John Hawkins has a really interesting interview with Bob Novak at Right Wing News today. John asks Novak about some of the stories in his new book and about the state of politics and media in general. Here is an excerpt:
John Hawkins: In your book, you described how Nixon, when he was Vice-President, walked in to appear on a telethon and unleashed a string of profanities and yet no one reported it. Today, just about anything and everything a politician does in public will be reported. Do you think that’s an improvement over the old standards?
Robert Novak: It’s really hard to say. I was a newspaper pool reporter for that incident. It was the day before the 1960 election in Detroit, for a telethon, and there were 4 (reporters) there and none of us reported it.
You had a lot more access in those days because the politicians knew we weren’t going to report everything, so we got a lot more information….On the other hand, maybe it would have been the right thing to do to tell the country some of the personality problems that Nixon had. But, if we did that, we wouldn’t have had the access.
Reporters don’t get much access to the politicians now. Barack Obama is notorious on the campaign trail for never seeing any reporters at all. It’s a difficult question.
John Hawkins: (Laughs) You started the book with the Plame affair and obviously it has been in the news a lot over the last couple of years. You gave the impression in the book that you thought it was all nonsense. Would you say that’s correct and could you tell us what you think of Joe Wilson?
Robert Novak: Yeah, I think it’s complete nonsense. I think that she was not a secret agent. …They tried to promote her for this, tried to make a lot of money out of the (whole thing). I think Joe Wilson is an operator, he tried to get in on the front line of the Kerry campaign, in the 2004 (campaign) and they kicked him out and now he’s trying to get in with Hillary Clinton.