CNN Suspends Novak After He Walks Off Set
The ever-cranky Bob Novak has been suspended by CNN after he swore at James Carville and then walked off the “Inside Politics” set yesterday.
Robert Novak, whose revelation of a CIA officer’s name in a 2003 column has sparked a federal probe, was suspended by CNN after he swore and walked off the set during a live taping of “Inside Politics.” CNN correspondent Ed Henry said afterward that he had been about to ask Novak about his role in the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity, which the columnist has repeatedly refused to comment on.
The incident occurred Thursday as Novak and Democratic operative James Carville were handicapping the Senate candidacy of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Novak said the opposition of the Republican establishment in Florida might not be fatal for her.
“Let me just finish, James, please,” Novak continued. “I know you hate to hear me, but you have to.” Carville, addressing the camera, said: “He’s got to show these right wingers that he’s got a backbone, you know. It’s why The Wall Street Journal editorial page is watching you. Show ’em that you’re tough.” “Well, I think that’s bull—- and I hate that,” Novak replied. “Just let it go.” As moderator Henry stepped in to ask Carville a question, Novak walked off the set.
A CNN spokeswoman, Edie Emery, called Novak’s behavior “inexcusable and unacceptable.” Novak apologized to CNN, and CNN was apologizing to viewers, she said. “We’ve asked Mr. Novak to take some time off,” she said.
The show was on the television monitors at work as I was waiting for the elevator. I missed the fireworks, however.
While Novak has never been among my favorite talking heads–he’s a much better columnist than television commentator–he’s usually quite professional. One imagines that the strain of the Plame affair, which has been going on over two years, is wearing on him. Plus, Carville does have a way of getting under people’s skin.
One presumes Novak will be back on the air soon. This incident is not especially egregious, especially in light of a half century of journalistic excellence.
Around the ‘sphere:
- Kevin Aylward has a screenshot and thinks there’s more to the story.
- LaShawn Barber doesn’t like cursing but sympathizes with Novak.
- John Hawkins includes this in a huge crack-of-dawn news roundup.
- Michelle Malkin finds it inexcuseable conduct for a public figure.
- Political Teen Ian Schwartz has the video.
Update: It’s all over the papers, too:
- Novak Walks Off Live CNN Program (NYT)
CNN Suspends Novak for ‘Inexcusable’ Outburst (LAT)
Cussing, walking off show gets Novak suspended by CNN (ChiS-T)
Novak’s outburst, exit stoke CNN’s ire (ChiTrib)
CNN suspends Novak after he walks off set (Boston Globe)
After CNN outburst, Novak told to take a break (Reuters)
Spelling error in original corrected.