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Tell Us: What's Robert Novak's Legacy?

Adam Bernstein

The columnist Robert Novak died today in Washington of brain cancer.

Novak was a smart and aggressive reporter, and his memoir, "Prince of Darkness," was one of the most illuminating books about how official Washington works, namely the equal manipulations of journalists and politicians. It was such a good book because he was brutally candid about what he considered his own weaknesses, particularly the gambling habit that necessitated his work on scream-fest news debate shows such as CNN's "Crossfire."

He wrote in his memoir, "I found myself engaged on issues I seldom wrote about: capital punishment, gay rights, abortion and gun control. I was never asked to take any position I opposed, but the process had the effect of hardening my positions."

What aspect of Novak do you think will prove most crucial to his legacy?


By Adam Bernstein |  August 18, 2009; 12:21 PM ET  | Category:  Adam Bernstein , Newspapers , Obituaries
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He discovered the brain tumor, from which he died, he later wrote, after he struck a homeless man while driving in downtown Washington.

Earlier, he walked off a CNN television talk show after the moderator advised him that he would ask about the exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Novak said that's not why he left the set in mid-show; CNN suspended him a day for using profanity on the air and Novak later left the network for Fox News.

Posted by: Patricia Sullivan | August 18, 2009 1:20 PM

I remember Robert Novak for his appearances on McLaughlin Group and Crossfire.
Once, when Christopher Hitchens was on, Hitchens said of Novak "more musk from the polecat."
Hitchens said it again, and Novak, supposed tough guy, refused to appear with Hitchens again.

I'll also remember him for the Bertram Ollman(sp) incident, in which Novak printed anonymous attacks (from Donald Devine, I believe) which derailed Ollman's attempt to lead a department at the University Of Maryland.

Posted by: edlharris | August 18, 2009 1:20 PM

Mr. Novak knowingly ruined the career of Ms. Plame who faithfully worked for the CIA in their effort to protect this country from rouge weapons of mass destruction. Her husband Mr. Wilson was praised by President George H. Bush as being a national hero in his efforts to free US civilians from Iraq during the first Gulf War. And he continued to be a true patriot for exposing Bush/Cheney/Libby's lies about Saddam Hussein's obtaining "yellow cake" nuclear material for WMD's that never existed, sending this country into the debacle of Iraq. I'm sorry for any man's death, but in life what Novak proved un-Patriotic, a tool of Bush & Cheney, and beneath contempt.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | August 18, 2009 1:21 PM

Ding, Dong!

Novak was not the only CIA agent he outed. That was the second time.

Posted by: achamblee | August 18, 2009 1:22 PM

Excellent!
In an otherwise bad dreary week the death of this SOB is a ray of sunshine!
(Hope he suffered...)
One less republican!!

Posted by: kase | August 18, 2009 1:24 PM

What aspect of Novak do you think will prove most crucial to his legacy?
------------------------------------
His ability to strike a homeless man with his vehicle and continue to drive as it he hit a bird. That's the Novak I will always remember.

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 18, 2009 1:24 PM

I watched Novak be abusive to his wife in a dispicable way at lunch once. One of the few regrets of my life is that I didn't say something to him at the time.

We were schmoozing about the events of the day. His wife expressed an opinion. He turned to her and yelled, "That's stupid. Why would you say something so stupid! Why would you speak at all! No one cares what you have to say!"

She didn't say another word after that. You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his family.

Posted by: crapdetector | August 18, 2009 1:26 PM

Hard to like a Novak, a true Republican who allowed himself to be used to out Valeria Plame, an undercover agent who was working on finding W.M.D. and Osama Bin laden...Good bye to bad rubbish...

Posted by: nallcando | August 18, 2009 1:27 PM

SO WHAT...WHO CARES???!!!

Posted by: TWilliams1 | August 18, 2009 1:27 PM

Couldn't have happened to a more-deserving individual - what goes around, comes around.

Karmic, indeed.

No love loss here.

Posted by: a_DC_denizen | August 18, 2009 1:28 PM

Never celebrate a man's death due to respect for his family.

Robert Novak was complicit in a criminal act of treason with respect to his role in the Plame affair.

Novak and Richard Armitage should have been indicted and tried for treason.

Posted by: davequ | August 18, 2009 1:29 PM

Outed Valerie Plame in lock-step with bush/cheney, and attempted to flee an accident, abysmal legacy.

Posted by: jama452 | August 18, 2009 1:29 PM

Typical leftist criticisms of a fine reporter. Had he been a liberal as all these posters are he would be extolled today instead of being subject to their low mean scorn even in death. I hope they are not subject to the same vileness when their hour comes.

Posted by: rmilitello | August 18, 2009 1:32 PM

An unrepentent traitor. His last years should have been spent in prison.

Posted by: cburke55 | August 18, 2009 1:34 PM

Race-baiting maggot who contributed nothing meaningful or substantive to meaningful political and policy discourse. Death is the great equalizer.

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | August 18, 2009 1:36 PM

Good Riddance!

Posted by: AnotherRealAmerican | August 18, 2009 1:36 PM

I wonder if he had to pass by the 4332 U.S. and 100,000+ Iraqi souls on his way to the judgement chair, and what their thoughts were as he past?

Posted by: AverageJane | August 18, 2009 1:36 PM

Well before his days on Cross-fire, Robert Novak almost single-handedly changed the tone in Washington to the negative. He was a willing conduit for spewing right-wing lies and endangered our national security. Dead he may be, but this is not a man who deserves worship!

Posted by: GTFOOH | August 18, 2009 1:37 PM

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST.. YET ANOTHER GREAT TIM RUSSERT MOMENT.... NOVAK ENJOYED A LIFE LONG ABILITY TO MALNIPULATE THE NEWS AND SELECTIVE REPORTING. NOW IF WE CAN GET RID OF:
LIMBUGH,HANNITY,COLTER,DOBBS,BECK,MATTHEWS WE CAN GET BACK TO SERIOUS JOURNALISM.

GOOD BYE NOVAK HOPE U BURN IN H###

Posted by: blkisin | August 18, 2009 1:38 PM

Mr. Novack was a dissenting conservative voice which is good for a democracy. However he went over the line when he outed a CIA agent, since he put her , her contacts and family in harms way.
Unfortunately this will always be his legacy, fair or unfair when looking @ his whole body of work.

Posted by: Duffey | August 18, 2009 1:38 PM

"I wonder if he had to pass by the 4332 U.S. and 100,000+ Iraqi souls on his way to the judgement chair, and what their thoughts were as he past?

Posted by: AverageJane | August 18, 2009 1:36 PM"

Actually, Novak opposed the war and called it unjustified.

I wouldn't expect that any of the hateful liberals who have demonstrated what disgusting people they are with their posts care much about facts. Their ignorant and hateful partisanship is the only thing that drives their sick minds.

Posted by: bobmoses | August 18, 2009 1:39 PM

Isn't it sad for people to speak ill of the dead?

On the other hand, he was hard to admire. His bad temper was obvious as when he stormed off the set of a news show, and his outing of Valerie Plame was a despicable act performed to prove he connived right along with the best of Washington politicians.

I'm sorry I have nothing good to say about Robert Novak, but I'm more sorry that he gave me no reason to speak kindly.

Posted by: txmarjie | August 18, 2009 1:39 PM

Novak opposed the war, one of the few conservative pundits to do so.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 18, 2009 1:41 PM

Can anyone tell me why he was never prosecuted for leaking the identity of a CIA agent? I thought that was a crime.

Posted by: eyeater | August 18, 2009 1:41 PM

Novak will always be remembered at the columnist to leaked the information on Valerie Plame. The information was of no use to anyone except the Bush/Cheney/Rove scoundrels. He carried out their dirty work for them and that is how he should be remembered

Posted by: nickcalv | August 18, 2009 1:43 PM

One less guy the Plame/Wilsons to worry about.

Posted by: abelito | August 18, 2009 1:45 PM

No martini today.
It might dull my feeling of great joy.

Posted by: applejerry2 | August 18, 2009 1:48 PM

Novak most likely died a bitter old man. A fate which awaits most all of the Bush/Cheney apologists.

I have a list of names in my hand.

Posted by: jbcowan | August 18, 2009 1:49 PM

Bury him and be done. Nothing worthwhile here. Nothing every was.

Except the D.C. resident Novak killed in that hit-and-run.

Posted by: MarkinJC | August 18, 2009 1:50 PM

Typical left-wing hatefest going on here. Bush, Palin, Joe the Plumber, Limbaugh, now Novak. Not enough that you disagree with someone; you must hate him, too. He's not just wrong, he's eeeeevil.

Remind me again how the left is full of caring, nice people.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 18, 2009 1:50 PM

Bob Novak, how do i count the ways? His high point was when he said something to McLaughlin on the show and the word "vile" was said and he and Germond threatened to leave the show. And to be honest, he didn't know he'd hit the guy with the car, or at least, that's what he said. Angry, that was his MO, even at ticket counter at Reagan, kind of a highbrow Archie Bunker.

Posted by: rufkd | August 18, 2009 1:50 PM

Oh, Bernstein, make yourself worthwhile beyond being a toady to your offshore paymasters at Likud, AIPAC, Heritage, AEI, WINEP, Dennis Ross, and his lover, Martin Indyk, and post the location of Novak's burial plot.

I need to get a VERY VERY VERY VERY large coffee.

Posted by: MarkinJC | August 18, 2009 1:52 PM

I'm fairly shocked at the tenor of the comments; they're just sickening in their glee that a guy's dead!

Posted by: jcsanford1 | August 18, 2009 1:53 PM

If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.....

Insert dead silence here.

Posted by: dem4life1 | August 18, 2009 1:53 PM

I very much admired the late Mr. Novak. He was an old-fashioned reporter much admired by his peeers and also had an old fashhioned sense of honor. I did not agree with much of his political philosophy but though he consistetly espoused a Lockean view befor it was fashionable. I have heard of multiple times of how he helped novice reporters.

What I find most distressing is the puerile tone of many of these posts. Some of the rheteric has been beyond vile and says more about the poster than the deceased. If you can't make a cogent arguement, can you at least refrain from ad-hominem attacks on a man who just died?

Posted by: bryan_monaghan | August 18, 2009 1:54 PM

An American journalist who was a traitor to his country, despite the warning not to out an undercover CIA agent working as a WMD non-proliferation specialist. That's what I think of when I think of Novak.


