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Robert Novak: Death of the 'Prince of Darkness'
How longtime conservative columnist Novak left such an indelible mark on journalism
T

he world of journalism just lost "a giant," said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. Robert Novak, the longtime Chicago Sun-Times columnist, died Tuesday of a brain tumor at 78, after spending decades "building his credibility as a journalist" and as "an unapologetic warrior" for his conservative beliefs.

"There were things to admire about Robert Novak," said Matthew Cooper in The Atlantic. "But there was a lot in Novak not to like," including his "stiletto pen that seemed more about destroying than illuminating." His politics and "arch, cutting style" were bad enough, but what really made me think less of him was his willingness to serve "as a transmission belt for the malevolent leakers" who tried to trash former Ambassador Joseph Wilson by leaking that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent.

Bob Novak was contoversial, no doubt about it, said Joe Gandelman in The Moderate Voice. He relished his reputation as the "Prince of Darkness" in Washington. "But one fact could not be denied: He was an old-school journalism guy who did his homework and had sources and didn’t just do columns just containing his own opinions."

Robert Novak's "work ethic was legendary, his schedule exhausting," said Kate O'Beirne in National Review. But his grace and the gratitude he showed to his wife, Geraldine, through his illness exposed what really mattered to him. "Bob Novak was a devoted husband and father, a loving grandfather, a loyal friend—and an extraordinary journalist. He will be missed terribly."

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