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Karl Rove's New Gig

Karl Rove and George Bush in Austin in 1999, on the road to the White House (AP).

Less than three months after leaving the Bush White House, Karl Rove is becoming a member of a community not all that popular with administration officials: the media.

Newsweek has signed the president's former deputy chief of staff as a commentator who will turn out several columns on the 2008 campaign through inauguration day. The move is not likely to prove popular among liberals who believe the mainstream media have been too soft on the Bush administration.

"We want to give readers a feel for what it's like to be on the inside," says Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham. "Our readers are sophisticated enough to know that what they get from Karl has to be judged in the context of who Karl is...Readers will have to decide if he's simply an apologist."

Newsweek (which is owned by The Washington Post Co.) will announce tomorrow that it is granting regular space to both Rove and Markos Moulitsas, the liberal firebrand who founded the Web site Daily Kos. "I'm fully prepared for both the right-wing and left-wing blogosphere to be outraged, which means we're doing our job," Meacham says.

Rove, a longtime confidant of George W. Bush, rarely granted on-the-record interviews during his 6-1/2 years in the White House, and he wasn't shy about criticizing the press.

In a speech last year, Rove said that journalists often derided political professionals, perhaps because "they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance." On another occasion, he said the press has an "obsessive reliance" on polls and that news organizations unfairly created the impression in 2001 that the president's No Child Left Behind bill was stalled in Congress.

Rove was a source in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame for columnist Robert Novak and then-Time correspondent Matthew Cooper, and his repeated grand jury testimony in the case drew intensive coverage.

Often dubbed "Bush's Brain" or "The Architect," Rove received considerable credit for Republican victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004, and substantial blame for the GOP losing control of Congress last year.

He even bypassed the mainstream press in leaking his resignation to the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Rove said he ignored media criticism, telling Rush Limbaugh: "If you have to wake up in the morning to be validated by the editorial page of the New York Times, you've got a pretty sorry existence."

The movement of politicians and strategists into media roles was deemed controversial when the Times hired Nixon White House aide William Safire as a columnist in 1973, but has since become commonplace.

The Post and Newsweek hired Michael Gerson, Bush's chief speechwriter, as a columnist soon after he left the White House. George Stephanopoulos, now ABC's chief Washington correspondent, joined the network shortly after leaving the Clinton White House. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is a Fox News commentator, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum just signed on as a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist.

Meacham says he contacted Rove the day he announced his resignation. He says Newsweek will insist on disclosing any fundraising or partisan activity on the part of Rove and Moulitsas.

"Love him or hate him, Karl Rove has been at the center of the American political story for the last few years," Meacham says.

--Howard Kurtz

By Washington Post editors  |  November 15, 2007; 1:16 PM ET
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As the "architect" of the last two fraudulent elections for Bush, Rove would be in jail based on evidence gathered by Greg Palast, Rep. John Conyers and others, if it weren't for most Democrats' cowardice and media laziness. Jon Meacham equates opinion on the Right and Left and uses the old chestnut that if he receives protests from both sides he must be doing his job right. Well, this presumes zilch judgment on his part. Why not hire Tom DeLay? or any other discredited Republican? The Republicans can only hold onto power by cheating, subverting the democratic process by passing prejudicial laws requiring voter IDs, another Rove brainchild, supposedly addressing a truly non-existent problem. People like Rove should be behind bars, not writing in a once respectable newspaper, and the fact that Meacham doesn't understand this should disqualify him for the job.

Posted by: jssphoto | January 13, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Excellent move. Rove can out-communicate and out-think your resident NeoCom* chorus in a walk.


Posted by: brianfh01 | November 17, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

As someone who remembers Kay Graham's courage in backing this newspaper as it exposed the illegality of the Nixon Administration, I find it painful to see a magazine she owned and nurtured stooping to giving Rove a platform and ignoring how much more damage he has done to traditional American standards than Nixon ever dared to dream of doing:

Posted by: connectdots | November 16, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

The very last thing I ever want to do is read or hear anything more that Rove has to say! I follow other more ethical conservative columnists to keep well informed as a leftie moderate but Rove doesn't fit into that class.

So as not to raise my blood pressure weekly, I am canceling my subscription to Newsweek. I'm sure they will never miss me after all these years. A right winger will gladly take my place. If I want partisan politics, I will look on the web, not go to weekly news magazines!

Posted by: rain39 | November 16, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

In this case the fox will actually be paid to move into the chicken coop. The chances of Rove not using his roost to further the same old tired raft of ideas that got us here is ZERO.

