.
The best journalistic instincts of Fox’s news people kicked in and the hard reality of Mr. Obama’s triumph was allowed to land as it occurred. In doing so, the network avoided marginalizing itself and ended, at least for a night, its war on the president.