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Novak Cashes in With New Tell-All Book

By Laura Oppenheimer in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 9, 2007 3:00PM

2007_7_novak.jpgNow we know why Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak kept quiet for so long about who told him CIA Agent Valerie Plame's name; he needed to save that information (at least until 2006) so he could one day publish a tell-all book. Well done, Novak, well done.

Novak's book, The Prince of Darkness, (which should not be confused with the Ozzy Osbourne box set of the same name) chronicles Novak's 50 years of work as a reporter along the beltway. Fifty years? We knew he was old, but we didn't realize he was 76! Novak has been playing this game for a long, long time.

What juicy gossip is revealed in the Peoria native's book? "A little bit of Bob Novak goes a long way, so readers of Novak's new 672-page memoir of his life in journalism should be forewarned there is little he has left out," says political journalist Scott Jacobs. Anyone who has spent 50 years in Washington surely has a bevy of fascinating and scandalous tales, especially someone who has made their name as a Washington insider with the latest gossip.

Novak's writings on the "Plame affair" bookend his memoir. Novak managed to avoid the scrutiny of Chicago-based U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald when the NYT's Judith Miller, Time's Matt Cooper, NBC's Tim Russert, and Washington Post's Walter Pincus and Glenn Kessler all were questioned, with Miller ultimately going to prison for 85 days for refusing to name her sources. According to Novak, he was told of Plame's identity by Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state (this isn't new news per se, just repackaging of old stuff). Armitage reached out to Novak regarding Plame's identity before Joseph Wilson's NYT op-ed criticizing the Bush administration ran.

"After ... Fitzgerald ... indicated to me he knew Armitage was my source, I cooperated fully with him," writes Novak. "At the special prosecutor's request and on my lawyers' advice, I kept silent about this — a silence that subjected me to much abuse." Sorry, Novak, you aren't getting any sympathy from us.