For many in the media, the crowning moment of the Republican Party’s long, campaign-accelerated slide into full-blown, fact-free delusion came on election night just after Fox News called the state of Ohio—and therefore the election—for President Barack Obama. Fox contributor Karl Rove, formerly the Svengali behind George W. Bush and currently the head of the influential Crossroads GPS political action committee, forcefully disputed the projection as numerically “premature.” Exasperated co-anchor Megyn Kelly retorted, “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?”

Then Kelly got up from her desk and, cameras rolling, walked down several hallways to the network’s team of number crunchers, who confidently explained and reasserted their decision. Rove was undeterred.

“I’m just saying in terms of public perception, it looks a little odd for us to be making a call with 991 votes separating the candidates,” he said. Kelly shot back: “But you know how the science works!”

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