"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
–Clarence Darrow

Posted by: PrissyPatriot | August 18, 2009 1:56 PM

He will be remembered as a vicious, corrosive personality, a vindictive, arrogant-oh-so-arrogant BULLY.

Also, for hitting a homeless man with his car and acting annoyed and defensive because the was injured!

His death means absolutely nothing to anyone except the Beltway media-the Post idiots in particular.

Posted by: arrabbiato | August 18, 2009 1:56 PM

He should have died in jail.

Posted by: mitt1968 | August 18, 2009 1:56 PM

Novak like many others worked hard but like Judas took Satan's offer. Now it has a chance to tell God of the sins that cause so much hard to so many people and let's hope God can forgive him. Covert CIA Agent Plame will live in fear for herself and her family for the rest of her life. To make matters worse Novak ran over a man and kept going without stopping. What an ending to show for a life times work.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | August 18, 2009 2:00 PM

Robert Novak was a giant among journalists. He was truthful, hard hitting and certainly wasn't afraid of ruffling feathers. He was the conservative version of Tim Russert in terms of fearless reporting and fairness. It is very sad to see these honorable journalists disappearing one by one. Their yet to be identified replacements will require time to meet the proven standards of testing and ethical responsibility.

Posted by: jerdjon | August 18, 2009 2:00 PM

Perhaps it was the brain tumor that sent him over the edge. I am quite liberal, so I wasn't a fan, but I felt he was honest until the Plame mess. He really blew it toward the end.

Posted by: jackwendy | August 18, 2009 2:01 PM

I'll always remember how he committed treason that one time.

Posted by: sarahabc | August 18, 2009 2:05 PM

I'm delighted that he died. I hope he suffered greatly from his malagnant brain tumor - and oh yes, I'm a liberal who is not tolerant of evil.

Posted by: southernbred1 | August 18, 2009 2:07 PM

" Not enough that you disagree with someone; you must hate him, too. He's not just wrong, he's eeeeevil.

Remind me again how the left is full of caring, nice people.

Posted by: gilbertbp"

There are lots of people I disagree with but don't hate. Novak is one of the exceptions.

Posted by: thrh | August 18, 2009 2:10 PM

My thoughts on Novak...

One less neo-con loving kook to worry about. He was no big deal really!

It took all of you to write this piece if garbage?

Posted by: danders5000 | August 18, 2009 2:11 PM

Novak what a nice man i hope when you get to the gates of heaven all those whom you did wrong make sure those gates slam shut . All i can say to those who feel sorry for him how sorry was he after hitting a homeless man with his corvette he deserves no more than what he gave all those years.

Posted by: doug123422 | August 18, 2009 2:11 PM

WOW - I'm surprised at the some of the hateful vile things said.

I'll echo dem4life1
If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.....

Insert dead silence here.

Posted by: rlj1 | August 18, 2009 2:12 PM

Novak was unapologetic about hawking conservative idologies, some very damaging and destructive to the social good. No use in sugarcoating the dislike (a mild) that many people have for him. RIP.

Posted by: mstratas | August 18, 2009 2:14 PM

If you can't say anything good about the recently departed, then you shouldn't say anything at all.

So, I will say merely "my sympathies to his family."

Posted by: santafe2 | August 18, 2009 2:14 PM

Good riddance. It was long overdue.

Posted by: geezjan | August 18, 2009 2:14 PM

I agreed with Novak on only three things: His plea for even-handed policies re: palistinians, his oppostion to the Iraq war, and his red vest. I will not miss him from the pages of the Washington Post but I would not wish his fate on my worst enemy--despite his mean-spirited attacks on others.

Posted by: Gondola1 | August 18, 2009 2:14 PM

It's clear that the vast majority of Washington Post readers are slimy, left-wing pigs, but that's not much of a surprise to me. I knew Bob for 30 years and he was the most loyal man I ever knew. I didn't agree with him on everything; particularly Israel, but he was a good man. When the University of Maryland basketball team had NO friends anywhere, he was there and I will never, ever, ever forget him for that. The scum that post these diatribes today are know-nothing pieces of trash. May his memory be for a blessing.

Posted by: common-sense-voter | August 18, 2009 2:14 PM

Wow, You liberals are all heart. "I hope he suffered". Are you hoping the same for Ted Kennedy? He got away with murder.

Interesting that the Post headline is "Conservative Columnist Dies". Do you ever see "Liberal Columnist Dies"? Of course not because most of them are Libs.

Posted by: RSKLAPP1 | August 18, 2009 2:15 PM

Robert Novak was not really a reporter, but rather an editorial commentator. Those holding him to journalistic standards are misguided. Novak also once allowed it to be disclosed on Crossfire that he was a registered Democrat. His co-host, Tom Braden, said it and Novak never denied it. He characteristically scowled at Tom, like the emperor having been shown to be wearing no clothes. We never learned why there was that disconnect between opinion and his voter registration. Although Novak was an arch-conservative, he was not a Republican, unless he later changed his registration. I suspect, without proof, that he was a yellow-dog Democrat, in love with the Barry Goldwater ilk.

I thoroughly hated Robert Novak's opinions. I did deeply respect his tremendous intellect and ability to cogently articulate his wrong ideas. I just inherently know that he was a provocative and domineering hot-head. You could outwardly tell. We all have failures in our lives. Novak failed himself and us on several occasions. At this sad moment, we do the Judeo/Christian thing and forgive him his tresspasses, not because he wasn't guilty; he most certainly was. But rather, we forgive because he was human, and all humans by definition have tresspasses.

I am sad for his family. I am sad for the loss in public discourse of a strong debater. I am sad that his opinions were so hateful and selfish. I am sad that he deeply wounded others, figuratively and literally. Being a wordsmith, he should have uniquely appreciated the power words carry. May his family and his soul find peace, and may GOD have mercy upon his soul.

Posted by: seve2yoo | August 18, 2009 2:15 PM

I'll remember him as the guy who outed a US CIA Agent, then lied about it. I'll remember him as a completely biased journalist who gives the rest of the profession a bad name.

And I'll miss him like I miss the flu.

Posted by: whodeykm | August 18, 2009 2:16 PM

In 1970 I did advance work for the Richard Roudebush campaign for the US Senate. Bob Novak followed me around for a week doing a story for some organization. We ate a number of lunches and dinners together. Since then, we visited only at Republican conventions. I remember him as very bright, being able to recall dates and events in minute detail. In 1970 our views were not far apart but over the years he became more rigid in his conservative beliefs and unwilling to discuss my reasons for supporting reproductive rights and the moderate GOP group, Republican Majority for Choice. However, I still enjoyed hearing his perspective and will miss his reports.

Posted by: bmaves | August 18, 2009 2:16 PM

A life of right wing lies and spin....congrats.

Posted by: billcarr543 | August 18, 2009 2:19 PM

In toto: Not a very nice person.

Posted by: lufrank1 | August 18, 2009 2:20 PM

Damn you, Death Panel!

Posted by: GTFOOH | August 18, 2009 2:22 PM

I watched Novak be abusive to his wife in a dispicable way at lunch once. One of the few regrets of my life is that I didn't say something to him at the time.
We were schmoozing about the events of the day. His wife expressed an opinion. He turned to her and yelled, "That's stupid. Why would you say something so stupid! Why would you speak at all! No one cares what you have to say!"
She didn't say another word after that. You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his family.
Posted by: crapdetector | August 18, 2009 1:26 PM
And now that he’s died you’ve grown a pair. Typical LIB POS. LOL. I wish you would have said some thing. It would have been funny to see you get you’re @zz kicked. I bet you’re the toughest man on the road. Going 60 MPH that is. LOL you punk.

Posted by: askgees | August 18, 2009 2:24 PM

RIP, Novak...... but I will not miss your scowling, miserable, angry face. When you did smile once in a while, it looked as though it hurt!

I will never forgive how you handled the Valerie Plame outing, never accepting responsibility for your part in it. You outed a COVERT CIA AGENT! You were a george w. bush shill and would kiss his butt all day long if it got you access!

On Crossfire, you made a fool of yourself, always flaunting your wealth and demanding the elimination of the CAPITAL GAINS TAX! Those three words fell from your mouth as rapidly as spittle.

Maybe it was the brain cancer that made you as miserable a man as you were, who knows. I will never forgive you for the NUMEROUS nasty editorials you wrote about Hillary Clinton all during the Primaries. Your hatred of her was legendary!

I will have to admit that I reached a point with you where I absolutely refused to read your Washington Post articles, but I did enjoy reading the comments. Most of them were not very flattering!

I really do hope you are at peace now,Novak, and I really do hope you did not suffer. But, Novak, I really didn't like you as a person.

Posted by: cashmere1 | August 18, 2009 2:24 PM

Novak occasionally wrote interesting columns about inside Republican party goings-on. These columns were the only worthwhile things he ever did in the public arena.

His behavior in public was boorish at best, and near murderous at times. His party (and media) connections saved him from the firing squad for his betrayal of Valerie Plame. His "opinions" were worms of hatred defecated from the pit of his ugly heart.

They didn't call Novak the Prince of Darkness for nothing.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | August 18, 2009 2:26 PM

Mean spirited an angry man. May he rest in peace and may the lord forgive him.

Posted by: pjaud | August 18, 2009 2:26 PM

Politics aside, the man intentionally exposed a CIA agent. That is treason, plain and simple. There is and can be no justification for it. That he wasn't prosecuted is a miscarriage of justice.

Legacy? That's it. Traitor. It overrides anything else he did or didn't do.

I cannot understand how any patriotic American would not want to see a traitor brought to justice.

Posted by: suigenerous | August 18, 2009 2:27 PM

Good riddance! Seriously, we're a nation better off with him gone. He was completely unrepentant about exposing a CIA agent's identity for political points. In Novak's world, NOTHING was out of bounds provided his side scored a point.

Posted by: gasmonkey | August 18, 2009 2:27 PM

No comment.

Posted by: Tomcat3 | August 18, 2009 2:27 PM

Michael in ATL:
How truly sad that someone is remembered so harshly by so many the day he died. I wonder if it would bother him in the slightest. I'm sorry to say that I have to agree with the majority of people, though. I saw him around DC for years, and he was just simply not a very nice man.

Posted by: mtropp5722 | August 18, 2009 2:30 PM

I like to treat the departed generously but shear curiosity causes me to ask, how's the temperature down there, Bob?

Posted by: Cossackathon | August 18, 2009 2:30 PM

He was a man who planted his seeds of vitriolic hatred everywhere.

