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One week ago, Politico's Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen broke some big "news":
The GOP, Fox political purge
Republicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created.
Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters. Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices.
So, VandeHei and Allen assured us, Fox's new mission was to gain credibility by purging lunatics like Sarah Palin and Dick Morris from the air. And, they said, it validated the brilliance of the man at the top:
Roger Ailes, the channel’s chairman and CEO, has a politician’s sense of his base — Fox viewers. [...] Ailes has aggressively, and shrewdly, toned things down post-election. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were among the first conservatives to call for a rethinking of the GOP’s opposition to comprehensive immigration reform. And then Palin and Morris got the boot, sending an unmistakable message about the new expectations for the channel’s contributors.
According to VandeHei and Allen, Fox's "purge" was the climax of a coordinated effort by Republicans to rebuild their party after 2012. In fact, it demonstrated why so many Republicans felt like they got lucky when Mitt Romney lost, because Romney's defeat gave them a chance to clean out the bowels of their troubled political party:
So a political colonoscopy is going on before our eyes. Republican after Republican told us the party dodged a bullet with Mitt Romney’s loss: If he had squeaked in, this vital reboot would have been delayed four or eight years.
And so one week ago, that's the story that drove the morning, or at least, that's the story that drove somebody's morning. But then Fox News hired Herman Cain. And we realized it was all bullshit.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:02 AM PST.