At the Fox News TCA panel, in response to a question about his participation in the John McCain presidential campaign, Fox News contributor Karl Rove asserted that he plays an informal advisory role only.
"I’ve donated to McCain. I have a great many friends in the campaign but I play no official role," clarified Rove.
"But yeah - I do get phone calls," he added, "People do call me and say ‘I’m having dinner w/ a great friend of mine who just happens to be the Republican state chairman of a battleground state’…. [they] stop by the house and pick my brain."
Digging a little further, one reporter asked John Moody (executive VP, news editorial) if Mr. Rove was "on the honor system" in regard to conversations with Steve Schmidt (McCain senior advisor and Rove protégé).
"Have you discussed a certain line [Rove] won’t cross?" the same reporter wanted to know.
"He’s always on the honor system," replied Moody. "….We get most of our info about the McCain campaign from our correspondent whose covering it, Carl Cameron. He’s faster than Karl."
The reporter persisted, "But, but the question is more …"
"I understand the question," Moody cut in. "I don’t think Karl would cross an ethical line like that… "
Laugher scattered across the room, but Moody soldiered on.
"…nor do I think that it’s a question really that we should have to look at a whole lot. What kind of information from Steve Schmidt is going to be transmitted through Karl Rove to Fox News that Carl Cameron, our correspondent on the beat, isn’t going to get first?"