Tuesday night's other big losers? Network pundits
As Mitt Romney's presidential ambitions slipped from his grasp Tuesday night, one group of people was having its own night of fails: the media.
Pundits across all networks inserted feet directly into mouths, delivering major gaffes, starting silly tiffs, or appearing to be in somewhat altered states. Here are some of the highlights:
- Karl Rove, Fox News: The former adviser to George W. Bush had a near-meltdown after his own network called Ohio for President Barack Obama, all but arguing with the networks hosts who were interviewing him.
Rove's argument was that it was too early to call the battleground state because many votes had yet to be counted, but the network's own decision team was confident enough in its conclusion to unequivocally make the call.
According to New York magazine, Romney campaign was "screaming" at Fox, and Rove aired their complaints live. In time, he backpedaled his argument, grudgingly accepting the decision, and appeared on the network's morning show "Fox and Friends" - with no mention of his trantrum.
- Chris Matthews, MSNBC: This MSNBC anchor's big "oops" moment came when he said he was "glad we had that storm last week," referring to Hurricane Sandy, because it "brought in possibilities for good politics."
The backlash was immediate, and Matthews clarified moments later, tweeting: "Obviously I wasn't talking about the horror of the storm. I grew up on the Jersey shore."
Still, his remarks drew rebuke from media on both sides of the political spectrum.
- Diane Sawyer, ABC: In the most bizarre of election night media foibles, the ABC anchor delivered a loopy performance, slurring through her words and becoming overly excitable and fixating on odd distractions.
Her behavior fueled online speculation that she was less than sober, with bloggers racking up pageviews with videos of her and someone even registering the twitter account @DrnkDianeSawyer.
Sawyer implicitly acknowledged the rumors on Twitter, saying that she read all her followers tweets: "... the good, bad and funny." While the drunk story was more entertaining, many outlets chalked it up to simple sleep depravation from days of prep. (ABC didn't requests calls for comment.)
- Brian Williams, NBC: Williams Tuesday night called out Donald Trump's continued prodding of Obama, saying that the real estate mogul "has driven well past the last exit to relevance and peered into something closer to irresponsible here."
Not one to shy away from a fight, Trump quickly rebutted on Twitter, calling him a "dummy" and accusing him of being "never a smart guy."
"The only thing more boring than @bwilliams newscast is his show Rock Center which is totally dying in the ratings--a disaster!" he tweeted.