Aug 192009

It’s hard to think about Robert Novak’s passing without getting teary about it. I can’t say I’ve followed his articles forever. I never saw him on TV. But I do remember reading him back when there were such things as newspapers and the byline was Evans and Novak. Maybe 10-15 years ago I came to realize that one reason I liked his articles in comparison to those of many pundits was because they always contained new information. Then, a few years ago I learned that this was intentional. I can’t find the quote on the web just now, but he and Evans decided that they would not produce a column that didn’t contain some new information.

Out on the MSM there are many grudging, snide tributes to Novak, and a few sincere ones, too. The WSJ editors gave one explanation for why we’ll miss him so much:

All of this earned Novak the moniker of “conservative” in Washington’s taxonomy, but above all he brought to his work a reporter’s skepticism about the powerful. This is in contrast to most modern Washington journalists, who have become apologists for the federal government’s dominance in American life. Novak was as hard on Republicans who failed to live up to their small-government principles as he was on Democrats who sought to expand the welfare state.