« A lost opportunity | Main | In Massachusetts, "Free" is a four-letter word »

Robert Novak Suspended From CNN For Cursing Incident


It's August in Washington, which means that this is what passes for news...

NEW YORK (AP) - CNN suspended commentator Robert Novak indefinitely after he swore and walked off the set Thursday during a debate with Democratic operative James Carville

...Carville and Novak were both trying to speak while they were handicapping the GOP candidacy of 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 [Ed] Henry stepped in to ask Carville a question, Novak walked off the set.

This Ed Henry fellow claims he was about to ask Novak some hard hitting questions about the Valerie Plame case, but come on it's CNN fer Christ sakes, would that scare anyone into dropping an s-bomb to make an early escape?

I doubt it...

Video available at The Political Teen and Crooks and Liars (where you can also find reaction links).

Update: On the other hand, if he was about to get beaten down by the bulky copy of Who's Who In America on the desk, that might be worth beating a hasty retreat. There's a pretty damn easy way to find that out (see below)...

Blogopshere Assignment

Since we can see the book on the table, we now just need to see what's the book under the Joseph Wilson listing. If someone with access to the 2003 edition of the book can scan the Wilson entry, I'll make sure the wider blogosphere sees it. E-mail me a copy of the scanned image in whatever format is easiest for you...

Other Coverage

Think Progress
Balloon Juice


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Robert Novak Suspended From CNN For Cursing Incident:

» Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane linked with Novak wigs out

» Sister Toldjah linked with Novak suspended after walking off set

» Outside The Beltway linked with CNN Suspends Novak After He Walks Off Set

» La Shawn Barber's Corner linked with Bob Novak Suspended From CNN

» PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science linked with Bob “Thin Skinned” Novak

» bennellibrothers.com linked with Novak Meltdown

» Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense linked with Bob should have "Clocked" Carville

» Danny Carlton: codenamed "Jack Lewis" linked with Robert Novak suspended from CNN

Comments (32)

Talk about a lost opportuni... (Below threshold)

Talk about a lost opportunity... If Novak was going to do that he should have just bitch slapped Carville and gotten it over with!

Why anyone would expect mor... (Below threshold)

Why anyone would expect more from Carville is a wonder. Carville loves ad hominem. It's his forté and something he must employ more and more as his POV diminishes and he continues the plunge into irrelevance.

I'm not a big fan of Novak but I don't blame him for walking off the set. Serious people should not tolerate irrelevant and offensive banter. Participating in an on-air circus reflects poorly upon one's reputation since it creates such a spectacle and detracts from the issue.

Fortunately, fewer and fewer people are tuning in to the carnival barkers and the big tent is shrinking. Novak's career might improve the further from CNN he gets, and he might not want to continue helping Turner make product, even if it's a bad one.

Novak took his lack of ball... (Below threshold)
Matt V:

Novak took his lack of balls and went home, I see.

Either he couldn't stand up to Carville, or he just found a convenient pretext to avoid the questions he knew were coming up.

RE: Matt V's post (August 4... (Below threshold)

RE: Matt V's post (August 4, 2005 10:43 PM)

Sometimes even the most stout tire of feeding trolls and Carville would certainly qualify. Is it possible that Novak sought an escape clause to the "debate"? Of course, and I'm noticing the Left side of the aisle advance that argument because Rove is slipping away from the social conscience. This serves as a nice platform to resurrect it.

Conversely, it's also possible that Novak just tired of Carville's antics and knew that Carville wasn't really interested in debating more than he was interested in irrelevant insults. Like I said, classic Carville.

When one matures and finds that time and opportunity is not unlimited, then one tends to spend effort on more worthwhile endeavors and dump the inane and annoying. Carville qualifies for annoying at a minimum. Novak's real mistake was giving Carville the forum and CNN the audience. No matter, however, as both Carville and CNN continue to plumment in value.

so is "took his lack of bal... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

so is "took his lack of balls and went home" the new catch phrase you mirmadons are going to run in the ground?

I got one for you: "he took his lack of balls and got frogmarched home"

Carville schtick got old along time ago, that smug ass pinhead is one of the reasons I left the Democratic Party. You can't be taken seriously by rational people if all you got is rudeness and rhetoric.

Novak took his lack of b... (Below threshold)

Novak took his lack of balls and went home, I see.

Even when discussing how talk/news has deteriorated to name calling we even get it the comments. It reinforces the fact that reason has been replaced by emotion and name calling and that its the lefties that usually bring it about. I mean they can't get anywhere when things are discussed openly.

They have to name call or start brewing conspriracy theories to justify their position.

