More On Plame-gate

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More On Plame-gate

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:28 pm

Cussing, walking off show gets Novak suspended by CNN

August 5, 2005

BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter Advertisement

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak swore and then stormed off the set of CNN's "Inside Politics" Thursday, prompting CNN to suspend him indefinitely.

The suspension comes after prolonged pressure on Novak, who is at the center of a federal probe into the leaking of a CIA officer's identity. Novak erupted while he and commentator James Carville were discussing a U.S. Senate campaign in Florida. After the columnist walked off the set, CNN correspondent Ed Henry said he had planned to ask Novak about his role in the investigation.

"Bob Novak's behavior on CNN today was inexcusable and unacceptable. Mr. Novak has apologized to CNN, and CNN apologizes to its viewers for his language and actions. We've asked Mr Novak to take some time off," said CNN spokeswoman Edie Emery.

Novak did not return messages left Thursday evening.

Debate candidate's chances

During the show, Carville and Novak talked about the Senate candidacy of Republican Katherine Harris, who as Florida's secretary of state presided over the tumultuous 2000 presidential recount. Novak argued the opposition of Florida's Republican establishment might not necessarily hurt Harris.

''Let me just finish, James, please,'' Novak continued. ''I know you hate to hear me, but you have to.''

Carville, looking at host Ed Henry, said, "He's got to show these right-wingers that he's got a backbone, you know. It's why the Wall Street Journal editorial page is watching you. Show 'em that you're tough.''

Carville then sat back in his chair, laughing.

''Well, I think that's bull----, and I hate that,'' Novak said. Then, making a sweeping motion with his hands, Novak said to Henry, "Just let it go."

As Henry started to ask Carville a question, Novak stood up and walked off the set.

Carville, known as the "Ragin' Cajun," is a Democratic political consultant who advised Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign. He and Novak have appeared together often on CNN, frequently sparring on shows like "Crossfire," which feature heated argument as their main attraction. Novak had never left a set before, a CNN source said.

Outed CIA operative

Novak is a political conservative, with views similar to those espoused by the Wall Street Journal's editorial page. The Journal has defended Novak in the furor over the CIA case.

The case involves the outing of Valerie Plame, whom Novak identified as a CIA operative in a July 2003 column. Plame is married to former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had criticized intelligence relied on by the Bush administration that it used to justify invading Iraq. Wilson later accused the White House of leaking his wife's identity to discredit him.

A federal investigation led by Chicago's U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ensued. Novak has repeatedly refused to comment on his role, or say whether he testified before the grand jury. Two other reporters involved fought not to reveal their sources, and Judith Miller of the New York Times is now in jail for refusing to talk.

In June, Henry, who is filling in temporarily as host of "Inside Politics," asked Novak about the case. On Thursday, Novak was told Henry would ask about it again at the end of Thursday's segment, a CNN source said.

In a column that ran in the Sun-Times on Monday, Novak suggested he learned Plame's identity partly from reading Who's Who in America. A CNN source said a producer had placed a copy of Who's Who on the set Thursday prior to the taping, apparently so it could be consulted while Novak was asked about the issue.

Contributing: AP
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Post by Ralph » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:10 pm

I prefer Jon Stewart's frequent characterization of Novak as a "douche bag."

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