Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » August 2005 » Gem o'the Day:

[« "Once in a while, you get a miracle."] [Reactions to the revelation, "I'm a philosopher...." »]

08/08/2005: Gem o'the Day:

DCMediaGirl--a gal on the go, a gal in the know--posts about Robert Novak's senior moment. She wonders, as do we all, why his slimeball behavior was tolerated for so long. It wasn't as if his on-air cussword was out of character.

"The real issue, of course, is that Novak has a long history of bullying and abusing lower-level employees, whom he terrorizes with his angry outbursts over such vital areas of newsgathering as how to pop his popcorn just so, or like when he reduced a former colleague of mine to tears when he asked here how many Jews her family had transported to the death camps (this woman was of German ancestry)."

This to me is the psychological puzzler regarding Novak's personality and career--or rather, the coddling of that career by his colleagues. Amy Sullivan did an outstanding job describing in forensic detail the size and scope of Novak's bulletproof protective bubble for The Washington Monthly--how none of the laws that apply to others ever seem applied to him--but she didn't get to the "why" of it, and I can't either.

Here's what puzzles me. You often have some awful TV pundit/personality being excused or defended by associates because off-camera he/she is affable, thoughtful, and menschy--nothing like the on-camera dragon persona. This is often said about Pat Buchanan, for example, and maybe it's true, who knows, who cares. I've read something of the same in the press about Novak, that he can be quite generous to younger journalists, but I've also heard stories for years about what a sadist he is, not a whips-chains sadist but a vicious verbal bully. And the stories I heard go back aways--it wasn't that TV exposure turned him into a nasty ego monster, he was that way from the outset, according to what I heard.

So he doesn't seem to be one of those guys who was one thing on the air and another thing off. He wasn't one of those guys who once-you-got-to-know-him you liked despite yourself. People I knew who had experiences with him said he was a person who, once you got to know him, you wish you hadn't.
--James Wolcott

Hat tip to Karen, who cited the link to Wolcott as a source for her post.

Len on 08.08.05 @ 10:08 AM CST

[ | ]

August 2005

Archives of Blogger site
Archives: May '04-Feb '05
Archives: Feb-March '05

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
George Dubya Bush Blows
asshat.org (be sure to refresh your window for more "wit and wisdom" from Our Beloved Leader)
Taking the Fight to Karl
Kraftwerk: Chicago, 6/4/2005
My Chicago: Part One
My Chicago, Part Two
Millennium Park
Miscellaneous Chicago
Busch Stadium Tour and BoSox/Cards Game: 6/6/2005
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum
Len's All-Busch Stadium Team
BP's Postseason Odds (Monte Carlo Simulations)

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
The Agitator
Armchair Capitalists
Boing Boing
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
The Decembrist
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Flypaper Theory
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Orin Kerr
Political Animal
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Moonbat Icon

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

A New Memphis Mafia

The Old Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Len supports:
Operation Yellow Elephant:

"Because ranting is safer than enlisting"
Operation Yellow Elephant Blog

The Rebel Alliance of Yankee Haters
Blue Squadron (NL)
Babalu (Marlins)
Leaning Toward the Dark Side (Mets)
Ramblings' Journal (Cubs)
Mediocre Fred (Brewers)
Len Cleavelin (Cardinals)
Red Squadron (AL)
Obscurorama (Red Sox)
Frinklin Speaks (Mariners)
Steve Silver (Twins)
Steve the Llama Butcher (Red Sox)
Rob the Llama Butcher (Rangers)
MoatesArt (Red Sox)
Rammer (Tigers)
JawsBlog (Indians)
Ubi Libertas (Blue Jays)
Oldsmoblogger (Indians)
Mass Backwards (Red Sox)
Industrial Blog
Cry Freedom

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Blogarama - The Blog Directory
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
template by linear