On big news nights, when the sort of people who don’t watch Fox News every night are more likely to turn it on, the channel nearly always puts its best face forward. The real crazies aren’t invited.
The idiots and most grotesque race-baiters and conspiracy theorists and worst hacks wait patiently until the next morning, when Fox & Friends resumes as scheduled with its usual audience of credulous and furious old white people.
So last night we got Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Brit Hume and Chris Wallace hosting a roster of oddly reasonable pundits and analysts, from Juan Williams to Karl Rove and Joe Trippi.
Of course all of those people are horrible and mendacious in their own special ways. But they’re not Sean Hannity. That’s the point. Dick Morris wasn’t invited. Donald Trump didn’t call in. Michael Barone was on hand, but of the people who got the election disastrously, hilariously wrong last night, he’s probably the least clownish.
Bill O’Reilly performed the night’s most explicitly racial outburst, but O’Reilly has wholly reinvented himself for the Obama era as a Fox moderate. He’s now the guy who says the president’s not so bad, not even that extreme, just a bit too liberal for his taste.