Sure Novak was wrong to los... (Below threshold)

Sure Novak was wrong to lose his control and swear on tv. But his bigger mistake was to go on the air with that clown Carville. Carville does not treat anyone decently and if the other person is making a point he can't refute (which is frequently) then he just shouts them down.

He was just pissed off that... (Below threshold)

He was just pissed off that he didn't see any of the hot CNN babes in the debate he'd been promised would participate.

Novak was a big huge bleedi... (Below threshold)

Novak was a big huge bleeding vagina about it. What a joke. He dishes it out for what, 30 years? he can take one off-handed comment by Carville. I have zero tolerance for wussbags of that magnitude. I don't even mind the A-bomb (even though CNN might)...but the walking off? Weak sauce. Carville made him his bitch with one sentence.

The move would have been to simply look at Carville and say "Are you always this classless, James?" and continue with his point.

Only "bitch" that Carville ... (Below threshold)

Only "bitch" that Carville could get would have 4 legs-then he would get bit.

Novak was clearly an... (Below threshold)
Jack Rudd:

Novak was clearly angry even before Carville's proximate provocations, and this is unusual since Novak normally has a very thick skin. One suspects that Carville was being his usual a*****e self over a sustained period.

Carville often deserves to have his lights punched out. If Novak hadn't recently been recovering from serious hip problems, he might have done it, and I would have cheered.

To elaborate a little furth... (Below threshold)

To elaborate a little further on my reaction, when faced with this kind of situation where someone is being a boor when we have business to which we shoudl be attending, I actually run two parallel thoughts:

1. What would Churchill say to this person? Wit, humopr, stinging sarcasm, filth...for what does the occasion call?

2. How hard would Woverine punch this person? Meaning do I go the angry route and potentially end up in a fist fight.

One or the other always works. Novak took the meow way out...what a pussy. Cat.

well, JimK, I have to look ... (Below threshold)

well, JimK, I have to look at what you've proposed:

1. Winston Churchill would've had this clown strung up years ago as a traitor to his country
2. Wolverine would've been guilty of at least 2nd degree battery
3. What Novak did, and tell the other person that he was offended, and left

If I was to punch somebody in the face on camera, you know who'd be in jail in a heartbeat. Some people just will not listen. Sometimes it's just better to walk away.

Well, CNN is used to the wo... (Below threshold)

Well, CNN is used to the word "Bullsh*t"

Watch this video - Its hillarious...and shows the leftist liberal bias


There is a video you can watch....listen carefully when a female producer says "Bullsh*t" at the time when Lous Dobbs passes the microphone to the reporter....HILLARIOUS... at http://satire.myblogsite.com/blog

JimK,I understand ... (Below threshold)


I understand your point and if this was a first time run-in between Novak and Carville, I'd probably suggest the Churchillian route and advise verbally dressing him down.

The difference here though was the context, and you can bet that there was context... in spades. We don't yet know if there was some specific off-air tension (other than the Rove diversion) that premeditated this. Nonetheless, these are a couple of the most savvy on-air personalities in the pundit industry and they know every trick in the book. They probably wrote a few chapters of it too. Novak obviously had just accumulated enough of Carville's idiocy and needling to say "to heck with this, I'm outta here". Certainly, after years of this type of BS (his term), Novak deserves some latitude. It would have been worse if he cold-cocked the guy, so a vanilla cussword served as the left hook.

Novak doesn't owe anyone an apology. If people were insulted with his language, I might call that a disingenuous position. Politics and punditry are known for their course exchanges though it typically is not said during prime time. If he violated FCC rules, fine him according to statute... but don't cry about it because one's delicate sensitivities have been hurt. I don't buy that for a second though it may not be language one would use in every conversation.

As far as walking off, I reiterate that walking on with Carville was the mistake. You can bet that CNN had an ambush set up, and Carville loves to be the guy firing the musket. Carville was just preparing the battlefield and I'll bet Novak saw it coming. Rather than stay and take Carville's cheap shots by remaining somewhat muted (at the request of Fitzgerald due to the ongoing Wilson investigation), he left to avoid that no-win inevitability. Novak is not some amateur and reading Carville is not that hard.

dtlc:If you're goi... (Below threshold)


If you're going to link to a site that's Not Safe For Work, would you please warn people that it's NFSW? It isn't a problem for me because I don't visit these sites from work; it might be a problem for other people though.

What B Moe wrote (^^).... (Below threshold)

What B Moe wrote (^^).

I concur that Carville and so many people like him on television, in print and otherwise out of touch are a lot of why a lot of former Democrats are no longer Democrats.

