Robert Novak, RIP (1931-2009)

posted at 12:15 pm on August 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Robert Novak, a giant in political reporting and punditry who crossed swords with people across the entire political spectrum, has passed away today at 78.  Kenneth Tomlinson eulogizes his former colleague at Human Events this morning, in a column that must be read in full:

Throughout my life, I followed Bob Novak journalism like I followed the careers of my favorite sports figures. Later, as editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest, I would become one of Novak’s nominal bosses, though the fact was that every time I worked with him or was associated with him in any way, it was I who felt privileged. Few journalists have ever affected this country like Bob Novak. …

The fact is that Novak, as he would disclose in his autobiography, actually admired very few politicians. He wrote that he found the first politicians he covered less impressive than the athletic coaches he had covered as a young reporter — “an impression of the political class that did not change appreciably in a half-century of sustained contact.”

But then, many big-time politicians didn’t like Novak. Pat Buchanan relates a priceless story of being with Richard Nixon in the mid-’60s in a high-school gym in Indiana. Nixon peeked through the stage curtain, finding Novak in the first row of the press section. “Look at him,” Nixon commanded. “That’s Bob Novak. That’s the enemy.”

One of the few exceptions would be New York Congressman Jack Kemp, a close relationship that would grow from Novak’s magnificent obsession about supply-side economics that one day would have profound influence on the American economy. They genuinely liked each other.

Novak was the journalistic godfather of the supply-side movement, and his columns gave political legitimacy to Kemp’s 30% tax-rate cut proposal that would, at the 11th hour, make it into Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign offerings.

Novak was an unapologetic warrior for his beliefs as a pundit, having spent decades building his credibility as a journalist.  Nicknamed “the Prince of Darkness”, a title he proudly used for his memoirs, Novak did not mince words or suffer fools lightly.  He became one of the premier conservative pundits in the US, but did not hesitate to criticize the Right — or to do so with brutal honesty — when he felt it was running off the rails.  He blasted the McCain campaign for misleading him on the running-mate selection process last summer, for instance.  A couple of months before that, he ripped the GOP for feeding at the public trough on ag subsidies while claiming the mantle of fiscal discipline.

It was just a little over a year ago that Novak announced that he had inoperable and terminal brain cancer.  He retired from most of his work, but that lasted only a few weeks before he began penning columns once again.  Novak had an indefatigable spirit and a drive that would have shamed men in perfect health half his age.  Unfortunately, Novak didn’t have much time left.

RIP, Mr. Novak, and thank you.


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We judge men in full, not just parts of their lives.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Fine, than Novak, as a lifelong Democrat, was a supporter of infanticide.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:29 PM

And my last comment to you, Jeff from WI. Novak died of brain cancer, which was almost certainly the cause of his car accident. He was diagnosed not long thereafter. He was deeply sorry about the accident and IIRC sought out the person he had injured to ask his forgiveness.

Missy on August 18, 2009 at 1:30 PM

And my last comment to you, Jeff from WI. Novak died of brain cancer, which was almost certainly the cause of his car accident. He was diagnosed not long thereafter. He was deeply sorry about the accident and IIRC sought out the person he had injured to ask his forgiveness.

Missy on August 18, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Fine, what’s that got to do with him supporting infanticide?

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM

I don’t have to agree with everything that a journalist and columnist says to appreciate his talent. I don’t give a damn if he was a registered Dem, his honesty and the ability to stir the pot on either side of the aisle is legendary. Some days I hated him, some days I loved him, but I respected him as a journalist most days. Dr. K is the only journalist that I would say that about, today.

d1carter on August 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM

And my last comment to you, Jeff from WI.

Thank you, Missy.

I support that completely especially the part about the last comment to this person.

My hunch is he’s a leftwinger trying to make trouble. In any event he’s not worth the trouble.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Bob was a member of my church (his wife still is) and the Prince of Darkness was actually a very nice guy and I feel fortunate to have known him. As for his auto accident; the tumor was discovered not long after that and Bob probably shouldn’t have been driving. I won’t debate nor defend everything Bob said…I’m not a fan of journalists anyway…but I can say that he was genuinely a good person.

