Novak in the News

There’s the Bob Novak-and-his-black-Corvette-hit-a-guy-yesterday story on Politico (according to a witness, “a black Corvette convertible with top closed plows into the guy. The guy is sort of splayed into the windshield.”)

And Novak’s name also appears in another (arguably more interesting) Politico piece today headlined, “GOP losing the new-media war.” Writes Jonathan Martin:

Republicans have no lack of would-be George F. Wills.

But what they really need are some more Robert D. Novaks.

The distinction between the two prominent conservative journalists isn’t always obvious, but it’s nevertheless important to understand: One almost exclusively writes opinion pieces, while the other offers reportage with a point of view.

The same might be said of the emerging differences between the conservative presence on the Internet and the liberal one: The right is engaged in the business of opining while the left features sites that offer a more reportorial model.

Martin points to Talkingpoints Memo and The Huffington Post and argues “the absence of any websites on the right devoted to reporting—as opposed to just commenting on the news—is proving politically costly to Republicans,” indeed putting them at a “severe disadvantage in the high-stakes business of distributing information about favored candidates and the opposition.”

Interesting stuff. True, left-leaning sites like Talkingpoints Memo and HuffPost have uniquely impacted election coverage this season, but these sites are not entirely “devoted to reporting” or even distributing original information. And there are right-leaning sites that “distribute information about favored candidates and the opposition” (

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.