Posted by: vernieao | August 18, 2009 2:30 PM

My memories of Robert Novak include a personal encounter. One day while walking past the National Portrait Gallery Mr Novak walked right into me. This was not an accident because he looked me right in the eye and scrowled. What made it especially sad was that there was plenty of room on either side of me for both of us to pass. But Robert Novak decided that he was superior and that he was lord so he barrelled on through like a demon possessed with no apology for nearly knocking me off my feet. This was a good year before Novak callously ran over the homeless man.

I know one should not speak ill of the dead and that the Post is expecting to see a torrent of people who loved him but Robert Novak was an arrogant and nasty man. I think the world is a better place without him!

Posted by: dre7861 | August 18, 2009 2:31 PM

I do admire his opposition to the Iraq war.

But generally speaking he was mean-spirited, and his ruining Valerie Plame's career is what I will remember most.

There are reasons that outing CIA agents is against the law. It's not that she was in danger - it's that it potentially exposed all the others around her.

It wasn't up to Novak to decide he knew better than the CIA, absent a compelling reason to do so. Scoring cheap political points (while lying about it) isn't a compelling reason.

And he actively supported the forces that demonize gay people for cheap political gain. That is unforgivable.

Posted by: Hillman1 | August 18, 2009 2:35 PM

First things first: My condolences to his family.

As to my own reaction: I did not care for him or his politics, and then he made me disrespect him even more when he converted to Catholicism in 1996, and from then on always wore a red vest around Christmas time. I know it was an intensely personal decision and did not mind having one fewer Jew I, as a Jew myself, had to feel embarrassed about, but it just confirmed for me that ALL his views and positions were very foreign to me.

Posted by: clare_knight | August 18, 2009 2:36 PM

He should be remembered as an ugly little man inside and out.

Posted by: starman0722 | August 18, 2009 2:37 PM

Novak's death from brain cancer has convinced me that God answers prayers.

Posted by: stivgdgy | August 18, 2009 2:39 PM

MUST BE A SLOW DAY FOR FOLKS WITH SUCH BITING REMARKS. VALERIE PLAME WAS SITTING OUT HER TIME TO RETIREMENT AT THE CIA WHEN SHE WAS NAMED IN NOVAK'S COLUMN. SHE AND OTHERS HAD ALREADY BEEN "OUTED" BY ALDRICH AMES. NO LAW WAS BROKEN IN DISCLOSING HER NAME. WHAT IS IRONIC IS THAT HER HUBBY WAS ASKED BY THE CIA (WITH HER INPUT) TO INVESTIGAE THE NIGER YELLOW CAKE DEAL THEN BLABBED ABOUT IT IN THE NEWSPAPER. WASN'T HIS TRIP COVERT? THE HISTORY OF THE CIA IS PRETTY SHABBY; SO IN RETROSPECT IT ISN'T SURPRISING THAT IT DIDN'T HAVE THE GOOD SENSE TO SIGN HIM TO A CONFFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT. IT SEEMS LATER THEY LEARNED THE
HUBBY WAS ALREADY AN INFORMAL ADVISOR TO SENATOR KERRY ON FOREIGN MATTERS GOING INTO THE 2004 CAMPAIGN. IN THE END THEY COULDN'T DELIVER FOR KERRY. THEN, TO BOOT, THE TWO SCARECROWS COULDN'T FIND A COURT IN THE LAND TO HEAR THEIR LEGAL CASE AGAINST BUSHIE 43 AND HIS AIDES. FOR THOSE WHO KNOW SO MUCH...BOB NOVAK TOOK AS A MUCH AS HE GAVE AND HAD A BALL DOING IT. WHO ELSE CAN BOAST 45 YEARS IN WAPO (THANK YOU MRS GRAHAM)?

Posted by: danshanteal | August 18, 2009 2:40 PM

My Grandmother used to say if you can't say something nice about someone then don't say anything about them at all, in this vein I can at least say ....thankfully, for him, he wasn't Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity.

Posted by: ripper368 | August 18, 2009 2:41 PM

Too bad, couldn't have happened to a meaner guy . . . except Jerry Falwell. Glad both are gone. No tears for fiends.

Posted by: allen-a-dale16 | August 18, 2009 2:46 PM

Novak was a first class jerk.

Posted by: kurthunt | August 18, 2009 2:49 PM

No great loss.

Posted by: dotyr | August 18, 2009 2:49 PM

You really should come up with a name other than "post mortem" for this board.

To me Novak represents all that is wrong with modern journalism: too easily manipulated by people in power, using unnamed sources, hungrily receiving leaks and spouting them back out to advance ones own career.

I'm just waiting for the Novak school of journalism, where these basic principles can be codified. And then the cream of the graduating classes can go work for the Post the Times and all the networks. There would really be no need for any other school.

Posted by: bog1 | August 18, 2009 2:50 PM

The world is less one neocon... This waterboy for AIPAC.

Posted by: demtse | August 18, 2009 2:51 PM

Another adamant right wing voice silenced by our maker. There are quite a few more who might consider following him? I admit to having little respect for the man and his views. I certainly believe in his right to express them, though they have been very damaging to America and the world. The entire "American Exceptionalism" argument is so flawed and ripe for exploitation by the ruthless industrialists and their right wing cohorts. The left wing nuts are just as bad! Give me a strong, fair, and objectively moderate center thank you1

Posted by: hapibeli | August 18, 2009 2:54 PM

To all the people that are posting such tasteless comments - Bob Novak's family lives in the DC area. They're nice people.

I disagree with his politics, and the outing of Plame was the mistake of a lifetime, but please show more class.

Posted by: boxjam1 | August 18, 2009 2:54 PM

The hate and venom being tossed around this thread is absolutely disgusting!! I love how the left, that proclaims to be the compassionate side, consistently shows this type of response.
Thank you to the pathetic liberal drones who confirm on a daily basis what is truly wrong with this country!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | August 18, 2009 2:55 PM

There is a little less nastiness in the world this evening.

Posted by: Howdeb | August 18, 2009 2:56 PM

To all the people that are posting such tasteless comments - Bob Novak's family lives in the DC area. They're nice people.

---------------------------
I'm sure his family already knows that Bob was a miserable SOB. He is burning in hell as we speak!

Posted by: wiatrol | August 18, 2009 2:57 PM

My condelences to Novak's family. Unfortuantely, his legacy is forever tarnished by his actions in the Valerie Plame case. Too bad -- he certainly had a long and accomplished history in the D.C. columnist pool.

dkidwell61: Yes, the left is hateful. And so is the right (any town halls ring a bell with you)? Please don't be hypocritical.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | August 18, 2009 2:57 PM

"Thank you to the pathetic liberal drones who confirm on a daily basis what is truly wrong with this country!!"

To be fair, it's no worse than what those on the right say routinely about Edward Kennedy, Obama, etc.

And those guys are still alive.

Posted by: Hillman1 | August 18, 2009 2:59 PM

It's clear that the vast majority of Washington Post readers are slimy, left-wing pigs, but that's not much of a surprise to me. I knew Bob for 30 years and he was the most loyal man I ever knew.
-----------

What about his role in outing Plame?

It was treason.

And if you don't understand it, you're the problem.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | August 18, 2009 3:00 PM

he outed a CIA agent, harming national security, possibly even leading to deaths of her contacts, but because he was a friend of the so-called ultra-patriotic right wing he not only got a pass, but praise.

Pretty much says all you need to say about politics in today's so-called America.

Posted by: summicron1 | August 18, 2009 3:05 PM

Bob Novak hit a cyclist in DC and tried to flee the scene, but was caught. He outed a CIA Agent.

My mother taught me to never say anything bad about the dead. Robert Novak is dead. Good.

Posted by: chaddsford1971 | August 18, 2009 3:06 PM

The hatred expressed against Tony Snow after he passed away showed me just how demented the Democratic Party had become. Scoop Jackson must be weeping in heaven to see the disgusting hate that has infested his party. Having voted straight Democrat my entire life, in 2008, I voted straight Republican because of the blatant sexism and racism that raised it's ugly head and at this point cannot ever envision myself casting a vote for them again unless and until they repudiate vociferously from the top down against those who behave like spawns of Satan.

Posted by: wtng2fish | August 18, 2009 3:06 PM

PLEASE POST! GET THAT GOD-AWFUL PICTURE OF NOVAK WITH THOSE HUGE VAMPIRE CAPPED TEETH OF HIS OFF THE SCREEN-IT WILL FRIGHTEN DOGS AND SMALL CHILDREN!

Posted by: arrabbiato | August 18, 2009 3:07 PM

"I voted straight Republican because of the blatant sexism and racism that raised it's ugly head and at this point cannot ever envision myself casting a vote for them"

So you found less racism in the Republican Party?

Really?

Honestly, then, the Democratic Party won't miss you too much.

Posted by: Hillman1 | August 18, 2009 3:10 PM

A columnist who agreed to be used as a puppet of the Administrtion and to betry an American in the process. Why was he never investigated, indicted, prosecuted for his crime?

I had never respected Novak after the Plame case. He was a dirty rotten traitor and should have been treated as one. Good riddance and to hell with him.

Posted by: ChrisW1958 | August 18, 2009 3:13 PM

This country is dying for fewer Novaks. His legacy will be the polarization along party lines of the intellectually lazy, the dishonest and the hateful. He was a republican but the democrats have their own Novaks too doing the same dirty work under the guise of journalism and we will live in a better country when they all exit the way Novak did. But I'm not optimistic for there is too much profit in their brand of trash peddling.

Posted by: jadmax | August 18, 2009 3:14 PM

I saw him having dinner at the Army-Navy club one evening. I was staying there from out of town for a conference in DC. I was in awe. I thought he was a good writer, and a welcome voice of conservative priniciples, which is not the same as current Republican doctrine.

Posted by: babsy1 | August 18, 2009 3:22 PM

Beginning with his arrival in Washington in the mid-1950s, Novak was a superb reporter who broke many stories and was widely respected by his peers of all political stripes. He evolved into more of a commentator but he still broke stories to the very end. Oddly enough, he was considered a liberal columnist for many years (a view that LBJ and Nixon shared) but really he had no ideology until the last 25 years or so. He personally liked JFK but considered Reagan the only successful president. His autobiography Prince of Darkness is one of the great Washington memoirs and one of the most brutally honest I've ever read. He turned the same sharp eye on himself that he did to his political subjects. Now I disagreed with many of his opinions but I respected his honesty and his bravery in opposing the Iraq war. I also respected how he protected his sources by not revealing who leaked the Plame name. His main source was a favorite of the liberals and he could have saved himself a lot of grief by letting it be known but he took the abuse and kept his silence. Plame's undercover career was history long before this. To read the comments here, one would think she was living undercover in an enemy state. No one was prosecuted for revealing her name because there was no legal case to make. Finally, I expected a lot of negative comments here but this level of nastiness surprised me.

