Aug 11, 2005

Novak the Informer

Salon has this great article out now on Robert Novak, the CNN personality who originally leaked Valerie Plame's name out into the media. The article gives a pretty deep analysis into Novak's career as a "journalist."

I say "journalist" because what Novak has really proven himself to be is a disgrace to the industry. And he only has himself to blame.

What I found most interesting is that Novak converted to Catholicism from Judaism in 1998. Not only that, but he is part of that wacky bunch of hardcore Catholics, Opus Dei:
Novak's conversion was more than met the eye, as he became a member of the tightly knit far-right Catholic coterie clustered in Washington. Andrew Sullivan, the conservative Catholic writer, observed: "Perhaps the least-known aspect of Robert Novak's public persona is that he is a convert not just to Catholicism but to its most hard-line sect, Opus Dei. It helps explain Novak's occasional, weird digressions into defenses of the most far-right social causes, and also why those columns appear, without this context, to be, well, slightly unhinged."

I wonder if he wears that spiky thing around his thigh.

Anyway. All that aside. What a crusty old curmudgeon Novak is. I can't believe that this man calls himself a journalist. He's a malicious, unethical, opportunistic misanthrope if ever I saw one. And Jah forbid if you ever cross his path:
For years, Novak has used his various platforms to promote whatever causes and individuals he deems fit. Along the way, he has fostered any number of false assertions, accusations and innuendoes without any consequences to his standing in Washington. In 1989, he published a malicious rumor promoted by operatives at the Republican National Committee about the supposed sexual orientation of then House Majority Leader Tom Foley, referring to "the alleged homosexuality of one Democrat who might move up the succession ladder." Foley felt prompted to declare: "I am, of course, not a homosexual."

After the death of I.F. Stone, the iconoclastic, independent journalist of the left, Novak said on CNN that Stone had been a paid agent of the KGB. Author Eric Alterman, a columnist for the Nation and a friend of Stone's, wrote, "Since Stone was dead by this time, however, Novak was free to make his McCarthyite accusation without fear of a libel suit. I wrote to the president of CNN shortly thereafter to ask for a correction, but received no response."

Throughout 1997, Novak relied upon a source who had in fact been in the pay of the KGB, FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who was apprehended and convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Novak used Hanssen as his principal source for stories attempting to prove that Attorney General Janet Reno was covering up Clinton campaign finance scandals. The innuendo that Novak published turned out to be a flow of disinformation. In 2002, he wrote a column divulging his dependence on the spy. "To be honest to my readers, I must reveal it."
I hope CNN suspends Novak indefinitely. Not only is it time to make a clean sweep of the White House, getting rid of all its corrupt, back-door, non-transparent dealings and incestuous relationships with Saudi Arabia, Big Business, and NeoCons. Mainstream media could use a high colonic as well.


ducklet said...

thanks for the rec, mags.

since i don't watch mainstream media, i really rely on blogs to know what's going on in the outside world.

this post makes me kind of glad i don't watch cnn ;)

seamus said...

Novak has been a hack forever. Before Fox "News," he pretty much filled Sean Hannity's role as mouthpiece for Reagan/Bush. It's a shame that it took something like his recent outburst for people to realize that he's unfit to pretend to be a journalist.

Tom Harper said...

It's time for Novak to whip himself again, as all good devout Opus Dei members do periodically. Don't they?