Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Robert Novak (Bob Novak) Passed Away at 78

Robert Novak (Bob Novak) Passed Away at 78
Robert D. Novak, 78, an influential columnist and panelist on TV news-discussion shows who called himself a "stirrer up of strife" on behalf of conservative causes, died today at his home in Washington of a brain tumor first diagnosed in July 2008. One of his more legendary moments in recent memory came in 2005, when he said "Bullshit!" on the air on CNN and stormed off the set after a comment by James Carville.

In recent years, Mr. Novak was best known for publicly identifying CIA operative Valerie Plame. His July 14, 2003, column was printed days after Plame's husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly claimed that the Bush White House had knowingly distorted intelligence that Iraq tried to obtain uranium from Africa.

The column triggered a lengthy federal investigation into the Plame leak and resulted in the 2007 conviction of a top vice presidential aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, for perjury and obstruction of justice. President George W. Bush later commuted Libby's prison term.Mr. Novak was accused by prominent journalists of being a pawn in a government retribution campaign against Wilson. Mr. Novak, who had called the U.S. invasion of Iraq "unjustified," denied the allegation.


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