DCJeff on August 18, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Very sad news.

lexhamfox on August 18, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I don’t believe this. Every time someone dies we get the “What a wonderful person”, “He’ll/she’ll be missed,” over and over. People defended Cronkite as the kindly old man, (he wasn’t), people defended a pedophile like MJ.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Hmmm…looks like it’s time for the ‘troll-hammer’ again, AP.

It you’re here to snark on a dead man, GTFO.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:29 PM

The DU appreciates your [lack of...] wit. Go there. Stay there.

CPT. Charles on August 18, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009

Sweetie, did you forget to take your medication today?

libertylady on August 18, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Totally agree.

On that note, RIP Rose Friedman

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 1:36 PM

I want you to be hear this loud and clear Ed Morrissey:

Novak said that one’s man terrorists are another man’s freedom fighters. He said this about HAMAS and Hezbollah terrorist murderers. He was an anti-semite. I won’t be shedding any tears for this douchebag. I’m saddened that you think this guy was altruistic. He had his own agenda and bias which was bigoted. Prove me wrong.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM

No mention of the retarded Plame nonscandal that he was mostly responsible for?

Speedwagon82 on August 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM

No one is calling for Sainthood for Mr. Novak.

Sure, cite the bad – as you see it – with the good.

Although the day of his death is not exactly the most opportune time to do that.

But at least do it with some class. Geez.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:39 PM

CNN’s front page:

Robert Novak dies
Conservative columnist and former CNN “Crossfire” host Robert Novak has died after a battle with cancer, his family said today. He was 78. He was a longtime columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a commentator for CNN for 25 years. In 2003, Novak was at the center of the scandal over the exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

Wow, so the highlight of his 50 year career is Valerie Plame? Ouch, CNN. Ouch.

Abby Adams on August 18, 2009 at 1:41 PM

No mention of the retarded Plame nonscandal that he was mostly responsible for?

He was a reporter covering a great story.

That was his job.

He checked with the CIA on revealing Plame’s name/role and got no objection to using it.

Any reporter who didn’t do what he reported doesn’t deserve to be a journalist.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Rest well, Mr. Novak.

Richard Romano on August 18, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I love how people are bashing Jeff from WI for stating the obvious. I just hope people are willing to say nice things about David Frum as well if he were to pass unexpectedly.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 1:44 PM

No one is calling for Sainthood for Mr. Novak.

Sure, cite the bad – as you see it – with the good.

Although the day of his death is not exactly the most opportune time to do that.

But at least do it with some class. Geez.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Steve, read page 1, except for my little post it was sainthood after sainthood remarks.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Although the day of his death is not exactly the most opportune time to do that.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:39 PM

One might ask why HotAir posts two discussion threads about it. Might it be traffic? I suspect that, of Malkin, AllahP and Ed, only Michelle ever met the man personally.

To your other comments about judging men on the whole of their lives, not on individual acts — that is not so, unless you are God Himself. A nice sentiment, but it’s simply not true.

BigD on August 18, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I’m loving the accusations of anti-semitism against a man of Jewish descent.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

about judging men on the whole of their lives, not on individual acts — that is not so, unless you are God Himself

I meant that in terms of posting views here about Novak the reporter or journalist or commentator. Not the man qua man.

As a man, a human being, that final judgment is, of course, God’s to make.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

If there is any doubt that liberalism is a mental disorder, go to some of the left nutjob sites and see the unmitigated hatred being spewed towards Novak. We have a appreciable percentage of our country who are hate mongers and will do or say anything to destroy our way of life. Respect for the dignity of man be damned by those who hate with a passion on the level being exhibited from these cretins.

volsense on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

RIP Rose Friedman

That is very sad. She was an amazing woman. RIP.

Missy on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

In polite society, one tends to defer their ill remarks until after an appropriate amount of time has passed. Civility is tragically a thing of the past.

libertylady on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Uh, he was an anti-Semite. There has been scores of Jewish anti-Semites throughout history, he wasn’t the first and Novak won’t be the last.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM

He checked with the CIA on revealing Plame’s name/role and got no objection to using it.

