Jay Rosen hits it on the head -- no media outlet with any pretense to integrity should allow Novak the opportunity to act out his charade of being a "journalist" until he 'fesses up about his part in the Valerie Plame affair:
I, for one, have had it with Robert Novak. And if all the journalists who are talking today about "chilling effects" and individual conscience mean what they say, they will, as a matter of conscience and pride, start giving Novak himself the big chill.And I really don't want to hear any more from the right wing about how outing a CIA operative wasn't "technically" illegal. These are the same people who wake up every morning and scream bloody murder about the ACLU splitting hairs over civil rights.
That means if you're a Washington columnist maybe you don't go on CNN with him-- until he explains. If you're a newspaper editor you consider suspending his column until he explains. If you're Jonathan Klein, president of CNN/US, you take him off the air until he decides to go on the air and explain. If you're John Barron, editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, you suspend your columnist (with pay, I should think); and if Barron won't do it then publisher John Cruickshank should.
If Novak says he can't talk until the case is over, then he shouldn't be allowed to publish or opine on the air until the case is over. He should know the rage some of his colleagues feel. Claiming to be "baffled" by Novak's behavior may have been plausible for a while. With reporter Judith Miller now sitting in jail, and possibly facing criminal charges later, "baffled" is sounding lame.
Don't get me wrong -- if Novak has done nothing techinically "illegal," he shouldn't go to jail. But that doesn't mean that he and his Beltway cronyism deserve respect any more than Steve Dunleavy does for crawling through the bushes for a glimse at nudie celebrities. He's a hack and deserves to be shunned as such.
It was wrong, wrong wrong to expose the identity of a CIA agent, the consequences of which someone like Novak had no way to predict, solely for he purpose of acting as a tool to punish the enemies of the Bush Junta.
Let the Big Freeze begin.
(via The Next Hurrah)