Posted by: moorich | August 18, 2009 3:23 PM

The divide between the depth and intelligence of comments found in the WAPO and the NYT never cease to amaze me.

Moreover, it doesn't matter what the subject is, it could be an article on gardening and the comment board will turn into a political partisan hate fest.

It epitomizes why I will never join a political party, one must leave their brain at the door.

Posted by: clamb1 | August 18, 2009 3:24 PM

I am astonished by the number of hateful remarks being posted. Would you want your family to read such comments?

+++++
Mr. Novak is survived by his wife; his daughter, Zelda Jane Novak Caldwell; his son, Alexander; and eight grandchildren.
The cause was a malignant brain tumor, according to his wife, Geraldine. It was the latest of a number of cancers and maladies, including spinal meningitis and broken bones, that Mr. Novak had suffered in recent years. NYTimes.

Posted by: FortBliss | August 18, 2009 3:24 PM

rmilitello> I can tell by your post that you know mothing about people on the left. We do not take up for slime like Novak no matter who they are. Novak outed Ms. Plame and should have been in prison for treason in fact it's a federal crime to out a federal agent but it seems in the Bush administration treason didn't matter or many more of them would be in jail

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | August 18, 2009 3:24 PM

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

Why are all these personal attacks still up on the site? I'm glad not to know you all personally.

Posted by: babsy1 | August 18, 2009 3:26 PM

"Honestly, then, the Democratic Party won't miss you too much."

"Honestly", you don't know honesty much less try to be such. After all, you voted for a Presidential candidate who now lies on a daily basis practically and told 158+ DOCUMENTED LIES prior to the election. How smart and honest do you pretend to be?

Posted by: wtng2fish | August 18, 2009 3:26 PM

Roism007:Yours is one of the shortest but the best post of all,go do the baptizing bro.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | August 18, 2009 3:29 PM

+++++
Mr. Novak is survived by his wife; his daughter, Zelda Jane Novak Caldwell; his son, Alexander; and eight grandchildren.
The cause was a malignant brain tumor, according to his wife, Geraldine. It was the latest of a number of cancers and maladies, including spinal meningitis and broken bones, that Mr. Novak had suffered in recent years. NYTimes.

Fort Bliss,

Don't believe it for a second. Put your money either on Dick Cheney to have capped Novaks' backside or directed his attack puppy, Addington, to do the deed.

Posted by: MarkinJC | August 18, 2009 3:30 PM

The only people I will miss LESS than Novak are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | August 18, 2009 3:30 PM

good riddance to bad rubbish!

Posted by: YGandB | August 18, 2009 3:31 PM

What a stark contrast the deaths of Walter Cronkite and Robert Novak allow us to contemplate. Cronkite was made of noble stuff and devoted his life and his work to illuminating the world around him for the betterment of his fellow citizens. He was honest, insightful and trusted.

In contrast, Novak devoted his intellect to distorting the world as he found it to fit his preconceived notions of right and wrong. He tore down, obfuscated, derided, and denied in the service of extremist causes of the right.

We can be eternally grateful that Novak was not able to contribute his bitter and malformed analysis to the current sorry national debate about health care reform. He would surely have made the screamfest much worse than it already is and certainly would have shed no light and much vicious heat upon the debate.

Unlike Cronkite, Bob Novak left our nation much worse than he found it.

Posted by: dee5 | August 18, 2009 3:32 PM

Robert Novak will be quickly forgotten as he was really nothing more than a loudmouth showman. He was not even close to being in the same league as someone like conservative William Frank Buckley Jr., who even had the respect and admiration of liberals. Buckley was a man of substance; Novak a mere windbag.

Posted by: FellowTraveler | August 18, 2009 3:37 PM

I remember watching one of his final interviews on Carol Joynt's show just a few months ago, and was amazed at the some of the stories he told, some of the experiences he had throughout his career. I was also surprised at how moderate he seemed, a complete divergence from his Crossfire persona, and his continued stance against the Iraq war and positive words about Obama.

Unfortunately the successes of his career will be overshadowed by the Plame incident. And to correct many of my fellow posters, he didn't "out" Plame, he simply reported information that was "outed" to him. The same type of aggressive journalism brought down a Republican President once, and I doubt any of you liberals were crying then.

Posted by: RambleOn | August 18, 2009 3:38 PM

I will always remember Novak only for one thing he has done, and that is to expose the identity of a covert CIA agency. Why he felt this was an acceptable thing to report on is beyond me. I am not sure how this fall into the category of "But the public has a right to know". I have and will always feel that the press should carry the same level of responsibility for holding state secrets. If they choose to disclose them, they should face the same legal implications of their sources. And when a reporter discloses classified information, they are not allowed to hide behind their sources.

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | August 18, 2009 3:39 PM

I have and will always feel that the press should carry the same level of responsibility for holding state secrets. If they choose to disclose them, they should face the same legal implications of their sources. And when a reporter discloses classified information, they are not allowed to hide behind their sources.
------------
But it's highly nuanced issue, right?

And it is that ability to understand nuance that sets American law apart, correct?

Are Daniel Ellsberg and Woodward and Bernstein the same as Dick Cheney via Novak?

Do you understand the difference?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | August 18, 2009 3:44 PM

RambleOn, you're full of baloney. Novak did indeed "out" a covert CIA agent. The men who passed that information to him had security clearances, and the right to know that information. Novak did not, and neither did he have a right to make that information "public knowledge" by publishing it in a newspaper.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but what did Woodward or Bernstein ever publish that was against Federal law? You're trying desperately to compare apples to cowpies.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And to correct many of my fellow posters, he didn't "out" Plame, he simply reported information that was "outed" to him. The same type of aggressive journalism brought down a Republican President once, and I doubt any of you liberals were crying then.

Posted by: RambleOn | August 18, 2009 3:38 PM

Posted by: gasmonkey | August 18, 2009 3:48 PM

Bob Novak was the same as Westbrook Pegler and Herb klein, to name a few.

The younger Novak's can be found on Fox and Fools.

They enjoyed and enjoy being a "Stirrer of Strife" What a shame.

Posted by: scac1 | August 18, 2009 3:50 PM

Why the quotes around the word operative in describing Valerie Plame? I understand rather fine line has to be walked when writing an obit, but really... he knowingly published the name of an American working covertly for the CIA. Bet he wouldn't have done that during Iran Contra...

Posted by: tiredgirlie | August 18, 2009 3:50 PM

One can only hope that those who are so eager to speak ill of the dead will not mind in the slightest when these same brutalities will be visited on them on their last day.....

Posted by: jcsanford1 | August 18, 2009 3:50 PM

Am I the only person who is truly sorry to see that Robert Novak died? With his death, we will never get the true story about the Plame outing, as all the other witnesses are either dead or bought off by the Bush crime family.

The emotional responses to the article show as a lot about how people think.

Liberals wanted to see Novak, a criminal, go to prison. In their frustration that justice was never served, a number of immature people said nasty things about a dead man.

Conservatives, on the other hand, refuse to recognize that the man committed treason, attacking liberal posters as haters, while ignoring their side's vulgar and borderline violent behavior at town halls, on message boards, on talk radio, etc, and look the other way while conservative leaders do everything they can to incite violence.

There's a reason our country is #37 in health care in the world - we have way too many psychopaths running around here and they're pulling our average down!

Posted by: DaTruthSetUFree | August 18, 2009 3:52 PM

This thread is more documented evidence that the Democratic Party once so exemplified by individuals such as Scoop Jackson, George Mitchell,etc has in fact been hijacked by Spawns of Satan who are dead inside and don't know it.

Posted by: wtng2fish | August 18, 2009 3:53 PM

I feel sorry for all of the people here who have written such vile things.

What sad, pathetic lives you all must lead...as opposed to Mr. Novak's full, rich and accomplished one.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves...if you know the definition of the word shame.

Posted by: etpietro | August 18, 2009 3:53 PM

With his death, we will never get the true story about the Plame outing,

(snicker)

Sure we will, just ask Cheney -- when he' lucid.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | August 18, 2009 3:55 PM

As contemptible as Novak himself was CNN, which aired his vile talk show.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | August 18, 2009 3:56 PM

Hey I'd suggest you either read your own rules or change them so I can tell you what I really think of BO and your pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

Posted by: fe59 | August 18, 2009 4:05 PM


Sorry when anyone's life comes to an end.

For whom the bell tolls, etc.

But he was a nasty man. And increasingly so. It is a grace, perhaps, that as he
got more and more angry and destructive, fewer and fewer people listened to him.

He was one of the self-hating...

Posted by: kindfrazier | August 18, 2009 4:08 PM

A great day for America! I hope Cheney is next!

He didn't die from a brain tumor, hell, he had none!!

Posted by: lharris1 | August 18, 2009 4:08 PM

Whoa, Novaks starting to look like a Saint compared to that list of Obama's lies.

Posted by: webbsongs | August 18, 2009 4:11 PM

Unlike William Buckley, Novak should have no legacy. He essentially ruined his career during the last year or so of his professional life. It is sad that he had a brain tumor.

May he rest in peace if he knew the savior. Otherwise, there is no need to wish him anything except some good engineers in the heating and cooling industry.

Posted by: EarlC | August 18, 2009 4:12 PM

I used to see Mr. Novak at Monday night Washington National Opera performances. He sat in the first tier and was almost aways dressed in a three-piece suit. In person, a charming, gracious man with a wry smile. We shouldn't let our political beliefs obscure the human quality of any individual and I certainly miss not seeing Mr. Novak at the opera.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | August 18, 2009 4:17 PM

What's Robert Novak's Legacy? A traitor for outing a covert CIA agent.

Posted by: toq999 | August 18, 2009 4:23 PM

De mortuis nil nisi bonum

Nothing more can be said.

Posted by: kbenston | August 18, 2009 4:23 PM

wtng2fish: I used to believe that lower primates would never be able to operate a computer. I've been proven wrong by your very excellent cut and paste skills. I see a bright future for you as a sidekick on television (there will be lots of bananas).

