Robert David Sanders Novak

Essay by katyvereenCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2007

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Robert Novak is a political commentator and political figure who is known for his right wing views even though he is a registered democrat. According to, he was born in 1931. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and soon went on to become a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. From there he slowly worked his way up, writing for various newspapers, until he found himself working in Washington, D.C. for the Associated Press. He quickly began working for The Wall Street Journal and eventually began working at CNN. However, controversy surrounded him, and in a heated debate he walked off of the set of a CNN show. He was suspended, but later asked to help out with stories. He eventually refused the offer and began contributing to FOX News, CNN's main competitor (

Mr. Novak has many strong views about many different political topics. I found it difficult to follow him in his various articles for several different reasons.

The first reason that bothers me is that he is a registered democrat, but he have a very right-wing train of thought. I understand that just because people say that they are a democrat or republican, they don't have to be completely, one hundred percent Liberal Democrat or Conservative Republican. I am a democrat, and have issues with a little of the party's extreme thoughts, but still consider myself a democrat. Most of the articles that I looked at actually made me feel like what I was reading was coming from a die-hard Republican in Democrat clothing.

The second problem I have with Mr. Novak is that he seems to not be able to just report on the news, but I feel as if he also must comment on a lot of the material there. However, he doesn't just straight out comment on the parts that he might have problems with. He tends to find the precise words to describe the situation so that you know what he is talking about. I like to hear other people's opinions as much as the next guy, but it gets tiring after a while when the person commenting can't come out and say what they think without the clever back-handed words.

One of the main topics in the news today concerns the war in the latest conflict in the Middle East. Two of Mr. Novak's articles dealt specifically with the war in the Middle East. I am going to attempt to comment on these articles by summarizing them and trying to decode Mr. Novak's clever wordplay.

The first article that I read was titled Murtha's Second Act ( It was about Republican John Murtha's appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" con June 18, 2006. Murtha, who is a candidate for the majority leader in the House of Representatives, "repeated his call for 'redeploying' U.S. troops from Iraq with something new." He suggested that "we can go to Okinawa… [and can] redeploy there almost instantly." Moderator Tim Russert "expressed doubt about a 'timely response' from Okinawa to meet a Middle East crisis, [Murtha] stumbled: 'Well, it - you know, they - when I say Okinawa, I, I'm saying troops in Okinawa. When I say a timely response, you know, our fighters can fly from Okinawa very quickly. And - and - when they don't know we're coming.'" Mr. Novak tells a little history about Murtha, and tells a little more on the predicament that Murtha got himself in before he begins to talk about how disturbing it is to Republicans that Murtha is up for the majority leader of the House (

I do think that it was a bad situation and a bad judgment call on Murtha's part, and so does Mr. Novak. However, the reader can not help but to feel a slight disappointment in Novak for Murtha. It seems as if he expected more out of Murtha and the Republican party as a whole. I can't help but think that Novak wished he Murtha would not have said what he did.

The second article was called Holy Land Christians blame Israel ( It states "on June 19, two young members of Congress received an extraordinary letter from Jerusalem. On behalf of Christian churches in the Holy Land, they were told a House resolution they were circulating blaming the Palestinian Authority for Christian decline there 'is based on many false affirmations.' The Very Rev. Michael H. Sellers, an Anglican priest who is coordinator of Jerusalem's Chirstian churches, said the real problem is the Israeli occupation - especially it's new security wall" (

It seems in this article, Mr. Novak again tries to be a true reporter. However, I feel that he failed again in his efforts. There is still the element of opinion that wants to be seen in his work, and although this article does a better job of hiding that opinion, I can still feel it buried underneath the context of the piece.

Ultimately, it appears to me that Mr. Novak is playing a role. He appears to be strong on some issues and weak or incoherent on other issues. He seems as if he wants to be too many people at once: a newscaster, an opinionated conservative republican, and a democrat for when the republicans say something he doesn't like. I respect his journalism but not his views because in what I read he didn't seem to take one strong stand in any of the articles.

Works CitedHoly Land Christians blame Israel. July 2006. Chicago Sun-Times. 19 July. 2006 .

Murtha's Second Act. June 2006. Real Clear Politics. 22 June. 2006 .

Robert Novak. July 2006. Wikipedia. 20 July. 2006 .