There seems to be some dispute about this. Novak said he got no objection but the CIA said they did object, just not adamantly.

Speedwagon82 on August 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Novak said that one’s man terrorists are another man’s freedom fighters.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM

It’s an easy formula. Whoever is killing the children without provocation is the terrorist. That would be the U.S. in Iraq and Israel in Palestine. They are the biggest terrorists now.

The Dean on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM

It’s an easy formula. Whoever is killing the children without provocation is the terrorist. That would be the U.S. in Iraq and Israel in Palestine. They are the biggest terrorists now.

The Dean on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM

When did Israel kill children? Its Jordyptians that are killing Jewish children. For every child that you think Israel killed, I can list 50 incidents of Jewish children killed or maimed, such as, having nails dipped in rat poison embedded in their little skulls. If that’s a freedom fighter, you and Novak are mentally ill.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:05 PM

It’s an easy formula. Whoever is killing the children without provocation is the terrorist. That would be the U.S. in Iraq and Israel in Palestine. They are the biggest terrorists now.

The Dean on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM
Are you fucking nuts?

Hilts on August 18, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills
Did you used to post at LGF?

Hilts on August 18, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I’m loving the accusations of anti-semitism against a man of Jewish descent.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Do Noam Chompsky or Norman Finkelstein ring a bell for you?

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM

What there have scores of are people who equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM

I’m loving the accusations of anti-semitism against a man of Jewish descent.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Read up on him. He never embraced his parents religion and converted late in life to Catholic,

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM


I’m loving the accusations of anti-semitism against a man of Jewish descent.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM

You never heard of Jewish anti Semites? Does the name Roger Cohen ring a bell? Besides, Novak wsa a convert to Catholicism.

Hilts on August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Hilts on August 18, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Many years ago.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM

What there have scores of are people who equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Not part of the argument but I’ll answer this hackneyed assertion.

There is nothing wrong with criticism of Israel as long as its valid and does not use a double-standard. Which criticism of Israel are you talking about?

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Don’t forget the posterc*&t for the anti-globalization mobs, Naomi Klein.

PimFortuynsGhost on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Well I’ve learned a valuable lesson today in here. If someone dies, and the group thinks he/she is a saint, go along with the herd or you’ll be attacked. Say something factual yet bad about someone the herd is putting up for sainthood, and you’ll be called a troll, or worse. LOL…and I call liberals narrow minded and unable to deal with facts. Looks like we conservatives aren’t any better.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Don’t forget the posterc*&t for the anti-globalization mobs, Naomi Klein.

PimFortuynsGhost on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Yep. Her too.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM

That’s OK, I was attacked in the Micheal Vick thread because I think he should be banned forever for killing and torturing dogs.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:13 PM

and I call liberals narrow minded and unable to deal with facts. Looks like we conservatives aren’t any better.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM

I would disagree. There are knuckleheads on both sides. However, conservatives have far fewer than the left. Besides most conservatives are open-minded, its the liberals that are close-minded. Pat Buchanan is another conservative anti-semite.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Wow, so sorry to hear of his passing, he will be missed. I have learned much from reading his work and proud that he was a good Catholic as well.

GodSpeed Mr. Novak

Irenaeus on August 18, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Thanks to everyone for proving my point: the examples you bring forth as Jewish (or those of Jewish descent) anti-Semites are all labeled so because they have the temerity to criticize Israel.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:14 PM

RIP, Mr. Novak, and thank you.

Well said, and no doubt Bob would have appreciated the brevity.

GarandFan on August 18, 2009 at 2:16 PM

It’s not that these dregs criticize Israel, it’s the fact that they openly side w/ Hamas and Hezbollah, and in Chomsky’s case, side with any totalitarian regime in existence (see his support for Pol Pot and his apologia for the Khmer Rouge’s crimes).

PimFortuynsGhost on August 18, 2009 at 2:17 PM

That’s OK, I was attacked in the Micheal Vick thread because I think he should be banned forever for killing and torturing dogs.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Really? That’s interesting. You know HA has had open registration recently and a lot of leftists, liberals, and pseudo-conservatives must have signed-up.

