Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Light! It Burns!

Sidney Blumenthal shines super T-8s on the Cockroach of Evil and he's nowhere to hide under the glaring scrutiny of righteousnes.

Now, we all now what a piece of shit Robert Novak is, how his career's been built on badgering and bullying and sliming his way to media power -- for decades -- how in his twilight years he outed an undercover CIA agent for partisan purposes, but did you know he could carry a tune?

Just last year, the investigation was a laughing matter for Novak. He appeared onstage at the annual dinner at the Gridiron Club, the exclusive inner circle of the Washington press corps, of which he is a long-standing member. As a gag, Novak was attired as former diplomat Wilson, wearing top hat and cutaway coat, singing to the tune of "Once I Had a Secret Love": "Novak had a secret source who lived within the great White House ... so he outed a girl spy the way princes of darkness do ... Now John Ashcroft asks Bob who and how, could be headed to the old hoosegow." He belted out his last line with panache: "Cross the right wing you may try, Bob Novak's coming after you." The press corps hooted and clapped.


As Novak now attempts to fend off his pursuers, he resorts to his old bullying; he brandishes his status, invents new stories, and tries to bargain with the truth. With each failed effort, he has become more frantic, racing from pillar to post, from television talk show to syndicated column, tossing off ever more illogical and tortured alibis that only heighten suspicion of him. By plying more tricks of the trade, his patented tidbits of disinformation, he confirms the impression of petty squalor. Instead of escaping through the fog of his distortions, he rivets searchlights on his desperate flight.

The self-described "prince of darkness" appears blinded by the light. He cannot see himself as everyone else does. He has called so much attention to himself that he casts no shadow at all. He is completely exposed. He has become a fugitive who cannot find a safe house in the town that he thought was his bailiwick. His craven torment and wild flailing at his inability to halt his self-destruction might cast him as a Dostoevskian figure. But his absence of doubt deprives him of the depth of existential crisis. Bob Novak now resembles Gypo Nolan, the Judas of John Ford's classic 1935 movie, "The Informer," an IRA traitor on the run, used to the comfort of matey sycophants, but whom no one will shield and who unwittingly betrays himself in the end.

Long knives. Couldn't happen to a more worthy caustic.

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