Robert Novak on C-SPAN: "I'm Never Going to Retire"

By , E&P | Editor & Publisher, July 13, 2007 | Go to article overview

Robert Novak on C-SPAN: "I'm Never Going to Retire"


, E&P, Editor & Publisher


Brian Lamb interviews Robert Novak this Sunday on his "Q & A" program on C-SPAN, coinciding with the publication of the famed columnist's memoir, "Prince of Darkness: 50 Years of Reporting in Washington."

E&P has been sent a transcript. Novak says very little about the Plame case, but covers dozens of other subjects, with a lot of emphasis on his sources and why he named so many of them in the book.

Novak says in closing that a "good model for a journalist" was "to be a stirrer up of strife. And I hope, as I say at the end of the book, I hope I don't - and some people hope I do - but I hope I don't end up in purgatory with my severed head in my arms." This was a reference to Dante's "Inferno."

He also says, "I'm never going to retire."

Novak defends naming sources in the book because in most cases they have died. But he also freely discusses his income ($100,000 a year right now just from his column), his drinking problem (in the past), his abrupt exit from CNN, and his falling out with fellow conservatives such as Bill Kristol, David Frum and John McLaughlin.

In one exchange, Lamb mentions that in the galleys of the book he received, one key source was still mentioned as "Mr. X." When the finished book came out, he was named. The reason? He had passed away in the interval.

The name may shock many. He was the source of a juicy quote for Novak back in 1972, when he declared that Sen. George McGovern would be burdened in any race against President Nixon because he allegedly favored amnesty for draft dodgers and the legalization marijuana.

The source turned out to be the late Sen. Thomas Eagleton -- who, as it turned out later, would be picked as McGovern's running mate (until bounced from the ticket after it was revealed that he had undergone shock therapy).

Novak also claims that he personally killed the planned use of the song "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" at a Gridiron Dinner that was to be attended by President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. Novak explains that he was president of the group and would be sitting next to Clinton for four hours and "I didn't want to be embarrassed."

Here are some other excerpts.

*LAMB: You've done several things in your memoir that often you don't see. One of them is, you have told us all throughout this how much money you make.

NOVAK: That's right.

LAMB: Why did you decide to do that?

NOVAK: Well, people are very interested in it, and I've never told anybody. And you will find, if you read it, that I made a lot less money than people thought I made for much of my life. I made very little money when I started off in the newspaper business, and even when I - I wasn't making much money even when I started the column.

I made a lot more money than I ever thought I would make as a journalist. Probably less than people thought I would make. But I think people are interested in that.

Brian, I think that a lot of journalists write memoirs, and they don't tell you a thing. Maybe it's the kind of business we're in. They're very secretive. People who are ballet dancers and poets and artistes tell everything. They tell too much, if you want to know.

So, I tried to hit a happy medium, so I tell something about my personal life, including how much money I made.

LAMB: You tell us that you're worth in the high single-digit - like, $7 or $8 million.

NOVAK: Yes.

LAMB: You tell us that, in the last year at CNN, you made $625,000.

NOVAK: From CNN alone.

LAMB: How much does a columnist make? For instance, I know you were with Rowlie Evans for years. But how much were you paid for the column itself?

NOVAK: When I was with Rowlie?

LAMB: When you first started.

NOVAK: When I first started with Rowlie, I was paid $12,000 - wait a minute, $15,000 - $15,000. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Robert Novak on C-SPAN: "I'm Never Going to Retire"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.