Personally, I think the NFL should ban anyone that has committed a felony, has any tattoo, or has long hair. Also, anyone that can’t converse in standard English should also be banned. But the NFL commissioner is a pu$$y. Pete Rozelle would never put up with the cr-p that goes on in the NFL now.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Thanks to everyone for proving my point: the examples you bring forth as Jewish (or those of Jewish descent) anti-Semites are all labeled so because they have the temerity to criticize Israel.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:14 PM

You need a rudimentary reading comprehension course. The criticism is not the issue, it is what issue the criticism refers to, such as, supporting terrorists that do not want peace with Israel. People like you are fine when Jews are defenseless, but when they arm and defend themselves, ooooh, those Jews are bad. That’s really tough sh!t. Live with it. We ain’t going to turn over and die. Dumba$$.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Say something factual yet bad about someone the herd is putting up for sainthood, and you’ll be called a troll

Please, stop playing the victim card.

Those who criticized your posts, including me, believe that this either was not the proper time to criticize him or that your criticism failed to take into account the entire man’s views.

It appears that you’re the one who wants conformity and unanimity of views.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

If there is any doubt that liberalism is a mental disorder, go to some of the left nutjob sites and see the unmitigated hatred being spewed towards Novak. We have a appreciable percentage of our country who are hate mongers and will do or say anything to destroy our way of life. Respect for the dignity of man be damned by those who hate with a passion on the level being exhibited from these cretins.

volsense on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

A challenger appears!

mmnowakjr85 on August 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Steve, allI want is to post my views. If someone wants to debate me fine. If someone takes offense to an opinion of mine, fine ignore me. But PLEASE, PLEASE STOP the whining about “proper time”. A thread about someone who died lasts a day or two. That’s it. So you make a stupid statement about “proper time”, since next week there probably won’t be a thread on this guy.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Really? That’s interesting. You know HA has had open registration recently and a lot of leftists, liberals, and pseudo-conservatives must have signed-up.

Personally, I think the NFL should ban anyone that has committed a felony, has any tattoo, or has long hair. Also, anyone that can’t converse in standard English should also be banned. But the NFL commissioner is a pu$$y. Pete Rozelle would never put up with the cr-p that goes on in the NFL now.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:17 PM

<—-Applauding You’d make a great commissioner

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

If there is any doubt that liberalism is a mental disorder, go to some of the left nutjob sites and see the unmitigated hatred being spewed towards Novak. We have a appreciable percentage of our country who are hate mongers and will do or say anything to destroy our way of life. Respect for the dignity of man be damned by those who hate with a passion on the level being exhibited from these cretins.

volsense on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

And then they try to justify their hatred by saying that the dead person was single-handedly responsible for the war in Iraq. They even did this to Tony Snow who wasn’t even in the administration until the second term.

Speedwagon82 on August 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM

A challenger appears!

mmnowakjr85 on August 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Once again, Debbie Schlussel puts right-wing hatred in perspective. That’s right, I said it. Right-wing hatred. The same a that neo-nazi Pat Buchanan that all the liberals love to quote. Know why? Cuz the left hates Jews even more than these far right-wing nutjobs.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Uh, ya, that’s how it works, champ. That’s how it works everywhere, although I don’t recall tons of high praise for Cronkite or Jackson at HotAir.

People who aren’t immature jerks will find another thread somewhere. Just because you decided you needed some extra attention, doesn’t mean you can take over the thread with post after post of drivel.

This isn’t about debate, just shut up, stop posting and move on, This is not a topic that invokes debate, it is not here for debate. Besides, acting like a spoiled 11 year old is not debating.

You got your attention fix, move on.

reaganaut on August 18, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Awww did SoFlaCon fly away? You can thank me later for crushing your pathetic argument in favor or Novak and bashing Israel.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

You need a rudimentary logic course.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Its pretty clear that Novak was a paleocon who remained on good terms with the Reagan administration and both Bushes because it was the only conservative game in town. Just like Pat Buchanan. Of course the lefties are too dumb to see he was a kindred spirit when it came to Jew hatred.