Posted by: WoobieRex | August 18, 2009 4:25 PM

Interesting how the Valerie Plame case is viewed by the left as some sort of outing of a super spy. Meanwhile, in the DC cocktail crowd that Plame's and her husband ran in, it was well known before Novak's story that she worked for the CIA. Plame's and Husband are nothing but DC hollywood want-to-be celebrity types who have made lots $$ off the taxpayer and Novak's story.

As Novak, a Washington insider, he had his views. Which is no different than the Kennedy's having their views, or for that matter, Maddow, Roland Martin, donna brazile or Bill Maher having their views.

BUT I'M SURE IF one of them passed away, there won't be the ugliness that the Left Wingers have posted on this blog.

You people are crude and classless.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | August 18, 2009 4:26 PM

The legacy he left behind says it all... he touted Reaganomics trickle down theory which is one of the main sources of the mess we are in today; he was a shill for the hard right and a waterboy for AIPAC. while it is hard for a family to lose a loved one- his family is to be commended for loving him in spite of his vitriolic nature and divisive character. Walter Cronkite he was not.

Posted by: teineitalia1 | August 18, 2009 4:28 PM

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

Where is the moderator?

Posted by: RNews | August 18, 2009 4:32 PM

And to correct many of my fellow posters, he didn't "out" Plame, he simply reported information that was "outed" to him. The same type of aggressive journalism brought down a Republican President once, and I doubt any of you liberals were crying then.

----------
Oh, bother.

Novak committed a crime against the government of the United States, and Woodward and Bernstein exposed a crime against the government of the United States.

This is too difficult intellectually for you, isn't it, and god help us, this level of intellect is truly trying to run this country.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | August 18, 2009 4:33 PM

Legacy - TRAITOR is all I have to say.

Posted by: sondysue819 | August 18, 2009 4:36 PM

wtng2fish: I used to believe that lower primates would never be able to operate a computer. I've been proven wrong by your very excellent cut and paste skills. I see a bright future for you as a sidekick on television (there will be lots of bananas).

Posted by: WoobieRex | August 18, 2009 4:25 PM

Another OBOT DRONE attempts to use a put down to distract attention from DOCUMENTED LIES told by Barak Obama. Most of which are video. Your claiming to be smarter?

Posted by: wtng2fish | August 18, 2009 4:36 PM

What's the bit above, suddenly,

right wingers yelping that "liberals" are supposed to be more
compassionate.

Like, what program poster org suddenly calls on you to proffer that stilly stuff?

In the ugliest possible way, of course.

I think it is assumed, sort of, that educated people with some wider experience in the world are likely to be wiser and
have better manners...i.e. liberals....

than the lower class screamers/ gun toting/war mongering undereducated right wing nuts. Isn't that the assumption generally?

Posted by: kindfrazier | August 18, 2009 4:37 PM

johnnyapplewhite: Just curious, how many homeless hit and runs are Maddow et al responsible for? How many federal grand juries have they been forced to testify in front of? How much pending legislation have they taken gleefull credit for killing? How many people have they threatened to physically assault in public?

The difference between a Novak and a Maddow is that Novak prided himself on having access to power, having real influence, AND expressing his vile opinion. Maddow et al satiate their need for exposure by merely blowing that hot air.

You and your cynical brethren want to talk about Obama, Maddow, and everything else under the sun here other than the legacy of this man.

Why is that?

Because his legacy is as distorted and dark as his spittle-punctuated diatribes. He was a hateful person and that hate had a lot of consequences - the obvious one right now is that he will forever be remembered as a terrible person.

Posted by: WoobieRex | August 18, 2009 4:37 PM

Thank you, Patricia, for the links.
Somehow, I missed his column about the tumor, which I found very touching.
It said a lot that normal political adversaries could come together when facing the same threat.
Thank you for the good coverage.
I've missed Mr. Novak's trenchant observations as we came around through the start of the year.
God bless his family and give them peace.
(BTW, I'm sitting here right now about 1/2 mile from the tornado that just hit Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, TX., watching the coverage.
All I got was a lot of lightning strikes close to our house and about a 10 minute hard rain.
There was some significant damage; so far, 2 injured, but not seriously, remarkable considering it's the middle of a shopping afternoon.
Several stores had their roofs damaged.)

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | August 18, 2009 4:38 PM


I am astonished by the number of hateful remarks being posted. Would you want your family to read such comments?

+++++
Mr. Novak is survived by his wife; his daughter, Zelda Jane Novak Caldwell; his son, Alexander; and eight grandchildren.
The cause was a malignant brain tumor, according to his wife, Geraldine. It was the latest of a number of cancers and maladies, including spinal meningitis and broken bones, that Mr. Novak had suffered in recent years. NYTimes.

Posted by: FortBliss | August 18, 2009 3:24 PM
---------------

From the sound of it, he got off pretty good. There are young men and women, who will live with the scars of war for the rest of their lives because of this SOB... Some of these young people will never kids, let alone grandkids...

Posted by: demtse | August 18, 2009 4:38 PM

As a younger person, I just caught the tail end of Novak's career. However, I must say Novak was one of the many voices who never had a solution, never wanted to work with anyone and never wished to see America better. I am glad this generation of hack's are moving on. The unfortunate thing is that our current crop of "commentators" on both sides have used people like Novak to build upon only making things worse.

Posted by: joe58 | August 18, 2009 4:40 PM

Robert Novak's life was a big, fat ZERO.

Want to talk about Robert Novak's legacy?

Ignorant hotheads who deliberately spread lies that their followers then scream at their representatives at town hall meetings.

Citizens armed with semi-automatic rifles marching outside the place in Phoenix where the President of the United States was speaking to threaten and menace and impede the democratic process.

Posted by: jjedif | August 18, 2009 4:41 PM

Novak was a prejudiced hack who lied and did all he could to further the cause of the extreme right-wing. Watch the wingnuts canonize him.

Posted by: ccates | August 18, 2009 4:41 PM

Actually, if I had to choose between watching yet another special of the life and death of Michael Jackson or the life and death of Robert Novak, Michael Jackson's looking suprisingly good.

Shoot, even another 20 hours on Barry Manilow is looking pretty good compared to anthing about Robert Novak.

Posted by: jjedif | August 18, 2009 4:45 PM

"From the sound of it, he got off pretty good. There are young men and women, who will live with the scars of war for the rest of their lives because of this SOB... Some of these young people will never kids, let alone grandkids..."

Funny, I thought he was against the war... Why should something like the truth stand in your way.

Posted by: clamb1 | August 18, 2009 4:45 PM

wtng2fish: Actually I voted for McCain. Mostly because he supported an amendment to the Constitution that would allow monkeys to vote. I say "why not?" Y'all can wear pants, repeat simple phrases that you hear incessantly on Rush Limbaugh and FOX, cut and paste, and, very occasionally, use the word "you're" properly. In fact, you're almost as good as anyone - and I think it's just hilarious when y'all peel fruit with your toes - that always cracks me up.

Posted by: WoobieRex | August 18, 2009 4:47 PM

wtng2fish:
i will not believe anything you wrote because you are gleaming them from a right-wing website and, therefore, taken out of cotext, biased, and/or outright fabrications. just more despicable behavior from the evildoers.

Posted by: tigers4 | August 18, 2009 4:47 PM

"Typical left-wing hatefest going on here..."

You and Novak have taught us well, my conservative "friend."

You and your "conservative" ilk literally stink up the room every time you enter, even online in a chat room.

Posted by: jjedif | August 18, 2009 4:50 PM

after posting the last comment. i have come to realize that reacting to people posting on-line is wholly unsatisfying, much like 90% the internet itself. after seeing the behavior of many people at these town hall meetings i worry about my country. god help us.

Posted by: tigers4 | August 18, 2009 4:53 PM

His legacy? Acrimonious punditry which is on every network news and cable channel. Instead of engaging in discourse, like William Buckley, he chose instead to attack his opponents personally.

I'll remember him mostly for exposing Valerie Plame and ending her career at the CIA. He did it because she was against what the Bush administration was doing in beating the drums to go to war with Iraq when we should have hunted down and killed Osama Bin Laden, the true architect of September 11th.

I wish I could say I feel sorry for his passing but I cannot.

Posted by: missgrundy | August 18, 2009 4:53 PM

from reading the conor clarke comments on the andrew sullivan blog about his interview of the "prince of darkness," my reaction is to shiver. the man was apparently as repellent in person as he was on the air. he won't be missed.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | August 18, 2009 4:57 PM

Funny, I thought he was against the war... Why should something like the truth stand in your way.

-----------
Yet, despite being against the war, he publicly outed an CIA agent working to stop terrorism --

But why let a thing like logic stand in the way of your brittle attempts at, um, hairspray intellectualism?

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | August 18, 2009 5:00 PM

i can't help but compare novak with another political columnist we lost last year, molly ivins. molly was irreverent, perceptive, original, and a pleasure to read. not one of those descriptions could be fairly applied to novak. i get the idea novak was the kind of man oscar wilde had in mind when he observed, "he doesn't have an enemy in the world--its his friends who despise him."

Posted by: jimfilyaw | August 18, 2009 5:04 PM

Novak's legacy: hatred and division. No tears here.

Posted by: cambridge-persisitence | August 18, 2009 5:08 PM

I watched Novak be abusive to his wife in a dispicable way at lunch once. One of the few regrets of my life is that I didn't say something to him at the time.

We were schmoozing about the events of the day. His wife expressed an opinion. He turned to her and yelled, "That's stupid. Why would you say something so stupid! Why would you speak at all! No one cares what you have to say!"

She didn't say another word after that. You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his family.
-------------------------------------------
OMG...he's so much worst than I thought...may his soul burn in hell!

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 18, 2009 5:09 PM

Well, if you can't say anything nice..............

Posted by: MillPond2 | August 18, 2009 5:10 PM

The view towards his legacy will be mixed, but mostly negative.

His family and many colleagues, I suspect will mourn the passing -- as they should.

Amongst the public at large though, I think his reputation will be fixed as less than positive. He had an acrimonious, bitter style, and suspect professional ethics. He made himself an instrument of the powerful against political adversaries -- and working people. He cashed in, and sold out. He occupied a very, very small world.

Within a couple decades most people will have forgotten him; he will be consigned to history largely as a footnote. I almost wonder if this is precisely what he would have wanted.

Posted by: JPRS | August 18, 2009 5:11 PM

Good riddance to bad rubish.

Posted by: bob79 | August 18, 2009 5:13 PM

Does anybody else find it interesting that both Lee Atwater and Bob Novak died from brain tumors?

