“This is not fun, Paul.”

Thanks to the magic of Tivo, I now get to regularly see Crossfire, one of the only truly “fair and balanced” shows on television. For those of you who didn’t see today’s episode, you missed this awesome exchange :

NOVAK: All right. Readers — readers of the left wing magazine, “The Nation,” might be a little shocked when they see the back page of the current issue. Even the most fanatical Bush haters might be shocked.

Yes, the drawing shows George W. Bush eating a headless child. This is inspired by a 19th century work by Francisco Goya, Saturn Devouring his Children, aimed against the Spanish monarchy.

Sitting at this table, I know how emotional and relentless and mindless is the hatred directed against George W. Bush. But in the spirit of patriotism, this Fourth of July weekend, I wonder, Paul, if you can join me in deploring this treatment of any president of the United States as over the line and unacceptable?


BEGALA: In the spirit of patriotism, let me support the first amendment, which says the nation shouldn’t be censored by right- wingers. And let me ask you, Mr. Novak, with your new self-founded — newfounded self-righteousness, are you going to retract the statement you said last week on “Meet the Press,” where you implied that President Clinton was involved in people’s deaths over Whitewater? That’s the most outrageous things I’ve heard said about an American president.

NOVAK: I didn’t say he was engaging — and you’re lying.

BEGALA: I’ll read your words.

NOVAK: And when I said that…

BEGALA: “I don’t believe that the Whitewater case was ever fully investigated. People died, and I believe Bill Clinton beat the rap on Whitewater.”



NOVAK: Well, I didn’t say he was involved with the thing.

BEGALA: You said…


BEGALA: … he beat the rap and people died. Who died? Who died in Whitewater?


NOVAK: McDougal died, and…

BEGALA: He died in prison of a heart attack.

NOVAK: Well, people died (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But just a minute. You can’t — you can’t say — go on national television and accuse me of something I didn’t say.

BEGALA: I read your words.

NOVAK: I did not say that, and that is a lie. And I…

BEGALA: These are your words, Mr. Novak. I read them.

NOVAK: And I’m ashamed of you for going on the air and saying that.

BEGALA: I got this from the transcript. This is the transcript from “Meet the Press”, Bob.

NOVAK: That’s an outrage. And it is…

BEGALA: It is an outrage. You owe Mr. Clinton an apology.

NOVAK: … an absolute outrage because I did not say that he was responsible for those deaths. And this is not fun, Paul.

So the lesson for today is that Bob Novak doesn’t think being called on his bullshit is “fun”. It’s too bad he was saved by the commercial break too, I would have loved seeing him squirm for the rest of the episode desperately trying to deny his implication that the former president is a murderer. And just in case there’s any doubt about what Novak was implying, here’s the transcript of what he said on Meet The Press :

MR. NOVAK: …in, please? I don’t believe that the Whitewater case was ever fully investigated. People died. The judge that was going to get information out was not questioned.

MR. KLEIN: People died?

MR. NOVAK: And as a matter of fact, Joe, I believe that Bill Clinton beat the rap on Whitewater and I think Ken Starr failed on that.

Novak was saved from having to explain himself on that one too, this time by host Tim Russert who quickly changed the subject.

After the whole Valerie Plame controversy, I’m surprised that Novak is allowed to be on TV at all anymore. I think what Novak has done is much, much more offensive that what Michael Savage did. Savage was an asshole, but Novak actually helped our enemies by outing an undercover agent. Maybe if the American people payed more attention, they’d hold CNN accountable for having an anchor who’s guilty of treason.

UPDATE : Media Matters has a clip of Novak’s appearance on Meet The Press. The transcript provided above is accurate, but it leaves out the fact that Novak stutters like Elmer Fudd.

UPDATE 2 : Since, this post still gets a ton of traffic, lemme point you all towards a cartoon that my friend and I made. I hope you like it :

125 thoughts on ““This is not fun, Paul.”


    greg, you have arrived. to me, this is a bigger honor than dinner with michael moore.


  2. I agree that Novak tries to use word association to convince people of all sorts of untruths without directly saying it. He is a shrill and a hack, in addition to a criminal. Whenever I see his ugly mug on the boob tube, I immediately start surfing. Will someone please start a real news channel so I can quit wathcing this drool that passes for news!

