Novak Walks Off CNN Set.................!

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Mon Aug 8 09:59:03 MDT 2005


washingtonpost.com
CNN Suspends Novak After He Walks Off Set

By DAVID BAUDER
The Associated Press
Friday, August 5, 2005; 12:42 AM



NEW YORK -- CNN suspended commentator Robert Novak indefinitely 
after he swore and walked off the set Thursday during a debate 
with Democratic operative James Carville.

The live exchange during CNN's "Inside Politics" came during a 
discussion of Florida's Senate campaign. CNN correspondent Ed 
Henry noted when it was over that he had been about to ask Novak 
about his role in the investigation of the leak of a CIA officer's 
identity.

A CNN spokeswoman, Edie Emery, called Novak's behavior 
"inexcusable and unacceptable." Novak apologized to CNN, and CNN 
was apologizing to viewers, she said.

"We've asked Mr. Novak to take some time off," she said.

A telephone message at Novak's office was not immediately returned 
Thursday.

Carville and Novak were both trying to speak while they were 
handicapping the GOP candidacy of Katherine Harris. Novak said the 
opposition of the Republican establishment in Florida might not be 
fatal for her.

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

Carville, addressing the camera, 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."

"Well, I think that's bull---- and I hate that," Novak replied. 
"Just let it go."

As moderator Henry stepped in to ask Carville a question, Novak 
walked off the set.

Only two weeks ago, CNN executives defended their decision to keep 
Novak on the air during the ongoing probe into the revelation of 
CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity. In a July 2003 newspaper 
column, Novak identified Plame, the wife of administration critic 
and former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, as a CIA operative.

Wilson has said the leak of his wife's name was an attempt by the 
administration to discredit him. Two other reporters connected to 
the case openly fought the revelation of their sources, and Judith 
Miller of The New York Times has been jailed for refusing to 
cooperate with prosecutors.

Novak has repeatedly refused to comment about his role in the 
federal investigation.

After Novak walked off on Thursday, Henry said that Novak had been 
told before the segment that he was going to be asked on air about 
the CIA case.

"I'm hoping that we will be able to ask him about that in the 
future," Henry said.

Novak has been a longtime contributor to CNN, taking the 
conservative point of view during the just-canceled "Crossfire" 
show.

© 2005 The Associated Press


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