August 22, 2009
In recent years Alexander Cockburn has been one of the few leftists in the United States worth reading on a regular basis. While most of the official left has retreated into the loving arms of Whole Foods culture and the self loathing feel-goodism of identity politics, Cockburn has remained a street fighter who is willing to call a spade a spade. His latest column is the best written and most interesting take I’ve seen yet on the death of Robert Novak. Here is an excerpt.
But as Robert Lowe, the great nineteenth century editor of the London Times once wrote, ?It is the duty of newspapers to obtain the intelligence of the news and instantly communicate this to the readers.? What Novak?s prissy colleagues and competitors never liked about him and Evans (who died in 2001) was that they made obvious what most journalists preferred to conceal, that their information came from self-interested sources, using the press ? in this case Novak ? to fight their bureaucratic wars. Particularly ludicrous was the spectacle of the liberal-left in periodicals like The Nation solemnly deploring Novak?s leaking of Plame?s name as somehow ?compromising national security?, as if The Nation magazine in the 1960s had not been a trailblazer in exposing the activities of the CIA. In short, the Plame disclosure was one of Novak?s finest hours.
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