“A lot of people who have been in politics all their lives don’t even understand what a journalist does,” syndicated columnist Robert Novak said in a speech Wednesday in which he elucidated the role of journalists, particularly those working in the political hub of Washington, D.C.
Novak spoke to about 200 students attending the Young Americas Foundation conference in Washington D.C., where he discussed his career as a reporter. The well-established journalist shared his thoughts on everything from his take on George W. Bush’s presidency to his support of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.
Novak spoke highly of the President’s leadership: “I think he is a leader who had led the country in those very dark days after 9/11 with a great deal of courage and style, and I think got the country out of some very dark days” he said, and also referred to Bush as being “stalwart on his judicial nominations.”
Novak noted, however, that it is not necessarily his job to praise Bush’s or anyone’s work. “There are other people who can write about that [Bush’s positive decisions] and talk about that. He’s got some trained and well-paid speechwriters and propagandas who put out this stuff all the time,” he said. “What I try to do is wonder what is going wrong.”
By taking this path, Novak joked that he has been known for a long time as the “Prince of Darkness” in Washington, D.C.
“Why am I called the Prince of Darkness? Well, I like to say that it’s because I’m for small government, low taxes and individual economic freedom — all of which are satanic characteristics in this town,” said Novak. “But I think really why I am called the Prince of Darkness is that I tend to be a critic and look at the glass as half empty rather than half full. And the fact of the matter is, I am a journalist.”
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