Posted by: Heerman532 | August 18, 2009 5:21 PM

For the Lefty ghouls expressing glee and delight at Novaks death, may I remind them that Ted Kennedy is now on his deathbed from the same sort of brain cancer. And similarly stunted souls on the extreme Right and Right to Life Cause stand ready to celebrate.

"Mr. Novack was a dissenting conservative voice which is good for a democracy. However he went over the line when he outed a CIA agent, since he put her , her contacts and family in harms way."

Plame was essentially Outed by her own husband. The fact of him being a Dem Party partisan, not qualified in WMD matters, and sent by the CIA without the standard non-disclosure agreement signed was not a subtle trail leading back to his wife. It was a 6-lane Superhighway once he published his sensational attack and anyone in the spy and diplomatic community knew he had to have a personal, even nepotic tie to someone inside the CIA that orchestrated his trip. And Plames CIA identity as a then desk-analyst at Langley whose was not a secret in certain DC circles. Her frikkin' babysitter service had the CIA Langley switchboard number to call in case of an emergency. Many of her neighbors said Wilson said she was a Jane Bond well before his Op-Ed. Journalists and Administration people said they instantly suspected a nepotic CIA tie when his accusations were publicly aired. Without Novak, they had quickly homed in on Plame as the enabler.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | August 18, 2009 5:29 PM

Generally couldn't stand anything wrote, but his missives showed a lot of style and panache...along with some hyperbole and bile. That the Plame incident will define him is his own fault since he had to know he was furthering the payback scheme (he was too smart not to have known how he was being used). So his style was flaming but entertaining, which will be missed next to the elder but increasingly unreadable and pedantic Will (who has simply run out of intellectual gas), newcomer and still compassionate conservative Gershon (interesting but uneven), and earnest and erswhile NYT columnist Brooks (as the only rational conservative voice out there). Condolences for his family and friends.

Posted by: lloydamy | August 18, 2009 5:29 PM

'A nasty bit of business' as my mother would say.

I'm sorry to speak ill of the dead, but the man did a great deal of harm and very little good on this earth.

Posted by: dehall | August 18, 2009 5:33 PM

Last word on Novak? TRAITOR. PERIOD.

Posted by: kirinbeer96701 | August 18, 2009 5:36 PM

It's great to see the left spew their hate.

Posted by: mike83631 | August 18, 2009 5:40 PM

Oh please, I see you idiots are blaming Novak for the war in Iraq. Get a clue. Do you guys love to make up facts that suite your warped view of history?

Posted by: mike83631 | August 18, 2009 5:44 PM

The comments posted here provide further evidence that we've all got some major problems.

The man can do no more harm. Let him be. I'd hate to be a family member of his reading all of this.

Posted by: ejba | August 18, 2009 5:45 PM

Typical leftist criticisms of a fine reporter. Had he been a liberal as all these posters are he would be extolled today instead of being subject to their low mean scorn even in death. I hope they are not subject to the same vileness when their hour comes.
---------------------------
I will let my works speak for me. Just as his works speak for him (and the GOP).

Posted by: question-guy | August 18, 2009 5:48 PM

Whatever you might have thought of the late Mr. Novak, for good or ill, you all need to know that he died hard.

Brain cancer is just about the worst way imaginable to go, depending on the exact type and location: many times you can stave off dying for a time, but at a huge financial, emotional, and intellectual cost.

You lose control of your body, they cut a big chunk out of your brain (in his case causing vision loss), then despite all the treatments on the planet, you die, but not before losing all of the integrity of your body, and your mind.

In the end they pump you fill of steroids to stem the physical swelling of the brain; in some cases, the patient retains sufficient intellectual capacity to understand exactly what is happening to him. Because of the steroids, delusions are common.

This was a pretty tough man who lived a long time: I suspect he knew exactly what was going to happen to him, and that he got to watch it, at least for a while.

If you believe he did bad things during his term on the planet, then you can believe he received punishment before he expired.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Posted by: Va_Lady2008 | August 18, 2009 5:58 PM

I'll remember Novak mostly for breaking Valerie Plame's identity as an agent because he and his crew didn't like Ms. Plame's husband's opposition to the war in Iraq. Of course Novak was wrong and his actions were treasonous and he's died in shame. History won't judge him kindly, nor should it.

I'll also remember him for his driving abilities. I'm grateful I'm not him or related to him.

Posted by: Leofwine | August 18, 2009 6:03 PM

A fascist if ever there was one.

Posted by: ravitchn | August 18, 2009 6:05 PM

Thanks for censoring my comment about Novak! I'll try again. He became a Catholic because, without understanding Catholicism really, he thought the Catholic Church was the Fascist Party at prayer.

Why won't you allow this comment????

Posted by: ravitchn | August 18, 2009 6:08 PM

The truth is he was a prince of light and truth but since he shined in a town of thieves and phonies they considered him a prince of darkness.

Posted by: bcostello | August 18, 2009 6:21 PM

A vile snake, a careerist, and no one will miss him. May he rot in some appropriate spot for a long long time.

Posted by: tarquinis1 | August 18, 2009 6:21 PM

The best way to understand Novak was that he was a throwback to the journalists of the Colonial days and early Republic. This was a time when many journalists served as mouthpieces for their party leaders. Printing dirt, often rumors and outright lies, to promote their party's interests.

In his columns, Novak often served this function for the conservative wing of the Republican party. The Plame case was just the most famous incident. Many of his columns carried the anonymous whispers and rumors and lies developed by people like Karl Rove. For example, go back and read his columns during the 2000 Republican primary when McCain was running ahead of Bush. Novak routinely published "worries" from Republican insiders about McCain's temper and mental fitness for office.

Novak wasn't a journalist. He was a party operative. His job was to get the party message into print in a way that it looked objective and factual because it had the appearance of reporting. So should Novak be remembered for the Plame affair? Absolutely, because that epitomized his purpose and style.

Posted by: sannhet | August 18, 2009 6:23 PM

This man was so obnoxious and so far to the right ... he may miss the entrance to the cemretary !

Posted by: loretoguy | August 18, 2009 6:28 PM

His legacy? Patricia Sullivan hit the nail on the head -- his hit and run of a homeless person summed up his life. I can handle someone being a conservative, but jerks the world over prove that one's legacy is often based on his or her personality. You can be rich, powerful, and drive fancy cars. But if you don't treat people with respect and dignity, you're going to die a lonely man or woman. I try never to speak ill of the recently deceased, but I simply can't imagine some other Cons pulling the same stunt. Well, Nixon might have.

Posted by: con_crusher | August 18, 2009 6:29 PM

I didn't care for him. However, his book (with Rowland Evans) "Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power", though published during LBJ's presidency, holds up very well. It displays an understanding of Johnson far better than most books on LBJ published since.

Posted by: sistererasma | August 18, 2009 6:35 PM

I did not care for Mr. Novak. In my opinion he was a nasty, self-serving, political ladder climbing individual. He should have been retired long before he did retire. It is a shame he had such a bad illness, I do not wish such a diagnosis on anyone. It does not alter what I thought of him in his productive life. People are not automatically saints when they take their last breath. They still are what they were in life.

Posted by: cassellagm | August 18, 2009 6:39 PM

Here we go with another painful round of reification and hagiographies in the corporate media for another vicious right wing schmuck, hatchetman and shill. If I were a religious man I'd pray that the corporate media just puts Novak in the ground, and moves on.

Posted by: boophis | August 18, 2009 6:43 PM

I did not agree with on most issues, and have said so when he was alive and could respond.

Now that he is gone, I don't want to say anything to which he cannot respond. I disagreed with him. NOT his family. My condolences to them at this time.

Posted by: cantabb1 | August 18, 2009 6:48 PM

Robert Novak's legacy: That of a right-wing ideologue masquerding as a journalist. Once you become single-minded and biased to one ideology, you become worthless as an objective journalist. Shouting down your ideological opponents or those that have a different point of view is not journalism. Walter Cronkite is the gold standard for journalism. What we have now is tabloid journalism valued for its entertainment and not its factual content. So I would never call Robert Novak a journalist nor a news reporter. This is not his legacy. Had he not been so ideologically biased I doubt he would have ever exposed or outed a CIA agent.

Posted by: goofycarly | August 18, 2009 6:49 PM

Perhaps we are not to speak ill of the dead but is there any good to speak of Bob Novak? He was a traitor to our country by the measure of fellow Republican Geoge H W Bush who clearly stated that outing a CIA agent was a betrayal. Bob looked for the worst in people and spared no mercy. Here's hoping as a bleeding heart liberal that Novak would surely despise, that God will show him some mercy.

Posted by: alised | August 18, 2009 6:49 PM

Jerryvov wrote:
"Novak was a swine...they better nail down the lid when they plant him...vampires like to rise up at night."


Free speech isn't all its cracked up to be.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | August 18, 2009 6:52 PM

Better get plastic flowers for his grave as nothing will survive all the people pissing on it.

Posted by: joann20657 | August 18, 2009 6:56 PM

Very little to miss or mourn.

Posted by: euroguy | August 18, 2009 6:57 PM

Looks like a whole lot of you weren't raised very well. I was raised not to speak ill of the dead. The man had a family, friends and people who loved him. Pretty cheeky of some of you to judge a man so harshly you never knew. Well, what goes around, comes around.

In any event, in America, you have the right to be wrong. So I do not understand how this intolerance is justifiable (even if you believe Novak to have been intolerant).

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 18, 2009 7:00 PM

I still want to know!! Who at the CIA authorized Wilson to be sent on the CIA fact-finding mission involving the uranium?
I want answers!

Posted by: genbarlow | August 18, 2009 7:03 PM

Most CIA officials agree that V Plames former foreign contacts and associates were placed in precarious positions when her agent status was revealed. Some had thier careers ruined. Other may have been imprisoned or executed. Novak was savvy enough to know that this would happen. The CIA requested that he not reveal her identity for the same reasons. He was a traitor. I'm glad he is dead, and I hope it was painful.

Posted by: grover61 | August 18, 2009 7:05 PM

"Who would have imagined that Novak’s source for the Valerie Plame CIA column was Richard Armitage, Colin Powell’s No.2 and certainly no friend of the Bush White House." -- Kenneth Tomlinson

Armitage said so, too.
Thanks, Bob. Great reporting.

Posted by: le-idiot | August 18, 2009 7:11 PM

Many on the right have lost sight of the fact that first and foremost, they're Americans. Their allegience has shifted from the United States to the Republican Right which they confuse with the United States.