Speedwagon82 on August 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Speedwagon82 on August 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Well stated.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM

I’ll repeat what I said earlier. If David Frum dies tomorrow for some God awful reason, I expect you say the same niceties you have said about Novak. If you do, I’ll apologize.

Anyway, there is criticism and than there was what Novak said. He went way beyond criticism. Then you wonder why more Jews aren’t Republicans, it was people like Novak that kept them away.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Heh.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

You need a rudimentary logic course.

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Oooh, back for more eh? So Einstein, are you going to answer my question to you about Israel? Or are you just gonna whine that the Jews are bad, and don’t play nice?

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Posters should, if they get a chance, read his foreword to the most recently published version of Whittaker Chamber’s Witness. Very good.

I have, and it is a very good addition to perhaps the most gripping American autobiography ever written.

Go with God, Mr. Novak.

Nichevo on August 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Uh, ya, that’s how it works, champ. That’s how it works everywhere, although I don’t recall tons of high praise for Cronkite or Jackson at HotAir.

People who aren’t immature jerks will find another thread somewhere. Just because you decided you needed some extra attention, doesn’t mean you can take over the thread with post after post of drivel.

This isn’t about debate, just shut up, stop posting and move on, This is not a topic that invokes debate, it is not here for debate. Besides, acting like a spoiled 11 year old is not debating.

You got your attention fix, move on.

reaganaut on August 18, 2009 at 2:39 P

Well PARDON ME my lord high. I’ll get permission from you before I post anything. I didn’t realize you were in charge. So, the next time someone dies, just go along with the crowd calling someone a saint. So let me get this straight, a dead thread is ONLY for sainthood comments.
Well thank you for the lesson in HA etiquette my lord!

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Well I’ve learned a valuable lesson today in here. If someone dies, and the group thinks he/she is a saint, go along with the herd or you’ll be attacked. Say something factual yet bad about someone the herd is putting up for sainthood, and you’ll be called a troll, or worse. LOL…and I call liberals narrow minded and unable to deal with facts. Looks like we conservatives aren’t any better.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM

That is one reason why I don’t usually post here. I think Ed and Allah are great, but if stray from the groupthink of the commentators you sir are a RINO!!!

I wasn’t going to post anything about Novak’s Antisemitism, but since you did and were being attack for it, I felt I had to say something.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Bob Novak held some views that I found terrible – odious if you prefer – especially his ones on Israel and the groups that are clearly determined to destroy it. That he somehow viewed those groups as having a legitimate purpose is mystifying. As well as outrageous.

But anyone reading anything about the man, the journalist, the reporter, has to understand that he was a helluva lot more than an Israeli-basher.

The man covered nine presidents, had a regularly syndicated column for more than 40 years, and was a very influential and well-read reporter.

That’s quite impressive.

And his views on a wide array of issues other than Israel, I think, were correct.

I’m judging the public man in full; and he sure looks to me like he was a good guy albeit, as all of us, with flaws.

His good qualities clearly, for me, outweigh his bad and it’s those good ones I’m honoring.

Fullstop.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Back for more what?

SoFlaCon on August 18, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Apparently for some if you don’t hate Novak because of his awful views on Israel – and yeah, they were indefensible – you’re somehow sanctifying him.

And then if you don’t completely dismiss Novak for these views the critics complain that you’re the one demanding complete obeisance.

I don’t get it.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 3:02 PM

That is one reason why I don’t usually post here. I think Ed and Allah are great, but if stray from the groupthink of the commentators you sir are a RINO!!!

I wasn’t going to post anything about Novak’s Antisemitism, but since you did and were being attack for it, I felt I had to say something.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Well thanks…LOL…I’m probably the most conservative guy in here. For the most part it’s pretty good posting in here.Lots of good points and some funny people.
The only problem I seem to have here is dead people. Others want to lionize some people. It’s just that you better not say anything bad about someone if the herd thinks that person is OK. Evidently dead people are off limits.As if their family is in here with you.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Wasn’t Novak the “journalist” who’s testimony of a conversation years before, got Libby convicted?

