1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Robert Novak retires due to "dire" brain tumor

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by PopeDirkBenedict, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member


    No matter what you think of his personality or politics, his column was legendary
  2. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Column was most useful, once you read between the lines and managed to filter out the utter bullshit.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Between him and Russert, the Washington media scene won't ever be the same.
  4. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    Godspeed, Mr. Novak.
  5. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    passing along something my dad sent me ...


    By Jules Witcover

    WASHINGTON--The decision of veteran political columnist Robert D. Novak to retire after 45 years as the nation’s most prodigious and arguably most provocative journalistic voice was clearly not a matter of personal choice.

    Only the recent discovery of a brain tumor and what he called a "dire" prognosis could have forced Novak to lay down his life-long mission of afflicting the comfortable in politics with indefatigable old-fashioned fact-seeking. Retirement was totally foreign to his nature, to the point that on learning of his illness he had said only that he was "suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period."

    Unlike most of his competitors in the column-writing business, Novak for more than half a century, back to when he worked for the United Press wire service and later the Wall Street Journal, has been first and foremost the ultimate shoe-leather reporter.

    While his increasingly conservative viewpoints over the years have made him the favorite journalistic target of liberal politicians and readers, he has remained through that long period the nonpareil workhorse in his field. He has repeatedly broken stories left and right while others in the rarified atmosphere of punditry have been content with thumb-sucking.

    His recent memoir, "The Prince of Darkness," the nickname playfully pinned on him by a colleague long ago for his brooding countenance and purveyance of impending doom, chronicled a host of exclusive reports and the zest with which he pursued and unearthed them over the years.

    Novak’s pugnaciousness inevitably made him a television celebrity as the era of the talking head evolved, and his dour on-screen persona brought him an army of liberal critics. Many who have known him only from his often pessimistic columns and television utterances mistakenly judged the man to be truly what his nickname suggested.

    In private, however, Novak has long had a much lighter, more temperate and above all generous side that has brought him a wide circle of friends among politicians and fellow journalists alike. In those ranks I proudly belong, while differing with him sharply on most of his politics.

    Though he has been widely viewed by readers as a knee-jerk conservative, on paramount issues such as the calamity of the American invasion and occupation Iraq we have been in agreement.

    Novak readers and viewers may be surprised to learn that for as long as he has been one of the most industrious reporters in the news business, he has also been among the most loyal, not to say fanatical sports fans. He has , seldom missed a home game involving the University of Maryland basketball team, the Washington Redskins and in the last few years has been faithful season-ticket holder for the Washington Nationals.

    Thirty years ago, when Novak wrangled a rare interview in China with Communist leader Deng Tsiao-Peng, he managed on the return flight from
    Beijing to change planes in Los Angeles and fly direct to Las Vegas. There he caught a key game between a powerhouse of the time, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas [UNLV], and his cherished Maryland Terrapins.

    On another occasion, when he was being roasted at a dinner in Washington honoring him before a crowd of politicians and newsmen, Novak was thought to be passing up another key Maryland game that night. It turned out later that as he sat supposedly listening to hours of jibes about him, he had a portable radio plugged into one ear, tuned to the game throughout the verbal abuse.

    Novak’s 30-year column partnership with the late Rowland Evans earned them another nickname as "The Odd Couple," because Evans, of aristocratic breeding and demeanor, was a sharp contrast to the Novak image as a blue-collar street brawler. Actually, he was an honored alumnus of the University of Illinois, to which he later bestowed a student scholarship program.

    The column, before and after Evans’ retirement, was a labor of unmatched persistence and constant interest that now will be sorely missed--with the hope in this corner that Bob Novak may yet emerge from his current personal darkness to resume it in days ahead.

  6. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Novak "afflicting the comfortable".

    Make me laugh.

    Not in the past thirty years.
  7. pallister

    pallister Guest

    These threads show the Left's true colors. Carry on, Mr. Hecht.
  8. Jay Sherman

    Jay Sherman Member

    Big supporter of the Terps. Prayers to him and his family.
  9. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Did Ben take any pleasure in Novak's declining health? He simply criticized his column and his views. Last I checked, that wasn't taboo.
  10. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    I've said on here previously that I thought the book "Prince of Darkness" was great. Devoured every word.

    The guy wrote one of the must-read political columns of the past forty-plus years.

    He also drank a lot, has previously embraced the role of public diva on any number of talk shows, and has reportedly been a true boor in any number of public situations -- lines at airline checkin counters, chief among them.
    And his burgeoning sympathy for monied conservatives has left me increasingly cold.

    But bear the man no ill, and hope he recovers. At 77, the man still wrote one hell of a column. He'll be long remembered . . . but in terms of broad public reputation, he's made his bed, and nothing's going to change it, now.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Quite a reach you got there, pall.
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    I'd be defensive, too, if I'd been standing up for the major players involved with the current regime in recent years.

    Carry on. Have fun.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page