Posted by: willandjansdad | November 16, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow. All these folks cancelling their subscription to Newsweek upon the hiring of Rove. I never realized that you HAVE to read EVERY article or column in the magazine! That's odd, though: my Newsweek magazine lets me skip or simply peruse the pieces I'm not interested in reading.

Hey, is this the place where Planter's harvests its nuts?

Posted by: GFJS | November 16, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I canceled my subscription. To hire as a 'contributor' a press manipulator and traitor (Valerie Plame) is beyond cynical. It's sick.

I canceled my subscription to Newsweek.

And I have contacted three advertisers with home I have business to let them know that I have done so.

Posted by: dmaurand | November 16, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

While Karl Rove and Markos Moulitsas truly deserve the company of each other, none of us deserve the company of either of them.

Posted by: rogfrie | November 16, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Rove should be indicted and subpoenaed, not hired as a political commentator.

I would be interested to read his sworn testimony,as a defendant, but not anything unsworn.

Rove would be a better fit at Fox. One of their new shows is called Jailbreak and no doubt contributes to delinquency of minors.

I certainly will not want to read Newsweek, after learning they pay unindicted co-conspirators of the Bush crime organization.

Posted by: clifwest | November 15, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

It makes sense for them to hire Rove. He has been writing their news for seven years anyway. May as well have him on the staff. This makes sense of why Washington Post didn't pursue Rove for any of his many crimes. They were just waiting for their old buddy and incognito editor in chief to hop in the pool.

You know you love Big Brother!

Posted by: fishingriver | November 15, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Have you all forgotten that Al Gore got half a million more votes than Bush, and would have won Florida if not for a felon purge, the failure to count overvotes, and the Supreme Court's intervention? And even after all that, he was still within a thousand votes.

Posted by: tasteblind | November 15, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I cannot fathom the journalists' clinging to "if they both yell, we must be doing something right."

Let me make it real clear for you: NO, YOU ARE NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

Your job is to report facts, not repeat the talking points of both sides.

Repeating is not reporting.

Posted by: roo_P | November 15, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Had history turned out differently, the Post and Newsweek would no doubt have honored Joseph Goebbels as Honorary Editor and Publisher.

"Grow up!" they would say to the critics.

Posted by: holywoodog | November 15, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Why are the fourth estate employing Rove?.
Why is the fourth estate not investigating Rove?.
Has the fourth estate acted like a bunch of gay men who adore each other, and have love fests on T.V. backed up by the blonde unmarried women with no children who talk about family values?.
I have dumped Time, are about to dump Newsweek and the L.A. Times.
What a disappointment that the fourth estate acted like samll rich boys for the last seven years. What a disappointment that the fouth estate had no guts.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | November 15, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse


I have to hand it to editor Meacham - with both columnists being provocative choices, much entertainment is bound to ensue.

The amused readers' new subscriptions will cancel out the outraged readers' dropped subscriptions, but readership will still undoubtedly increase as both camps continue to read the columns anyway.

And it's good to see "balanced" partisanship in the media for a change.

Posted by: matkin_1 | November 15, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

In the interests of an evenhanded approach to the news, freedom of speech and as a voice for the other side rove will contribute nothing. This was not a real bright move by Newsweek. Should have left him in Texas.

Posted by: MTgrassland | November 15, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I congratulate Newsweek for landing Karl Rove. Having the Daily Kos guy AND Rove in the same magazine can only do us all good. I will subscribe to Newsweek.

Peter Parrott, DFA

Posted by: erisamaven | November 15, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

i love it when these religiosos take pride in stoking the animosity in an already acrimonious political environment -- an atmosphere that the villagers are constantly bemoaning. when, of course, they do everything to stoke it.

Posted by: mycomment | November 15, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

If you want to know about the symbiotic relationship about governmental decision-makers (especially but not solely of the administration kind), look no further than Rove's role at Newsweek or other former insiders' hirings at the elite media whether the Washington Post, Time, the New York Times, etc.
The answer is clear: the press (media) has abandoned the very role that the founding fathers envisioned and seemingly assured by giving the fourth estate freedom from government interference.
As we have it now, government--in the persons of former administration officials in particularly--are part of the fourth estate.
God save us from this kind of watchdog press.
See also,

Posted by: bn1123 | November 15, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

