Karl Rove's and Sarah Palin's Fox News Feud

Hell hath no fury like a maybe-presidential candidate scorned

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Earlier this month two Fox News hosts admitted they were scared to say mean things about their fellow Fox employee Sarah Palin. "I'll be honest," The Five co-host Bob Beckel said, "I've pulled my punches on her." What were they so afraid of? Greg Gutfeld said it'd be awkward to see her in the hallway; Beckel mentioned his paycheck. But, as Karl Rove saw today, there's another danger: the angry Palin blog post.

On Fox News Sunday, Karl Rove predicted Palin would get into the presidential race during her September 3 trip to Iowa. Palin "has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity," said Rove--who has been urging more establishment Republicans to get into the 2012 race. "This is her last chance... She either gets in or gets out. I think she gets in." Palin clearly didn't like being backed into that corner very much. Tuesday, Palin's political action committee posted this unsigned note on its website:
Three years ago DC pundits predicted with glee the demise of Sarah Palin's political career. This past weekend their tune changed, citing false information that she has made a decision and set a date regarding a future campaign. Any professional pundit claiming to have "inside information" regarding Governor Palin's personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the American public. These are the same tired establishment political games that fuel the 24 hour news cycle and that all Americans will hopefully reject in 2012, and this is more of the "politics-as-usual" that Sarah Palin has fought against throughout her career. 
[emphasis added.]
The note is a shot at Rove, Politico's Mike Allen writes. "It left no doubt that he was the subject of Ms. Palin's ire," agrees Jeff Zeleny at The New York Times' The Caucus.
For the record, Gutfeld and Beckel later claimed they were joking--and if anyone at Fox had asked them go lay off a politician, "I'd punch them out," Beckel said.
Still, it's interesting to see what happened to one of the few Fox personalities who actually attacked Palin on camera--though accidentally. In November 2010, former New York Times reporter Judy Miller was caught on camera mocking Palin's reality show during a commercial break. Miller noted the terrible reviews of Palin's TLC show in The Times and The Washington Post. The latter's review, she said, noted "the sound of [Palin's] voice when warning you to heed the bears would actually scare the bears!" At that, Miller laughed derisively, like born-and-bred Mean Girl.
Miller sounded very different the next time she talked about Palin, in June. Referring to the media frenzy surrounding Palin's bus tour of early voting states:
You know, the other thing that strikes me about Sarah Palin is how much the media, some in the media really do hate her. I mean, the commentary, Gloria Borger saying, "Okay, get on with it already and stop tweeting trying to tweet your way into relevance." I mean, there’ve been some really, really nasty comments about her...
How do you get elected president--if she is running, and we still don't know--how do you get elected president with such hostility on the part of the lamestream media, as she calls us? ... I'm saying it's really hard to overcome dislike and intense hatred of that kind.
But Miller's case shows it's definitely possible to overcome that dislike, one Fox contributor at a time.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.