Friday, August 8, 2008

Tim Carney Honors Bob Novak

By Rick Pearcey

With Bob Novak's decision to retire, having been diagnosed with a brain tumor, Tim Carney is now editor of the "Evans-Novak Political Report" (see this publisher's note regarding ENPR at Human Events).

Both Novak and Carney are journalistic colleagues of mine from my tenure as managing editor of Human Events. ENPR, a sister company with HE in Eagle Publishing, Inc., needed an associate editor, and that became me. Carney came to Human Events as a bright, young reporter, and then later in a separate career move, he began working at ENPR.

In today's Examiner, Carney offers a moving tribute to Novak, "the hardest-working man I have ever known. . . . Privileged to call him my boss for half my (admittedly brief) career, I suffer an incalculable loss as Bob Novak sets down his pen, but millions of his readers are also saddened."

But while Carney suffers loss, some choose a different path, for example, the "Internet’s puerile purveyors of uninformed vitriol celebrate his retirement."

Others enjoy a gain, of sorts: "There is another class of people in this town who -- even if they admire the man -- benefit from the end of Novak’s column: The politicians, lobbyists, bureaucrats and operatives who want to work in peace and quiet, out of the public view."

Yes, says Carney, "this city" has lost something, but "what we’ve lost is not primarily a conservative voice -- Novak was one of many who clearly and consistently articulated the call for limited government and, later in his life, also the protection of the unborn."

What "we've lost primarily" is this:

A reporter who cast a cynical eye on the best-laid plans of bureaucrats, who took the same level of skepticism to his coverage of both political parties, and who was motivated, above all, by the desire to unearth information that powerful people would prefer remained buried.

To the detriment of the republic, there is now one fewer skeptic calling around Capitol Hill until he gets the real dirt; there is one fewer sleuth -- freed by his spot on the opinion pages from what Novak calls the “deaf-dumb-blind” sort of impartiality that often makes news reporting worthless -- exposing the true machinations in the government. This can be a cause for relief for many powerful people.

As a cancer survivor myself, I understand we inhabit a less than perfect world: My hopes and prayers remain with Bob Novak and family for the best possible outcome.

A word to Tim: One of the best ways to honor your boss is to give the rich, powerful, and infamous of Washington, D.C. -- religious, secular, or undecided -- a reportorial basis to greet the morning news, and each hour of the day, with fear and trembling. No peace, no quiet, for the corrupt and their enablers.

Read Tim Carney's entire column here.

For a discussion on objective reporting and Christian worldview, see "Warren, Murdoch, Porn, and WND."

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (articles).