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  4. Novak’s eye problems (heavy eyelids) grow conspiculously worse between his early stints on Cross-fire and his later ones on Capital Gang.

    Tee many Martoonies, perhaps?

  5. I found the connection between 9-11 and Iraq.

    Innocent people died because the Bush administration pushed too hard to get oil.

    In Afghanistan the Bush administration negotiated with the Taliban for an oil pipeline from Jan 2001 until July 2001 when the US gave up and let the Pakistanis that we would invade Afghanistan. The Pakistanis told the Taliban which got Al Qaeda to do a preemptive strike and kill innocent people because of oil.

    In Iraq the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to then invade Iraq. Innocent Iraqi civilians and US Soldiers died becuase Bush wanted to have a client government it could deal with for oil. Agains Innocent people died for the Republican Party and private oil interests. This includes over 800 US soldiers.

    That apears the connection between 9-11 and Iraq. Oil and the innocent people who died because of the Bush administration.

  6. There is no question that the Republicans have perfected the art of lying, thanks to their thick elephant skins and shameless values. They are also consistent and tireless in repeating their lies — on tv, radio, newspapers, etc. — with the belief that by repetition people will eventually believe their lies to be the truth, and it is working for a group of people now known as Braindead Dittoheads. They also believe that if they keep accusing the Democrats of what they are guilty off (lying, twisting facts, flip-flopping, etc.) they will keep on winning elections.

    Democrats need more people like Franken and Moore to balance things out. And because these two do it in an entertaining and amusing way, they are not stooping to the repulsive ways of their Republican counterparts.

    Although I am still bothered by the lies of Novak, Hannity, O’Riley, Limbaugh, and many others, sometimes they amuse for they are like accidental comedians — just like Baghdad Bob. They are completely out-of-touch with reality and unaware of it and that makes them very funny, painfully funny. I see Ann Coulter as America’s Baghdad Blondie. The only thing that Ann proves is that even with a good education, a girl can still be a major dumb and blond bimbo — and there are many like her in the media.

  7. Great Satan commented, “and for those that dont think the Iraq war was justified, see the following:


    Here is an interesting website I suggest you read:


    One of the scariest facets of this war is the lack of pre-war knowledge. Colin Powell is the only member of the Bush administration with any type of hands-on experience with war. I strongly recommend you read the comments made in regards to the aftermath of overthrowing Sadaam. Sadaam was by no means a good person so don’t misinterpret my beliefs to be “pro-Sadaam”, but people who have dodged all military service and never experienced war do not understand just how awful war is, and thus should not be aloud to start wars without overwhelming evidence as justification for the war. With that said, here is another great link for you to check out:


    Lastly, I agree with Great Satan in that there are serious problems in the Democratic Party today, but I see people like Great Satan as the problem. When the “liberal media” attacks Democrats and supports Bush we need leaders who can stand up and fight. Supportive comments from “Democrats” like Lieberman is where the party has failed and continues to fail. The party has sat back and let people like Karl Rove attack while they do nothing (until recently). If you are a Dem, you would not support Bush’s radical right wing agenda.

  8. You people are billiant. I’ve spent such an entertaining afternoon reading all your comments. I’m really encouraged by this discourse. For the record, the FAIR ad comparing Hitler to shallwenotspeakhisname was a submission posted by a contestant for an ad, and was not endorsed by FAIR. Love you guys…Speak on!

  9. Am I the only one who is suspicious of all these “uncontrolled flight into terrain” accidents that kill people like Paul Wellstone, Ashcroft’s opponent and several other “Dangerous Liberals”? Since the Kennedy assasination coverup by the Warren Commission, way too much weird shit has happened in this country, without the press putting the threads together.

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  11. Hello,

    I just found you folks and I must say you’re a refreshing change! I live in Colorado and am one of the few liberals (proud of it) around these parts.

    Novack sounds like a de-barked dog and Tucker’s whining makes me crazy. I wish Paul Begala & James Carville were tougher on them. Do they bother to read? John Dean’s book “Worse Than Watergate”, Molly Ivin’s “Bushwhacked” and Paul O’Neil’s book would give them some answers.

    I fear we will lose in the Fall. The GOP attacks with submachine guns while the DNC stands holding butter knives.

