Bob Novak apologized Friday for saying "That's bullshit" and walking off the set of CNN's "Inside Politics." Now the Wall Street Journal says the rest of us should say that we're sorry, too. "After more than four decades criticizing both Republicans and Democrats, Mr. Novak doesn't need to apologize to anyone for his sincerity," the Journal says in an editorial today. "The members of the liberal press pack owe Mr. Novak an apology, not vice versa."
That's not all the Journal says. Novak walked off the CNN set in the middle of a discussion about Katherine Harris, right after James Carville taunted him about his need to look tough in eyes of the Wall Street Journal and other "right wingers." The Journal suggests that Novak might have responded more forcefully. "Mr. Novak has since appropriately apologized for losing his cool," the Journal writes, "but Mr. Carville is lucky he didn't get punched in the nose."
As for Carville? He's getting his digs in, too. There was much speculation last week that Novak walked off the set to avoid questions he knew were coming about his involvement in the Valerie Plame case -- and, more particularly, that he erupted when he saw a copy of "Who's Who" sitting on a table on the set. Novak has mentioned the book repeatedly, pseudo-suggesting that he might have figured out Plame's identity without much help from leakers at the White House. Did seeing the book on the set get Novak's dander up? Carville seems to think so. "Bob's got a lot going on in his life," Carville tells USA Today, "and that book was sitting on the desk like a barf bag, just waiting."
Novak himself doesn't have much to say. In "an ever-so-brief and slightly rough-and-tumble telephone interview" with Roll Call, Novak was asked how he would have answered if he'd stuck around the CNN set long enough to be asked about Plame. "Thats none of your business," he responded. Roll Call then asked Novak if he would be returning for more testimony before Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury. His response: "That would suggest Ive been there before, and you dont know that."