Robert Novak walked off the set during the “Strategy Session” on the second-to-last day of Inside Politics. It happened at 4:50pm, during a debate with James Carville. The two argued, and Carville said: “He’s gotta show these right-wingers that he’s got backbone. The Wall Street Journal editorial board is watching, show ‘em youâ€™re tough.” Novak responded: “Well I think that’s bullshit, and I hate that. Just let it go.” Two seconds later, he stood up and walked off. Media Matters has the video.
Thanks to several e-mail tipsters, I turned on the TV in time for the end of the segment. Anchor Ed Henry apologized for the incident, and said: “I had told him in advance that we would ask him about the CIA leak investigation…Hopefully we’ll be able to ask him about that in the future.”
> Update: 5:05pm: “They kept the camera on him while he got up and then took off his mic and then walked off. I loved it!,” an e-mailer says.
> Update: 5:13pm: Another e-mailer adds: “I remember several weeks back when Ed Henry pressed hard at Novak about the CIA leak. I think Ed should be given credit for asking Novak the tough questions since no one else has (especially at CNN).”
> Update: 5:16pm: FishBowlDC has details: “While they were talking about Katherine Harris and other topics, Carville said something to set off Novak. Novak exclaimed, “Now, James, that’s bullshit!,” paused angrily for a moment, took off his microphone, and stormed off…”
> Update: 5:49pm: “Ed Henry didn’t ask about the CIA leak, they were discussing Katherine Harris’ make-up of all things,” an e-mailer adds. “And nobody even acknowledged that Novak left the set, they just carried on without blinking. When the CNN crew had a chance to take the 2nd seat away (when they went to a split screen with B-roll and Carville) they didn’t, they just left the empty chair! It was so painful to watch…”