Robert Novak – 1931–2009
Novak built his journalistic career on political reporting and commentary with an insider’s view. He had access to so many highly placed sources that colleagues and politicians dubbed him the “Prince of Darkness.” In 2003, he “outed” in his column undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, wife of an opponent of George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. The subsequent investigation of deliberate leaks from high-level Bush administration sources shook the administration and resulted in the prosecution of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. Novak’s motives and ethics came under sharp scrutiny, as did the political agendas of a number of journalists on the left as well as the right.