Perhaps Novak perceived the futility of the entire process -- CNN, Carville -- and just let fly. Walking off a set on a live broadcast sure does make the point that you could not care less about the venue, or pretense, for that matter.

Novak seems the far more realistic, even rational one in this case. Because Carville DOES exemplify B.S. and I know I'd have been tempted to just cut through it all and walk away.

But, what's that object on the back of Carville's head? Looks like an implant, somethin'.

I wouldn't worry about it, ... (Below threshold)

I wouldn't worry about it, -S-. Unless, of course, Carville starts spouting things like:

"You will be assimilated."
"Resistance is futile."

If That happens, be afraid...be very afraid.

All personal insults prove ... (Below threshold)

All personal insults prove is that the insulter has nothing.

Novak made a mistake when a... (Below threshold)

Novak made a mistake when agreed to go on the air with Carville and expecting anything better than personal jabs. Unfortunately, the best the leftist seem to have are mindless minions with kook conspiracy theories and ad hominem attacks, so what's someone who makes their living as an on air political commentator to do ?

- MikeB

Carville is nothing more th... (Below threshold)

Carville is nothing more than a hired mouth anyway. He could just as easily been working for the republicans if they were to ever lower their standards. He couldn't care less who he speaks for, he has no beliefs other than believing he should be paid a lot of money and be seen a lot on TV. He'd be just as happy working as North Korea's front man as long as the checks get there on time and didn't bounce.

Carville is an agent provoc... (Below threshold)

Carville is an agent provocateur, and Novak knows it. Maybe the guy was just having a bad day and snapped -- I don't think he would use it as an excuse to avoid Plame questions -- it's too damaging to his reputation, and he could simply have not gone on at all.

Carville is a characature of himself -- everyone knows his shtick. Novak could have buried him if he kept his cool.

This is classic. I have no ... (Below threshold)

This is classic. I have no problem with Novak swearing, although I do appreciate anything that makes that a-hole look bad. And I know Carville is really hated by the right. But let's get real. Novak has made a living off of these TV shoutfests, and has given as good as he got. I mean my God, did you ever watch Crossfire? To hear people say "he never should have agreed to go on the air with someone like Carville" like Novak has somehow sullied himself. Please.

Let's review the Novak's hi... (Below threshold)

Let's review the Novak's history on CNN and Rovegate. He used to be on three shows; Evans and Novak(gone), Capital Gang (gone), Cross Fire (gone). Now he just gets spots on Inside Politics.

He is linked to Rovegate, and hasn't spoke out about it because his lawyer has said not to. He was going to be asked to talk about it, and decided against it.

He did the right thing, I hope he starts getting calls from Fox, and gets work there.

I watched the video and I c... (Below threshold)

I watched the video and I can't see what Novak was so huffy about. Carville wasn't being any more of a horse's butt than he usually is.

But having said this, I seriously doubt he walked off to escape getting beat up over Plame/Rove. Novak is a big boy and can take care of himself in these pie fights.

Novak is a big boy and c... (Below threshold)

Novak is a big boy and can take care of himself in these pie fights.

Apparently not, on both counts.

*speculation*Guys, I... (Below threshold)

Guys, I think Novack was a little tipsy during that segment. Listen carefully to the way he is talking. Could be why he got suspended.

Carville may be a douche at... (Below threshold)

Carville may be a douche at times, but so what.

Novak Pussed out. Big time. It really says something about the Wingnuts when they equate pussing out as "having class".

Wingnuts, your day of reckoning is coming. Your soft, veal tender candy asses will soon feel the frightening, and yet excitingly brisk sting of the "Spank of Truth".

Nothing feels better than widening the poop shoot on a hard-right round and tight serious piece of christian whacko ass. Stinky Hippie liberal douche does not compare to the naughty screams of a foundamentalist whore bag getting juiced.
Bye now,

RE: KarlMarx's verbal diarr... (Below threshold)

RE: KarlMarx's verbal diarrhea (August 5, 2005 05:09 PM)

Are your Pampers too binding, or what? And please entertain us with more of your fetish. It'll give the psychiatrists in our midst more material to diagnose your dementia.

"Spank of Truth". <... (Below threshold)

"Spank of Truth".

Hey Karl, that's what you've been feeling for the past several years.

KarlMarx -- you've got the ... (Below threshold)

KarlMarx -- you've got the character in BARFLY down perfect.

You can tell by Novak's gut... (Below threshold)

You can tell by Novak's gut that he's been breaking the law, and I'm gonna turn him in!






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy