Novak Dies

We don’t know the ramifications of what he did beyond its direct effect on Valerie Plame herself, and we never will, because they’re classified, and I mean nobody would be a big enough slimeball to leak that kind of stuff, right? Hence the “possibly.”

Easy Big Fellah.

I know the possible implications of revealing a CIA Agent’s identity. I was asking Jon if he had proof of any bad outcomes relating to any of Novak’s activities.

You were asking extarbags that, BlueJ.

I hope it was very painful. It is sad that he probably had excellent hospice care.

Whoops, can’t tell those two apart sometimes.

There’s a big difference between mourning and actively wishing someone dead (which is what I think you’re actually using for your standard). I don’t approve of killing assholes because they are assholes but I’m also not going to mourn their deaths. Mourning implies an authentic sadness that just isn’t there.


The truth is most of us don’t care when anyone we don’t know dies. In the case of famous people, we assign some sort of moral equation to their deaths (it’s so sad that Farrah Fawcett died of anal cancer! Thank god Robert Novak died of brain cancer!), but the truth is Novak wasn’t “evil.” He committed good and bad acts like most people, and will be remembered for the worst of them, like most (in)famous people. But he didn’t deserve to die for his role in outing Valerie Plame’s identity, and the two events really have nothing to do with each other.

Anyway, don’t forget this is a guy with a wife, two kids, and eight grandchildren who won’t be seeing him anymore. That’s sad.

He will be remembered as a complete blowhard who advocated for policies that were harmful to millions of Americans. Yes, we’re sorry that we can’t look beyond that. And I didn’t even mention the spy thing, which was fucking treason.

And nobody laughs at the Darwin awards either.

Holy shit you read my mind! Except I would not have said “we’re sorry.”

He deserved a painful death and I hope he got it.

By your standards, absolutely no one is evil. Which is bullshit. You don’t have to be pure evil to be evil.

He was consistently an unpleasant person on air who advocated for heinous policies & people. And he outed a CIA agent for no reason other than political gain. If you have some evidence that he was a good person, I’d honestly like to see it.

Well, he did do the right thing, and die.


I could never figure this out. Is/was he black or caucasian/tanned?

He advocated for civil rights in the 60s, was critical of the Nixon administration and, believe it or not, of the Iraq War. He started his career as a progressive and gradually moved further and further right. How do you take the sum total of a man’s life? By the times you personally have seen him on TV? Ridiculous. For all the times he was “unpleasant” on the air, I’m guessing there were just as many if not more times he was warm and cordial off the air.

Obviously none of us are privvy to the 99% of his life spent out of the public spotlight. I’m saying it’s childish to call someone you dislike and disagree with “evil” because he made you upset.

So what? How should “Oh he was a nice old man off the air” (which you’re just guessing at, by the way) outweigh “He outed an undercover CIA agent for political gain.” He deserves to be remembered for the latter, because it was a hateful thing to do. The semantic question of whether or not it’s “evil” and not just “really really bad” is boring to me, but I see no reason he doesn’t deserve to be remembered for the unquestionably wrong thing he did in the Valerie Plame case. That is not an appropriate case to say “You disagree with someone and disparage them.” You SHOULD consider that a despicable act regardless of your political persuasion.

When have I ever advocated he be remembered for anything at all? Or discouraged anyone from considering the Plame outing anything other than “despicable?” My problem is with the blithe labeling of people you disagree with as “evil,” and then celebrating their death. It strikes me as childish, and indicates an incuriousness and a need for quick and easy compartmentalization. That’s all. Feel free to condemn the acts you’re aware of.

Slate has an interesting critique of Novak free of over the top hate if anybody’s interested.

It feels surreal to say this, but: I’m with NWJ. Novak shouldn’t be reviled for a single shitty act.

He should be reviled for a career FULL of shitty acts.