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Rove's Legacy: Media Spin Master

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I remember when Bush first got elected…and for several months there I was impressed at how tightly controlled the message was. And while I certainly wasn’t a fan of the man…I was a fan of the plan to make him seem like he was completely in control.

But who was responsible? Surely it wasn’t Bush.

That’s when I found out about Karl Rove, and started to discover how he deftly spun the media wherever he went. Sure, there were naysayers, but they were usually relegated to the dustbins of history.

And so it’s fitting that for one of Rove’s final acts…he controlled the message yet again…

WASHINGTON On the day it was revealed that the man credited with putting President Bush in the White House was quitting, there were no banner headlines in the country’s major newspapers. There was no mention of it on the front page of The Washington Post, The New York Times or USA Today.

That’s because Karl Rove, Bush’s close friend and chief political strategist, chose to quietly make the announcement through an interview with longtime acquaintance Paul Gigot, the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal. […]

The Journal, which is owned by Dow Jones & Co., told readers on the front page of its Monday editions to turn to the editorial pages for the “why” behind the Rove story. There, Gigot revealed Rove’s resignation in a lengthy recap of his soft-hitting interview with the longtime Bush adviser, held in Rove’s “book-lined living room of his townhome on Saturday afternoon.” […]

“Rove has done this very skillfully, he’s the master of spin,” said Louis Ureneck, chair of the journalism department at Boston University. “He selected a friendly environment in which to make his announcement and in a sense control the message. If he had told a reporter, he likely would have faced tougher questions.”

I admire not the deeds, but his ability to do it for so long and get Bush elected twice. That feat along makes him a genius, as much as it makes me cringe to say that word in the same sentence with Rove’s name.

However, what his legacy will ultimately be is just that…a master of spin. Because not only did he spin the country into 8 years of Bush, but he also spun the GOP right out of the majority, possibly for years to come.

And there you have it.