Novak made it quite clear where his allegience lay when he made Valerie Plame's name public. He broke the law, and neutralized a United States intelligence operative.

Because he had powerful republican friends in government at the time, he was allowed to get a free pass on his lawbreaking.

I'm sure he was convinced that America needed saving from evil Democrats bent on their own countries destruction.

Suffering from this delusion, or claiming to doesn't excuse what Novak did. Like Rush Limbaugh, his career was devoted to sowing dislike between two factions in America.

Posted by: fredfawcett | August 18, 2009 7:11 PM

How'd I know the Left's trolls would be dancing on his grave? As I read these comments I'm struck by the irony that one of the Old Left's favorite phrases -- 'Mean People Suck' -- applies to them in spades.

And I love the fact that the Left still foams at the mouth over Valeries Plame's 'outing.' This from the crowd that cast Philip Agee as folk hero for decades after he outed Richard Welch, CIA station chief in Athens, who was subsequently murdered by Greek terrorists.

Posted by: egdusa | August 18, 2009 7:12 PM

After outing Plame without any remorse, WaPo paid the traitor to write. Had this paper existed during the birth of our nation, they would have paid Benedict Arnold. Cheney after destroying Iraq and our nation, gets print space here. You wonder why your paper is going down the tubes, Mr. Hiatt, you back people that have harmed more than helped.

Posted by: jameschirico | August 18, 2009 7:12 PM

Robert Novak did not want to be a member of JESUS' affiliation, I hope the POPE will give him his last rites and allow a Cross be placed on his Grave Stone.
He was a racist SOB and will no doubt rot in Hell.
Adolph Hitler would have saved the world a lot of sour grapes, had he lived in Eastern Europe where his forefathers came from!

Posted by: haroldsixx | August 18, 2009 7:12 PM

Unlike you evil, leftist trolls, I hope that Ted Kennedy's final days as he struggles with a brain tumor are merciful and pain free even though, unlike Ted, Novak never killed anyone with his car.

Posted by: egdusa | August 18, 2009 7:17 PM

Novak was a waterboy for the neocons and AIPAC. His illness was simply, karma.

Posted by: demtse | August 18, 2009 7:19 PM

Novak was a waterboy for the neocons and AIPAC. His illness was simply, karma.

Posted by: demtse | August 18, 2009 7:23 PM

Although I rarely agreed with Mr. Novak's views, I think he was as good as any journalist or commentator out there. I used to see him at Maryland games, and he loved being just a 'Regular Joe' there, as big a Terp fan as I am. In today's slash and burn world of political talk shows (left and right), he was mild by comparison.

Posted by: bfjam | August 18, 2009 7:23 PM

In a passing moment the other day I was wondering why we haven't heard his groveling on the healthcare situation. Guess I now know why now.
I am deeply sorry for his family, but for him, not so much.

Posted by: edeckel | August 18, 2009 7:26 PM

Excellent!
In an otherwise bad dreary week the death of this SOB is a ray of sunshine!
(Hope he suffered...)
One less republican!!

Well, fk you liberals too. Sen Ted is almost dead and we can't wait for that POS to go.
The Chappaquiddick swim club captain is on his way out. bubble bubble bubble
Hope Keith Oberdouch gets nailed by spike in his head...yadayadya more vitriol.

Whatever....libtards please hold your breath forever and lower the carbon footprint...such a waste of humanity you are you liberally impaired scum feeders

Posted by: 65apr | August 18, 2009 7:34 PM


Posted by: 65apr | August 18, 2009 7:34 PM
--------------

Hey 65apr, Is 65 your IQ???


Posted by: demtse | August 18, 2009 7:44 PM

Too bad that Novak didn't live long enough to be charge with treason. *sigh*

Posted by: exPostie | August 18, 2009 7:46 PM

It couldn't have happen to a "nicer" guy..;-)

Posted by: demtse | August 18, 2009 7:51 PM

"libtards" has to be one of the dumbest coinages I've ever heard.

I can just see the genius who first dreamed up that phrase:

Flash-back to a high school parking lot behind shop class sometime in the 1990s. A soon-to-be drop out is busy with some friends sniffing glue. "libtards, are so stupid! (sniff, sniff) Arrrrrgllllllllllaalalal. Tax cuts GOOOOD. Open sewers GOOOOD! DIRT ROADS GOOOOD. Libraries SUCK! School sucks! (sniff, sniff) Arrrrrglllalaal hate libtards!"

Posted by: JPRS | August 18, 2009 7:55 PM

It should be written on his tombstone, Here lies a man who was partisan and hateful to call himself the prince of darkness. Here lies a man who outed a CIA agent.

Speak only good of the dead.

Mr. Novak is dead. Good.

Posted by: lenegal77 | August 18, 2009 7:58 PM

I detested this man.

However, my deep sympathies go out to his family.

Posted by: lenegal77 | August 18, 2009 8:00 PM

Bob Novak was a decent writer who lost his integrity with the death of Rowland Evans. Evans gave Novak a balance he never regained in the last several years. It is true that he was not a nice man and he was an egomanic. Novak once observed that "cable news has turned us all into gossips. We no longer have to investigate or report, we now get to make up the news as we see it." This is what happened to Novak. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about him was that he was a devout Redskin fan!

Posted by: fkephart1 | August 18, 2009 8:06 PM

Wow -- I never cease to be amazed at the shallowness, thoughtlessness, and cowardice of may people.

I knew Bob Novak for over 30 years. He was honest, forthright, and always on point. He was an opponent of the Iraq war (inspite of the misguided demagoguery which fills this message board).

His talent and convictions are rarely seen on both sides of the asile.

The bitter venom that is posted here is a true sign about what is wrong with our conuntry. Worse, it is a signal of the lack of viability of what was once a great news organization -- the Washington Post.

The views which comprise a huge amount of this space are out of touch with the mainstream of our country.

Bob was a loyal friend -- in good times and bad, a solid citizen and a great journalist. At to the clown who attacked his relationship with his wife -- a good husband.

Godspeed and godbless -- and thanks for all you did for so many with so little fanfare.

Posted by: curlybyrd | August 18, 2009 8:09 PM

Class a moron, class a a-hole, class c journalist, class d thinker, class f human

Posted by: blackmask | August 18, 2009 8:11 PM

Has a single person in this entire comment thread explained how the Plame-was-outed-as-revenge theory makes any sense at all after it came out that her name was leaked by Richard Armitage, not Rove or Cheney? Not to mention that Novak himself was hardly a "neocon," but opposed the Iraq was and was a harsh critic of Israel. I guess it saves time to cut and paste the same "traitor" lines you got from a Daily Kos post in 2005.

Moreover, I can't resist asking--since when is treason such a big deal to anyone on the left?

Posted by: jlp858 | August 18, 2009 8:13 PM

This kind of journalist sheds his skin every night. He would have been comfortable working in East Germany. Novak was an apparatchik who loved his country so much he would betray its servants for money. Quite a legacy. His patriotism was of the most defiled and self-serving kind. I'd say good riddance but know that his spawn have mutated into FoxAljazeera, the goons Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly. So long Robert, tell them to reserve a rung in the lowest nether regions for DICK Cheney.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | August 18, 2009 8:38 PM

Allahu Akbar!

Posted by: overed | August 18, 2009 8:45 PM

JPRS wrote, '"libtards" has to be one of the dumbest coinages I've ever heard.'

I know how you feel. I feel the same way about the term you clever leftists use for Republicans, 'Repugs.'

Posted by: egdusa | August 18, 2009 8:48 PM

In case everyone forgot, the question was about Novak's legacy.

Well, unlike the slavish Democrat / Messiah suck-ups in the current MSM, Novak was a real journalist who skewered people on both sides of the aisle because he had journalistic integrity. Compare that to party-first leftist hacks like Maddow, Olberman, O'Donnell, Couric, Matthews, ad nauseum...

Posted by: egdusa | August 18, 2009 8:52 PM

Robert Novak is still dead

Posted by: anti1 | August 18, 2009 8:53 PM

I try not to speak ill of the dead. However, if there is any justice in this world, someone will chisel "Traitor" on his tombstone. He put politics before country.

Posted by: SarahBB | August 18, 2009 8:58 PM

I don't think it was his illness that caused him to be so disrespectful to his wife. I remember him shoving her out of the door at the Palm; but I thought it was an isolated incident. Didn't realize this was a common thread. Hannity (right) and Olberman (left) are jerks also who take and report one side of the issue. Hopefully they aren't abusing their wives like he did.

Posted by: madstamina | August 18, 2009 9:03 PM

To all of you vile haters out there, here is what David Broder, no right-wing zealot, had to say about Novak:

"With his partner, the late Rowland Evans, he wrote one of the most influential political columns of the late 20th century. And before that, he was one of the three best political reporters of the 1960s. The other two were Alan L. Otten and Paul Duke, and the remarkable thing is that all three of them were working at the same time in the Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau."

"The self-mocking parody of himself that Bob created as the Prince, a grumpy right-winger, was sometimes taken more seriously by his audience than he intended. Bob was pugnacious, when challenged, but his instinct was to help his friends whenever they needed it. Indeed, all three of the Journal greats were unfailingly generous to others."

So you can lie all you want. The journalists who really matter because they have integrity, such as David Broder, know the real Robert Novak, one of the greatest journalist of the 20th Century!

Posted by: ARickoverNuke | August 18, 2009 9:09 PM

Has a single person in this entire comment thread explained how the Plame-was-outed-as-revenge theory makes any sense at all after it came out that her name was leaked by Richard Armitage, not Rove or Cheney? Not to mention that Novak himself was hardly a "neocon," but opposed the Iraq was and was a harsh critic of Israel. I guess it saves time to cut and paste the same "traitor" lines you got from a Daily Kos post in 2005.

Moreover, I can't resist asking--since when is treason such a big deal to anyone on the left?
____________________________________________________

Let me clear it up for you D.A., Cheney leaked it to Libby who leaked it to Novak...
____________________________________________
The FBI interviewed Cheney in 2004 as it was investigating the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters the year before. Her name was revealed after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the Bush administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq.

The leak touched off a lengthy inquiry that led to Libby being convicted on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters. Libby told the FBI it was possible that Cheney ordered him to reveal Plame's identity to the media.

The liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last year seeking records related to Cheney's FBI interview.

