Fox Benches Rove. Will The Wall Street Journal?

Rove WSJFox News has reportedly decided to limit Karl Rove's appearances on the network. This raises the question of whether Fox's corporate cousin The Wall Street Journal will decide to take similar action.

According to a December 4 report from New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, producers must now get permission from Fox News executive vice president for programming Bill Shine before booking Rove. Notably, the new rule comes not due to Rove's panoply of ethical misdeeds, but rather because of the political analyst's on-air election night meltdown, in which he insisted that the network had been wrong to call Ohio for President Obama.

Sherman wrote that his sources say that Fox News chief Roger Ailes had worried that the incident had diminished the network's brand; it “provided another data point for Fox's critics.” A Fox spokesperson who confirmed the booking rule told the New York reporter that “Shine's message was 'the election's over.'”

Rove spent the election cycle using his weekly Journal column to forward the financial interests of the political groups he founded, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. After significant criticism, the paper finally began disclosing Rove's ties to those organizations. His column continues to appear in the Journal, and in mid-November he provided the paper's website with an extensive interview touching on the futures of the Republican Party and super PACs, the Latino vote, and the current budget negotiations.

It remains to be seen whether the Journal has similar concerns regarding Rove's impact on their brand. A request for comment to the paper and its opinion page editor, Paul Gigot, was not immediately returned.