Robert Novak's very sad story

The columnist says Plamegate cost him a lot of money and his friendship with Karl Rove.

Published August 7, 2007 2:32PM (EDT)

Robert Novak said on "The Diane Rehm Show" Monday that George W. Bush has cut him off "the list of conservative columnists" invited to the White House because he's now considered to be "a lot of trouble."

Don't feel sorry for Novak yet? Well, then, consider this: The man who wrote the column that outed Valerie Plame says he's had a "very difficult time" as a result.

"It really estranged relations between me and Karl Rove," Novak told Rehm Monday. "His lawyers told him not to speak to me. We're talking again now, but I don't think our relationship can ever be what it was."

Still don't feel sorry for the man who calls himself "The Prince of Darkness"? There's more:

"The abuse -- you can't imagine the abuse I get in e-mails. People say things in e-mails ... that are absolutely ... dreadful. [Plamegate] cost me financially, it cost me very heavy legal fees -- about $160,000. And then you have, beyond that, I wasn't on 'Meet the Press' for a number of years, and it helped poison my relationship with CNN ... They didn't want me on the air if I couldn't talk about [the Plame case] ... It was not a happy time for me ... Some people think, 'Gee, you got a lot of publicity.' Well, the last thing I need is publicity."

Novak complained that he got "very little support" during the case from his "shameful" journalistic colleagues, who he said let their liberal ideology trump their commitment to real journalism.

In an interview conducted just days after Rupert Murdoch purchased the Wall Street Journal, Novak declared that the news media is overrun by liberals and that it's pretty much impossible for conservatives to get jobs in journalism anymore. "What I tell them is to go in the closet: don't tell anybody you're a conservative, don't tell a soul, because you're not going to get the job, and you're not going to get advanced," Novak said. "You just say you have 'no political leanings' ... because a conservative label on someone would really be an impediment to their careers."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Karl Rove War Room