After dumping Time magazine I now have an excuse to dump Newsweek. Newsweek like Time insult their suscribers my mailing them a few pages of print every week.
Rove should be on Fox news. I am not interested in what Rove has to say about anything. Some of us are just looking forward to the end of 8yrs. of Bush.
Podgy, pasty Rove should be in Iraq with Bolton, Bush, Cheney, Condi, the Bush twins, and all the war mongers who "don't do war". All the men in government who wage war but have never fought in a war should be shipped out to Iraq.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | November 15, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Well my bird will not be the only one sh!tting on NEWSWEEK now. Hopefully roves picture will be on the cover as I drop a large SH!T on Carl Roverer face.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | November 15, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I dropped my Newsweek subscription a number of years ago but would occasionally pick it up to read at the doctor's office or barbershop. Guess I'll be bringing my own reading material from now on.

Posted by: 1FLWB2 | November 15, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

That's the end of my relationship with Newsweek, it's bad enough that we have to have weekly editorials from George Will, now Turd Blossom has continued access to a bully pulpit after corrupting the American political system. It's hard to believe that someone who promoted lying to Congress, interfering in the adminstration and prosecution of Justice, and outed undercover CIA agents is allowed a column. In fact, since the Washington Post owns Newsweek, the Post has suffered a big credibility hit in my book. The hell with Newsweek and the Post, they are not exactly paragons of cutting edge investigative or analytical reportage in any event. The New York Times has taken the lead in those areas, that god for their ownership and editors.

Posted by: | November 15, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

When Newsweek hired Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, I wondered if my Newsweek subscription was money well spent.

Now, with the addition of Rove to the Newsweek fold, I will not be renewing my subscription.

I do not want to be subsidizing or enriching people like Rove and Gerson (who have brought America so much unnecessary pain and suffering) in any way.

It will be interesting to note how many subscribers take a similar action because of Rove's and Gerson's presence.

I would wager it will outnumber the new subscribers that either Rove or Gerson will bring to Newsweek by a very substantial margin.

Posted by: pali2500 | November 15, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Count me as one of the many who is vastly disappointed in both Newsweek and its owner.
Karl Rove? A partisan, unethical and lowbrow hack who may have broken the law, whose "genius" is vastly overrated? How pathetic.
My respect for Newsweek has just dropped. Whatever one my think of Michael Gerson's politics, at least he is eloquent and often challenges GOP orthodoxy.

And to dbu2709399aolcom, all I can say is this: Just how gullible are you?

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 15, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Rove is a college drop-out who specializes in digging up and dishing out dirt. Rove has no writing ability except rant like Limbaugh and Beck and O'Reilly. Newsweek will be another trashy rag.

Posted by: mstratas | November 15, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"Great reason for all true patriots and real Americans to boycott Newsweek and it advertisers."

Posted by: thebobbob

Are you sure that wasn't posted by simply the boob (meaning #2 in the dictionary)?

As for christopher1, take off your tin foil hat and take a deep cleansing breath.

I look forward to reading Rove's and Moulitsas's insights. It's important to get points of view ACROSS the spectrum with an open mind.

Don't be a zealot.

Posted by: GFJS | November 15, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse


To say that the best candidate wins elections is like saying Jessica Simpson is one of the greatest female artists ever, b/c she sold twice as many records as Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, and so on COMBINED.

Stoopid voters got us into this mess.

Please grow up.

Posted by: christopher1 | November 15, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

ALso, please keep in mind that

a) The CIA has admitted to being a criminal organization.

b) The CIA admits its sole job is to protect the US GOvt by any means necessary

c) one of the easiest ways to protect the state is to CONTROL MEDIA (see Stalin, et al)

d) EX-CIA bosses have even admitted they've flooded media with CIA employees as "reporters".

Will you EVER fight back for your country or your freedom or your rights?

I doubt it.

And so too does your evil govern-media.

Posted by: christopher1 | November 15, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's against the law for media to lie to its customers.

The problem is, no person in power has the courage to take on the super-corrupt Fourth Estate, b/c the media is far more powerful than the govt is. (Without media, no one can win any election, for instance.)

The media has gotten caught on literally millions of occasions of plagiarizing govt press releases and pretending this is "reporting".

They've gotten caught cheating facts and not fact checking any stories.

"Manslaughter" under the law is any death caused by another person's negligence.

Ergo, we could arrest almost every reporter and editor in America tomorrow for just ONE death of an American or Iraqi in Baghdad, and the reporters and editors can explain in trial how they were NOT negligent in reprinting blatant lies by Bush and not fact checking anything Bush said.