In a court filing Wednesday, Acting Assistant Attorney General David Barron argued that parts of Cheney's interview should be kept secret because they involve confidential deliberations among White House officials. Barron said their disclosure could limit frank and open discussion about matters of national importance in the White House in the future.

He said Cheney's recollection of discussions with Libby, the White House communications director and chief of staff about media inquiries into the Plame leak were among those portions that should be protected. He also included Cheney's discussions with the CIA director about Wilson's trip and his role in resolving disputes about declassifying "certain information" in that category.

Posted by: nallcando | August 18, 2009 9:21 PM

Novak was an old Washington insider who allowed himself to be used by conservatives to feed the media with what they wanted to appear in print, good and bad, correct or incorrect. Hopefully his passing means there will be less of that, but I seriously doubt it unless the media gets real and actually works to find truth. Awww, who am I kiddin'?

Posted by: Fate1 | August 18, 2009 9:21 PM

Novak was an un-American scum-bag and he will burn in hell.

Scott Williams

Posted by: scottwilliams84 | August 18, 2009 9:25 PM

A wacky right winger who will not be missed on the political scene. While I give my sympathies to his family, his political views were bs.


Posted by: mortified469 | August 18, 2009 9:33 PM

One bad deed can ruin a reputation built on a lifetime of good deeds. Mr. Novak of all people should have realized that. All his virtues and good works can never erase his outing of Valerie Plame for political purposes. We will never know what lives were destroyed as a result of his carelessness. It's a shame we cannot rightfully mourn the passing of a man because of one bad deed but Mr. Novak should have realized the consequences of his actions before he took them.

Posted by: DesertStormVet2 | August 18, 2009 9:38 PM

"Curly wrote": I knew Bob Novak for over 30 years. He was honest....

Curly lost his credibility as soon as he added the adjective "honest" to describe Novak.

I believe one should not lie to glorify a death person. It degrades that person in the eye of others.

Novak's legacy is false information dissimation to make his master's happy. And biggest legacy is treason.

Posted by: SeedofChange | August 18, 2009 9:44 PM

His LEGACY will be that he betrayed his country and helped GEORGE BUSH and DICK CHENEY out a CIA agent just to settle a petty score.

ADIOS TRAITOR! I hope you took some sunscreen and ice water with you because I heard from Tony Snow that it's awful hot down there.

Posted by: asd2 | August 18, 2009 9:49 PM

Bob,

At least you'll be able to meet with your idols, Retard Reagan and DICK Nixon, in hell.

Posted by: wiatrol | August 18, 2009 9:50 PM

FYI:

I read on another news site that the sun has set and Novak has STILL not risen. They must be keeping a close watch on his coffin, or else they nailed it shut.

Posted by: asd2 | August 18, 2009 9:55 PM

Another Conservative Criminal Passes--RIP.

Robert Novak was a man with little knowledge of, or acquaintance with the truth. His entire life was devoted to a brutish campaign for his ideology, and everything and anything in his path got trampled. Political opponents, the constitution, and the law were blatantly disregarded. The clearest example was his smug dismissal of the law and his critics when he betrayed and defended his betrayal of the identity of Valery Plame.

I regret his family's loss, but I do not regret his passing from the political scene.

Posted by: 42carl | August 18, 2009 10:08 PM

Traitor. Weasel. Tool.

Posted by: hgillette | August 18, 2009 10:25 PM

“If you can't make a cogent arguement (sic), can you at least refrain from ad-hominem (sic) attacks on a man who just died?”

Is it all right to say bad things about Benedict Arnold yet?

Posted by: hgillette | August 18, 2009 10:28 PM

Novak's legacy? It is easy to be selfish, but it takes hard work and dedication to be mean.

Posted by: skermaz | August 18, 2009 10:28 PM

Novak, in my opinion, seemed to devote his energy to bringing down ideas and people, not in line with his conservative thoughts. His willingness to help "out" a CIA agent (Valery Plame), because he disagreed with her spouses views...proves that, to him, the Conservative agenda was considered more important than the well being of the United States, and the safety of our citizens and allies.

Posted by: w32e31 | August 18, 2009 11:29 PM

runningI once worked in the press office for a Democratic candidate for President. I loathed everything about Bob Novak. One day he wandered into the office to interview the campaign manager, and plopped the edge of his ass on my desk. It was one of those "Just you and me kid" moments. And I've never forgotten it, or marvelled about how many layers there were to this man.

I send love to his family. Not an easy man, but such a complicated, appealing one. May he be well loved in heaven, and forgiven for any sins.

Along with all the rest of us.

Posted by: wminot1 | August 19, 2009 12:28 AM


First of all my condolences to his family.

This said, this sorry excuse for journalist was a hateful shill, a despicable propagandist, a sabre-rattler and warmongerer.

His legacy? Among other misdeads, outing a decent cover agent, tarnish her and her husband's names, for lowly base purposes: make the case for a war of aggression, the invadion of Iraq to fulfill his neocon buddies' criminal agenda.

I consider him as part of a cabbal to destroy a country and kill hundreds of thousands of its civilians.

He lied, and kept on lying without any sense of shame or honour.

A war criminal. That's what he is/was.

Posted by: bekabo | August 19, 2009 12:44 AM

He was controversial and entertaining. He wasn't convicted on the Plame case but expect he would have been if evidence had been available. One mistake will not ruin a person. Bill Clinton is a perfect example. Thirty staff members prosecuted and convicted plus himself and he's still a great guy. And that was solid evidence. Or maybe accountability drifts on the wind of partisan proclivities. If GWB was so bad why have white house threats increased 400% since he left? It will be interesting to see what becomes of GWB and Cheney,then this other guy. Maybe Novak should have tried to sell corporate bail-outs and government run healthcare and tell us he wasn't born in Mombasa.

Posted by: Canopus | August 19, 2009 3:02 AM

It is UNCONSCIONABLE to reveal a CIA cover - it is like taking a gun to someone's head.

Even though the person uncovered may not be killed - that person is connected to others who may be.

He should have been prosecuted and jailed.

Posted by: pegwc1 | August 19, 2009 8:38 AM

Reminds me of the famous Dorothy Parker quote when told that "Calvin Coolidge is dead"
She replied:
"How could they tell?"


Posted by: sginnc | August 19, 2009 9:30 AM

Novak was a successful bitter old man, long before he was old.

Some of the things he said were funny, he gave a focus to a certain demented part of our population, and though I see many liberals claiming him as a shill for the republicans I believe he merely hated liberals more than he hated republicans.

But he knew which side of the bread was buttered for him, and who was buttering it.

So he may have been a true ahole, but he was a successful one.

He was a bitter, mean, nasty old man. We have all know people like him, whatever philosophy you swallow, the only difference was he had a column.

'Bye Novak. Hope it was quick.

Posted by: katavo | August 19, 2009 10:14 AM

A Walter Cronkitte - he ain't.

I will always remember he was instrumental in the public knowing about Valerie Plame; I will remember his combative nature that seemed to give the "okay" for other journalist to act this way.

Never liked the guy; rest in peace

Posted by: 8yakking | August 19, 2009 11:03 AM

There are some really strong, perhaps even hateful comments here about this man and unfortunately I can't disagree with any of them. I certainly didn't wish the man dead but I most certainly despised him in life. Ironic that he "found" Catholicism late in life and yet could behave so treasonously...yet another enigma in a bitter, vile man. As someone commented earlier...I'm paraphrasing here...now if we could only get rid of Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter et al this world would be a much better place. So long, Bob.

Posted by: DGFMitchell | August 19, 2009 11:18 AM

I had to add something to my comment...the "shock" and "horror" of all the right-wing conservatives here who are "outraged" that we lefties can be so mean-spirited about Novak. Are you serious? Absolutely no-one is more hateful, nasty and vicious than the right-wing neo-cons in America...no-one. Of course, their fodder is usually outright lies so perhaps it's hard for them to read some harsh truths about someone for a change. Gimme a break.

Posted by: DGFMitchell | August 19, 2009 11:29 AM

Disclaimer: Politically, I'm slightly left of center, so I rarely agreed with Bob Novak's opinion. However, in my view, Novak's legacy is similar to that of William F. Buckley and currently George Will: intellectualism on the conservative side. That's what is so tragically missing from the GOP right now--the party has embraced those who disdain intellectualism. What was once the party of Buckley is now the party of Palin and Limbaugh, the Great White Dope. I hold out hope that we will see another Buckley, see more Wills or less mean-spiritied Novak to raise the bar on political discourse.

Posted by: pepperjade | August 19, 2009 11:39 AM

Mr. Novack's legacy will be his outing of Valery Plain and her job at the CIA. In my humble opinion, by dying, he is getting off easy by not having to answer for his crimes.

Posted by: bluestu | August 19, 2009 12:42 PM

He was a reporter? From what I knew of him, he was only a Republican.

Posted by: Patriot3 | August 19, 2009 3:09 PM

Well, it appears that the culture of corruption is non-denominational, after all. What a $urpri$e.

For the record, contrasts with Cronkite are a bit dim; Izzy Stone, if you knew him, remains the best of the lot.


“When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency” Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)

Posted by: sitomer | August 21, 2009 9:49 AM

Rather than risk a karmic head-butt with a snide comment, I'll just say that I think Novak will be remembered most for his outing of Valerie Plame, it showed his true character and not an ounce of remorse for destroying an important intelligence asset against nuclear proliferation. I think that it was his way to make nice with Bush and other Administration neocons for opposing the Iraq war in the first place. RIP Bob. I guess I can just take it out on Kristol from now on.

Posted by: pricetheo | August 21, 2009 11:01 PM

What aspect? His stubborn ideological point of view that couldn't be swayed by facts. And the meanness towards political enemies, personal foes, everybody who raised his anger, whole nations he didn't like, practically almost everybody.

Only at the end of his life, he discovered his inner Mensch. Too little, too late.

Posted by: Gray62 | August 22, 2009 7:18 PM

I met Mr. Novak two times, at a Crossfire taping and at the Popeyes across from the old Woodies. On both occasions, he was very nice and cordial and "old school"; and I didnt agree with his politics or ideology.
No one mentions that he endowed the U of I, his and my alma mater, with a $1 million endowment for the School of Jouralism. Havent heard about too many liberals spending their own money on a similiar project.
He will be missed by all of us "old timers" who are still here in DC.
Susan von

Posted by: Susanvon | August 23, 2009 7:02 PM

"a $1 million endowment for the School of Jouralism"
At least one positive deed! Why isn't this in the official obituary???

Posted by: Gray62 | August 24, 2009 10:43 AM

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