Some sad news today from the worlds of Washington and cable news: Robert Novak has died.
Novak passed away Tuesday morning, ending a bout with brain cancer, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He was 78.
Novak– a Sun-Times columnist who became nationally known through his TV work on CNN ("The Capitol Gang," "Evans & Novak") — was known in DC as the "Prince of Darkness," a reference to his hard-right philosophy and no-bull demeanor.
In the age of Fox News, it’s hard to believe someone as relatively refined and gentlemanly could be considered a dark anything. Compared to the venom that flows from certain hosts who shall not be named, Novak was positively bookish.
I grew up watching Novak, delighting in his ability to confront guests directly and with genuine passion. So many of today’s telepundits seem to be playing their parts, pandering to what their fans on the left or right expect from them.
Novak, too, sometimes seemed willing to argue a point one way or the other simply because that was his job. But he’d often let through the crack of a smile after he was done getting worked up– almost telling his opponent (and viewers), "OK, the other side’s probably right on this one– but this is a democracy, dammit, and I’m just making sure my side gets its point across. Nothing personal."
RIP, Bob Novak.