David Corn announces that he has "solved the Not-So-Great Mystery of the Second Novak--at least in part:"
Luskin, according to sources close to Viveca Novak, was a longtime source of hers, not a close friend (as has been wrongly reported).Well that's good to know. It was not a social engagement, it was an official, job-related interview. Then as a good reporter, she most certainly took notes in between highballs that she turned over to her editors about a meeting with the lawyer of the man who was going to let her colleague go to jail. I'm sure they came in handy when Time, Inc. was spending millions to defend itself in court.
Now, according to completely trustworthy sources close to Viveca Novak, this is what happened. Novak wasn't trying to tip off Luskin or to help him. During a conversation, Luskin said to Viveca Novak that Rove had never spoken to Cooper about Valerie Wilson. Novak instinctively pushed back, in the way many a reporter would challenge a source whom he or she believes is spinning or lying. "She assumed that Luskin was giving her BS," one close-to-Novak source says. "And she replied with something along the lines of, 'This is not what I hear.' She assumed that Luskin did know about the Rove-Cooper conversation and that she was not telling him anything he did not already know."Maybe if they'd been a little better friends she might have told him that her meeting with Luskin took place "over drinks" in February, 2004 before he went out on a limb defending her.
I've known Viveca Novak for close to 20 years, and this all squares with my nothing-but-positive impression of her. (Interest disclosed: I used to regularly play basketball with her husband, a career labor lawyer, whom I always had trouble guarding.)
I guess she's better friends with Jim VandeHei.