Robert Novak, faithful famulus of fainéant Fauntleroys*, is spinning like crazy to smooth this whole thing over. Who gives him time to do so? Why, his own network, of course.
BLITZER: All right, the other issue that's come out is this article that appeared in Newsday, the newspaper on Long Island, July 22 after your July 14 column. The reporters said this. They were following up on your story. "Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. `I didn't dig it out. It was given to me,' he said. `They thought it was significant, they gave me the name, and I used.' "
NOVAK: Now, these reporters made a bad mistake. They said they came to me with the information. I never told them that. And that's not in quotes, is it?
BLITZER: They said that the sources said they -- your sources had come to you...
NOVAK: Yes, but that's not in quotes.
BLITZER: That's not in quotes.
NOVAK: So then they made that up. I never said that. I said I didn't dig it out in the sense I went through the files of the CIA. It was given to me, as I just told you. There's no inconsistency there at all. But that is -- you have to be very careful, Wolf, with these things because they say that the idea that -- they're saying they came to me. They did not come to me.
BLITZER: ... the quote part is correct, "I didn't dig it out. It was given to me."
Fair enough, but if the "quote part is correct," what about the part where he says "they thought it was significant"? For what reason did they think it was significant? Novak himself said that he put it in the "in the sixth paragraph of a 10-paragraph story" even though a CIA official asked him not to run it, suggesting that "exposure of her name might cause difficulties if she travels abroad." He said it was a "weak request," but, if Novak didn't think it was significant, then why use it at all?
Clearly, as a partisan hack, Novak was trying to paint Wilson with the brush of nepotism, which is the only way that the fact of his wife's employment could be considered "significant." He's a spinner and a parser and a problem when he's stoned. He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction -- wait. I slipped into an old Kris Kristofferson song there for a minute. Let's just say Novak's a liar and call it at that.
Update: Eric Boehlert rubs Novak's nose in it. Oh. The. Humanity.
*Take that, William Safire!