MarkTheGreat on August 18, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Great man!
Robert Novak always put liberals in the land they hate the most,..the land of reality.
I can just imagine the conversation in Heaven…: o )

christene on August 18, 2009 at 3:05 PM

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Thanks. As I’ve said, I completely disagreed with him on Israel. He absolutely could not be trusted on any story dealing with the Middle East. He wasn’t perfect by any means and he’d be the first to say so.

That said, he did an enormous service to conservatism and to the country in general in his 50 years of reporting. He broke hundreds of stories and pierced the DC fog like no other reporter. He had enemies on both sides because he was fearless and because he had an amazing ability to cultivate sources who would talk to no one else. Conversely, he had friends on both sides because people admired his honesty and integrity.

We’d be extremely fortunate to have even one such reporter – even half of one – working to cover and root out the truth of the current administration. Unfortunately we don’t have that and goodness knows if we ever will.

Missy on August 18, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Wasn’t Novak the “journalist” who’s testimony of a conversation years before, got Libby convicted?

MarkTheGreat on August 18, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Not really. Richard Armitage was the source of the information that Novak reported. Libby’s conviction was for perjury, an after-the-fact “misremembering” of the details of conversations to other reporters like Marc Cooper and Tim Russert. Nobody was tried for “outing” Valerie Plame because no crime was committed in revealing that information.

Novak’s column kickstarted the story by asking questions about Plame’s role in sending her husband overseas on a CIA mission. Libby was convicted for a process crimel; meanwhile Plame and Wilson becamse the heroes of the left. It was a mess.

Missy on August 18, 2009 at 3:13 PM

a pedophile like MJ.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Stay on topic douche. Seems like some guys are obsessed with the topic and use Michael to dive into it. It’s you who bother me, not Michael nor Novak.

leftnomore on August 18, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:04 PM

No problem. Novak was an attack dog, good for him. I’m not going to dance on his grave like liberals would about a conservative, but I’m not going to praise him either.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Stay on topic douche. Seems like some guys are obsessed with the topic and use Michael to dive into it. It’s you who bother me, not Michael nor Novak.

leftnomore on August 18, 2009 at 3:13 PM

I couldn’t care less what you think.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:04 PM

No problem. Novak was an attack dog, good for him. I’m not going to dance on his grave like liberals would about a conservative, but I’m not going to praise him either.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Fair enough.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Whoever is killing the children without provocation is the terrorist. That would be the U.S. in Iraq and Israel in Palestine. They are the biggest terrorists now.

Dean Wormer on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM

What about all of the children murdered on the morning of 9/11?

And why do you hate America?

Del Dolemonte on August 18, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Fair enough.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM

I’ll add one last thing, he still was a giant a-hole for attacking Israel the way he did.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Perfect timing, as it were, for the powers that be to put the wood to our latest additions who insist on beginning every comment with the famous SNL line: “Jane, you ignorant slut!”

That’s how lefties “discuss” every topic, or person they disagree with and it’s high time they lose the bandwidth!

Meanwhile, RIP Mr. Novak.

GoldenEagle4444 on August 18, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Someone on another blog wrote this

Robert Novak’s anti-Semitism was his first-class ticket into CNN as their representative Conservative commentator. The other conservative commentators (with the notable exception of Pat Buchanan) didn’t have a chance filling Novak’s spot. Israel-hatred was a required item on the resume of anyone seeking employment at CNN as a commentator.

Unfortunately I cannot disagree. Still, I regret his brain cancer and death.

Hilts on August 18, 2009 at 4:02 PM

from the Leftist Editor and Publisher

NEW YORK A lengthy Q and A with the ailing columnist Robert Novak– who died today at age 78– appeared last November in the Washingtonian. At the end, Barbara Matusow got around to asking about the CIA leak case and outed spy Valerie Plame Wilson.

Novak replied: “From a personal point of view, I said in the book I probably should have ignored what I’d been told about Mrs. Wilson.

“Now I’m much less ambivalent. I’d go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me. My response now is this: The hell with you. They didn’t ruin me. I have my faith, my family, and a good life. A lot of people love me—or like me.