    When the GOP criticizes Kerry’s senate record, why don’t they mention the fact that every business controlled by shrub failed – he prospered, but the businesses tanked. How about that for accomplishment!

    Around my house, we refer to the GOP as “The Borg” and the American Taliban. Let’s hope our fellow citizens wake up.

    FYI, if you’re worried about electronic voting, the CNN crawl said that a group in Florida are telling people to get absentee ballots!

  12. The Republican attack dogs and propagandists, with the full cooperation of the media (TV, radio, newspaper) are working overtime 24/7 intensifying negative attacks to Kerry in order to distract Americans from the blunders and failures of Bush and Cheney.

    But they cannot defend the lies that Bush and Cheney told Americans regarding the WMDs and the imminent danger posed by Saddam. Thousands have died in Iraq (Americans and Iraqis) and there is no end in sight.

    They are saying that the economy is improving and the tax cuts are working, but they wont comment on the record breaking deficit that is getting bigger and bigger.

    I for one would like to see a Vietnam Veteran who fought side by side with Bush to introduce Bush at the Republican Convention. I would like Bush to talk about the medals awarded to him for fighting in Vietnam, after all he bragged so much about being a War President. Although lately, he has been bragging as being a Peace President. What a flip flopper.

  13. I’m sick of giving these guys a pass by simply thinking “I know what he means even though he didn’t say it quite as he meant to.” No breaks, no prisoners, take them at their words.

  14. Is it still lowering the discourse if you make a valid point and cite reliable resources, but you tack on “you stupid fuck” at the end?

  15. As a canadian, watching with great interest this presidential race I just shake my head when I see all of the people focusing on who said what and who is lying about what. The only thing that matters is: DO YOU WANT TO RE-ELECT A MONSTER WHO HAS THE BLOOD OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ON HIS HANDS? Does anyone in America seriously believe that George Bush cares one wick about anyone except him and his own family?? How is it possible that the polls are seemingly “neck in neck”??

    Too many people are living their lives in a complete fog, thinking that the Republicans will EVER do anything for ANYONE without FIRST TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES!! John Kerry may or may not be a good president, but as someone who is not eligible to vote in this election I implore all of you on behalf of all SANE people in the rest of the world…. Talk to all of your friends, family, co-workers, the guy on the bus, etc… and ask people to vote even if they couldn’t care less about politics and hate politicians. THIS MADNESS MUST BE STOPPED!!!

    Thanks and keep putting the word out.



  16. question is; any of this stuff on valerie p.going
    to come up before election; or not; bet bush holds it back.

  17. The conservative machine seems to be firing on fewer cylinders of late, Novac is an ass. If I had published the name, any guess where I’d be now? Screw all repukes. I’m sick of them.

  18. The conservative machine seems to be firing on fewer cylinders of late, Novac is an ass. If I had published the name, any guess where I’d be now? Screw all repukes. I’m sick of them.

  19. This article shows us the real Novak. The contents of this article deserves widespread distribution.

  20. Novak said people died. He didn’t say anyone was killed to cover up Whitewater. Novak said people died, such as the judge he mentioned, before they could be questioned a bit more forthrightly due to Starr’s incompetence. A review of the transcripts shows that Begala, on Crossfire, paraphrased Novak’s comments as you have correctly posted them from Meet the Press. Novak was right to say that the comments as paraphrased by Begala were not his.

  21. No matter how you slice it, Novak is a gutless asshole that deserves jail or to be hit by a truck.

    Bush, Cheney. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz…all gutless “chicken hawks”, that profit while young Americans spill blood in Iraq.

    And Colin Powell, where is your integrity? Why are you still serving these assholes?

    Newt, Tom DeLay, Rush, Anne Coulter, Mike Savage and O’Reilly… You’re all a bunch of pathetic, hate mongering wimps with the soul of a coward.

    Lastly, Reagan being hailed as a great leader during his funeral, was the biggest crock of shit. Take a look at his record for what what it was, not what the Robotlicans would have you believe. Nobody knows how to take chicken shit and pass it off as chicken salad better than the “righties”.

  22. One more thing…Novak saying to Begala, “…you went over the line” is a great irony. Hey Novak you spineless idiot, don’t you think that you went over the line when you outed Valerie Plame?