With the announcement today that CNN is not renewing Robert Novak’s contract, and that Fox News is bringing him aboard, we felt a touch of nostalgia for the old curmudgeon — after all, he put in an astounding 25 years snarling and spitting at whatever and whomever crossed his path at CNN.
Naturally, we couldn’t help but think back to Bob’s Greatest Hits, the most memorable being the last, when he blew up and stormed off the set this past August, after a gleeful James Carville cackled that Novak was trying to “show these right wingers that he’s got backbone.” Incensed, Novak uttered what were the last words he would ever speak into a CNN microphone: “Now, James, that’s bullshit!” Standing up, he told segment host Ed Henry “Just let it go,” and stalked off the set.
Somehow it seems appropriate that the last words the Dark Prince of Cable uttered on a CNN set consisted of a scatological curse, followed by a command.
But enough dwelling upon fond memories. A new year is dawning, and we look forward to Novak on Fox. Who knows — maybe Fox News honcho Roger Ailes can convince Bob to tell us what he told the special prosecutor about the Valerie Plame affair.
Paul McLeary is senior editor of Defense Technology International magazine, and is a former CJR staffer.
Let’s just hope he keeps it clean.