They would be convicted of manslaughter in seconds.

Media is the root of all evil. And nearly every problem in society today could be easily fixed if not for the lies and distractions of media against the American people.

EX: HOW is it that the media refuses to mention that Giuliani gave himself a 50% pay raise while stiffing cops of even 15%? HOW do they omit that Rudy stiffed Firemen while giving Kerik, Lategano, and other cronies 150% pay hikes?

HOW is it that the media omits that Rudy says he supports terrorism, that he supported his boss Reagan funding / training Hussein and Osama (the man Rudy says killed 3,000 New Yorkers)!??

HOW do they omit that Rudy had drinks with dictator Baby Doc Duvalier, or that Rudy supported Reagan in his protection of Apartheid?

Giuliani is a convicted criminal essentially, convicted by hundreds of judges and juries (including the Supreme Court) of VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION and many other serious laws.

WHY isn't the media asking WHY Rudy isn't in prison? IS there ANY punishment for breaking the highest laws of the land?

We can't fix anything until we first clean up MEDIA.

They won't tell you the truth most of the time.

You have a right to self-defense, America.

Will you just sit there as the govt kills your neighbors and family members?

Will you just sit there as the media helps govt steal trillions of YOUR dollars?

You have a legal right to even PRE-EMPTIVELY strike media!

(According to both the govt and the media!)

Posted by: christopher1 | November 15, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for not giving Carl a speaking role. I was actually hoping he'd disappear and we'd never have to lay eye nor ear upon Carl Rove ever again! Carl was the king of dirty politics and a rat ba$tard. He was best at telling lies to the American people, and blaming his misdeeds on others (like Scooter Libby). I can't imagine why Newsweek would want to dirty its hands with the likes of Carl Rove.

Posted by: lindalovejones | November 15, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Newsweek's stock just went down. Anyone know where one can find a trustworthy news outlet any more?

Posted by: SarahBB | November 15, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Makes me glad that I canceled my subscription to Newsweek when it backed Bush and the Iraq war. I was a subscriber for 31 years. Now I'm wondering if I should ditch the Washington Post, too.

Posted by: topperale | November 15, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Did it ever occur to anyone that Gov. Bush of Texas offered the best choice for our nation at the time?
Ahh, No. After 7 years of him I'm pretty sure he couldn't get elected as a dog catcher.

Posted by: obrier2 | November 15, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Great reason for all true patriots and real Americans to boycott Newsweek and it advertisers.

Posted by: thebobbob | November 15, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Newsweek is always sending me offers to subscribe. Here's another reason not to.

Posted by: edwcorey | November 15, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

*own mind

Posted by: thegribbler1 | November 15, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

That's just what we need: more partisan hackery on both sides contributing to a news magazine. Here's an idea: let's just have neutral commentary so the reader can make up their own mine, and not have political operatives play to their bases.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | November 15, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove was a key expert for Bush in 2000 as he competed against 9 other candidates. The media didn´t like that fact that he was the son of a former president and that he seemed to skate across the nation winnning state after state in the primary. Did it ever occur to anyone that Gov. Bush of Texas offered the best choice for our nation at the time?
Therefore, as a Republican voter, we got the strongest and best candidate in the White House.

Now, I would like to hear what Karl Rove says about the current crop of candidates for the Republicans and the Democrats.

Quite a bit has already been written about which candidates would be best as VP for Hillary and whether Obama would overshadow her. Biden says he would not accept since he would have to compete with Old Bill and would not want to serve as a ceremonial VP.

The field is wide open for the GOP as well to reach out across the nation. Gov. Crist of Florida, Gov Perry of Texas or even Sec. Condi Rice would be good as VP for whomever is the presidential candidate.

Some think the primary will be over soon with the candidates being decided by January or even February Super Duper Tuesday. But I think the delegates will be so dispersed that no one will get the number for the nomination until at least April or even May. Even Chris Matthews hopes there will be a floor fight at the GOP convention in September because it would be so much fun to cover it. Interesting point and it might come true as well with such strong support for Rudy, Romney, McCain and even Fred.

Therefore, I want Karl Rove to express his views on all of these issues in the upcoming issue of Newsweek. It would make it more worth the money to buy it.

Posted by: dbu2709399aolcom | November 15, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Excellent idea because, you know, there is such a shortage of conservative commentators out there. We sure could use a guy like Rove who excels at telling it like it isn't.

Posted by: JoeDalhart | November 15, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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