An angered Robert Novak exited set of CNN ''Inside Politics'' show

Friday, August 5, 2005

The journalist who first revealed in print the Valerie Plame CIA connection, Robert Novak, angrily left the set of an Inside Politics segment Thursday night.

The discussion, led by Ed Henry of CNN, centered on the Florida republican House representative Katherine Harris election prospects in a possible square-off against Florida’s democratic Senate representative Bill Nelson.

The Chicago Sun-Times syndicated columnist and CNN contributor, Novak took offense when co-appearing James Carville interrupted Novak when he was defending the Harris election victory chances. "Let me just finish, James, please," Novak said. "I know you hate to hear me, but you have to."

Carville countered with, "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."

The discussion was shortened when Novak responded to Carville saying, "Well, I think that's bullshit, and I hate that." Then, with a wave of his hand to moderator Henry, Novak said, "Just let it go." Novak stood and then left the set. Henry never got to ask Novak about his role in the federal probe on the Plame leak led by Patrick Fitzgerald.

CNN suspended Novak indefinitely, despite his apology to the organization. The network said in a statement. "Mr. Novak has apologized to CNN, and CNN apologizes to its viewers for his language and actions. We've asked Mr. Novak to take some time off."