Election-night all-stars: Nate Silver, Karl Rove, Diane Sawyer

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A short-lived election-night drama comes courtesy of Karl Rove. ()
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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

Fox follies

For many, the highlight of last night's election coverage was the awkward exchange on Fox News in which Karl Rove, a paid contributor, squabbled with the network over its own projection that Barack Obama had won the electoral vote in Ohio, thereby securing the presidency for a second term.

"This is a remarkable thing,” scoffed an incredulous Rachel Maddow (high on the list of Fox News enemy combatants) as this rare moment of cable-news drama was unfolding.

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But it made for great TV, and judging by the amount of 140-character commentary that poured in as Rove was sounding off, the Twitterati were thoroughly transfixed.

As our friend Andrew Rice noted:

Needless to say, for those who follow media news, there would appear to be as many stories today about Fox News Channel's election-night coverage are there are about the election itself.

"Karl Rove gave Republicans hope for about a half hour after Fox News called Ohio, and the election, for President Barack Obama, thus kicking off a dramatic, must-watch moment on the network after an evening of downbeat conservative commentary," wrote The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone, while Brian Stelter and Jeremy Peters of The New York Times called it "the most bizarre on-air encounter of election night: a network anchor interrogating Arnon Mishkin, a member of the Fox News decision team and a respected voting analyst, forcing him and a colleague to defend their news judgment against Mr. Rove, one of the most powerful Republican fund-raisers and strategists."

UPDATE: New York's Gabe Sherman has the inside scoop on Rove's headbutting over Ohio and the network's handling of the situation.

NPR's David Folkenflik, meanwhile, analyzed how Fox News "struggled" with Obama's win:

At virtually no point did Fox News, through its journalists or especially its commentators, appear to entertain the idea that Obama may have won voters' trust on a personal level, or identified policies that voters found appealing, or notched any worthwhile accomplishments. Even the Democratic or liberal analysts were largely reduced to talking about electoral tactics and the unresolved gridlock confronting Obama in a second term. Both valid — but not the entire story on a night Obama coasted to an electoral college victory.

And Slate's Will Oremus skewered the network in a paraody post titled "The five stages of conservative grief," which include "denial," "anger," "bargaining," "depression" and "acceptance."

"Still waiting on that one," Oremus quipped.

Of course Fox News may very well get the last laugh when the cable news ratings come in from Nielsen later this afternoon.

Silver lining

The other big winner last night?

Nate Silver, the maniacal statistician and New York Times contributor whose star power from the 2008 election was tempered by a recent rising tide of skepticism about his certainty that Obama would pull out a win against Mitt Romney.

"Nate Silver Takes a Victory Lap After Obama Re-Election," declared The Huffington Post, while Dan Rowinski of ReadWriteWeb called Silver's prediction model a "stunning portrait of logic over punditry."

Poynter has a good roundup of other articles about Silver's accuracy in calling the election's state-by-state returns, including at least one take that was a bit more skeptical: "All these stats triumphalists have it wrong," Daniel Engberg wrote on Slate. "Nate Silver didn't nail it; the pollsters did."

Some additional election media stories...

Alessandra Stanley measured the mood of the TV networks, "from frustated to nervous." [The New York Times]

David Zurawik compared MSNBC's "editorializing" to CNN's "reporting" at the moment of Obama's victory. [The Baltimore Sun]

Diane Sawyer's election-night performance prompted some mean-spirited speculation. [Gawker, Atlantic Wire]

NBC News was the first to make the call. [Broadcasting & Cable]

Why The New York Times announced Obama's win 49 minutes after Obama did. [paidContent]

Bloomberg Businessweek aged Obama by 20 years or so for the cover of this week's magazine (and had a Mitt Romney senior citizen treatment cued up as well). [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Election front pages. [Poynter]

On Capital...

Guess who was rooting for Romney: 'Double Bammy' versus 'Barack 4 More'

Obama wins, around the world

News Corp. executive sidesteps rumors about plans to acquire more newspapers

In other news...

Times public editor Margaret Sullivan "has taken what was previously a low-profile emeritus post for pre-retirees and transformed it into a bully pulpit of sorts." [The New York Observer]

Numerous magazine types lent a helping hand to Sandy victims on Staten Island and publishing outlets are getting back to normal. [The New York Post]

Pearson is said to be exploring a sale of The Financial Times. [Bloomberg]

WSJ.'s new editor is staffing up. [W.W.D.]

In the U.K., Mirror Group journalists are being questioned about phone-hacking. [The Guardian]