Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Robert Novak - A Real Giant is Gone

Political journalist Robert Novak has died at the age of 78 after a year long hard fought battle with brain cancer.

Robert was a fixture for years on CNN's The Capital Gang, Inside Politics and Crossfire, as well as Meet the Press and Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields, and for the last few years special political commentator for Fox News.

Ostensibly a conservative, what made Robert unique was his fearless approach to getting at the truth of a matter even if it meant the downfall of a conservative political ally.

Robert wasn't concerned about ideology as much as truth getting. He made members of both parties shake in their boots if he got the scent of something going on that was awry with a politician or a bill in Congress.

President Nixon loathed the man, which is a good barometer of just how great Robert was at his job of getting at the heart of a matter and also proved to be a real positive for his journalistic career.

If a major story broke, you can bet Robert was in the mix and quite likely responsible for breaking it in the first place. A registered Democrat, despite his conservative bent, Robert would go head-to-head with members of his own party. A strong proponent for small government, low taxes made him a threat to his own party, but his strong opposition to the Iraq war and the spend-happy Republican congress led by the Bush administration also made him person-non-grata in the White House during the Bush/Cheney tenure.

Robert's political contacts in Washington and throughout the world were staggering. He was one of the best connected journalist and political columnists (for Creators Syndicate) in the history of the news business, granting him information long before any other reporter or journalist. Sometime that got him into trouble, like the time Richard Armitage told him that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative, a fact that Novak quickly confirmed and reported in his daily column. The revelation led to an extensive investigation by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Despite the few and far between mishaps, the majority of Robert's career was spent garnering information and getting the straight facts out to the American public with a conviction and fervor that isn't likely to be matched in a long time.

RIP "Prince of Darkness". You will be greatly missed.

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