From Karl Rove's Mouth, To A GOP Talking Point, To Fox's Ear

Fox contributor Karl Rove lobbed a line of attack at President Obama during a Fox News Sunday appearance that quickly found its way into a Monday morning Republican press release. While the release was being distributed, Rove returned to Fox to repeat the talking points -- the latest example of Fox News' role as the communication arm of the Republican Party.

Rove, a Fox political analyst, appeared on Fox News Sunday on September 8, where he slammed the president's response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons, telling host Chris Wallace, “It's a [sic] amateur hour at the White House.”

The next morning, Rove's line popped up as the lead talking point for the National Republican Senatorial Committee's (NRSC) daily email “Daybreak,” reportedly blasted to its listserv with the subject line “Amateur Hour” (albeit with “Amateur” misspelled). In the email, the NRSC charged: (emphasis added)

[O]nce again the country finds itself watching the President fail to rally lawmakers and citizens to his cause.  To put it more bluntly, has any other two term President been as ineffective in lobbying Congress and motivating the public to support the initiatives that he wants to see passed? It's amateur hour at the White House.

The same morning, Fox News promoted Rove's “amateur hour” line -- now a Republican talking point -- and invited him on the network to talk about it.

On America's Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum introduced Rove by saying, “Karl Rove over the weekend slamming President Obama for failing to get a decision on a Syria attack before leaving for the G-20 summit last week,” followed by the clip of Rove saying “It's a [sic] amateur hour at the White House” on Fox News Sunday. 

During the segment, while Rove lobbed more criticisms at the president over his handling of Syria, Fox repeated Rove's “amateur hour” statement in on-screen text:

Rove's precarious position as a paid Fox contributor who actively participates in Republican politics is well documented -- the network has given heaps of free airtime to ads from the Rove-founded super PAC American Crossroads, often hosting Rove himself to promote the PAC. Several Fox programs have even invited Rove on to discuss political campaigns in which he and Crossroads were actively involved.

Rove's formation of the NRSC talking points, created on Fox and then promoted by Fox, is the latest iteration of the Fox Cycle, in which Fox works as the de facto communications arm of the Republican Party. During the 2011-2012 election cycle, 32 Fox News figures traveled across the country to campaign and fundraise for Republicans, most notably presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The network helped craft the 2012 Republican National Convention theme and even produced its own anti-Obama campaign ad