“So they failed. I would do the same thing over again because I don’t think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever.”

Del Dolemonte on August 18, 2009 at 4:16 PM

That is one reason why I don’t usually post here. I think Ed and Allah are great, but if stray from the groupthink of the commentators you sir are a RINO!!!

It is one of the more amusing dichotomies of this site that they are usually sharply critical of Sarah Palin on their website, yet if you criticize her in the comments, look out.

YYZ on August 18, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Fair enough.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM

I’ll add one last thing, he still was a giant a-hole for attacking Israel the way he did.

Lance Murdock on August 18, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Quite correct..but SHHHHH…don’t say it too loud. They’re contacting the Pope for sainthood for him in here.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 4:34 PM

I said he was a good voice for a lot of people for a long time

Not a great voice; not a saint; far from perfect.

He just died; cut him some slack: Wait a few days, then start in. You show respect for ‘the dead’, partly or mostly because they can no longer defend themselves

One day you’ll be what he is now: Gone.

Janos Hunyadi on August 18, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Remember, if you think his good qualities outweighed his bad, you want to put him on Mount Rushmore.

See, it’s not that you believe he had a remarkable journalistic career and was right on more matters that he was wrong.

No, you’re so infatuated with his greatness that you make a statue of him with your mashed potatoes at dinner time.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Parenthetically, for someone who worked in the snake’s pit of Washington politics I find it revealing that there isn’t a single story of his alleged anti-semitism.

Clearly, an anti-semite would have dropped his mask over that time? An ugly remark? An act? Something.

Yes, again, his views on Israel were appalling. And his defense of those groups who want to destroy it were even more appalling.

But disliking Israel is not the same as disliking Jews.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 4:54 PM

But disliking Israel is not the same as disliking Jews.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Yes. It is. Israel is the Jewish State. They do what they do to stay alive and protect their Jewish culture, history and population. If you dislike Israel, you dislike Jews. Yes, its that simple.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 5:10 PM

If you dislike Israel, you dislike Jews. Yes, its that simple.

Sorry, I completely reject that view.

And on Novak the person – since he’s the topic – there is no evidence in his 40+ years inside Washington of him ever expressing anti-semitic views to anyone.

Surely, if he “disliked” Jews, there would have been evidence of it somewhere? Some comment, some offhand ugly statement.

He worked in that snakepit called Washington politics. If he had ever expressed anti-semitic views I’m pretty sure an enemy – and he had plenty – would have used it.

Again, I found his views on Israel simply appalling. And his defense for her enemies equally if not more so.

But disliking the policies of a country doesn’t mean you dislike the people who live in that country.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Let’s face it, he was a putz.

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Like Mr. Novak was-I am a Jew who became a Christian.
Unlike Mr. Novak-I stayed a Zionist,albeit a political rather than a religious one.
He was a self-loathing Jew if there ever was one.
RIP anyway.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 18, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Let I seem too cold-being that I’m an Aspie, empathy isn’t my strong point-I don’t deny that Mr. Novak was a true conservative crusader.
Prayer for his family.
He was, however born Jewish-and the fact that he became an apologist for the Israel-haters colors my view of him.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 18, 2009 at 6:50 PM

But disliking the policies of a country doesn’t mean you dislike the people who live in that country.

SteveMG on August 18, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Really? So the liberals who hated the U.S. policies in Iraq from 2003 to 2008 still like the people of America? All I ever heard from them was death wishes to America, and how America is wrong and imperialist. If that is not dislike, what is it?

As for Israel, Israel’s virtues and morality far, far, far outweighs anything it has done that was “wrong” (if anything in self-defense). Yet, Novak, found it easy to criticize Israel and support its enemies that not only disliked it, but wanted every Jew dead. I’m sorry you are so dense, but this guy doesn’t get a pass from me and shouldn’t from intellectually honest people.

Andy in Agoura Hills on August 18, 2009 at 6:51 PM

American Power tracked-back with, ‘Robert Novak, 1931-2009: Reactions on the Left’.

Donald Douglas on August 18, 2009 at 6:53 PM

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