December 7, 2005 (Washington, DC) - Media Matters for America delivered nearly 5,000 letters to CNN's Washington Bureau today urging the network not to renew its contract with syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Robert D. Novak. Novak's contract with CNN is reportedly set to expire in early 2006, but the controversial conservative pundit has not appeared on the channel since August 2005, when he was suspended after uttering an obscenity and storming off the set. In the two years since he exposed Valerie Plame, wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, as a CIA operative, Novak has made several contradictory statements regarding crucial issues in the case; the ongoing leak investigation has so far led to the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.
"While Mr. Novak remains suspended by CNN for uttering an obscenity on live TV and storming off the set, I hope they take the next appropriate step of not renewing his contract," said David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters for America. "In addition to Novak's long history of spreading conservative misinformation on CNN, his credibility as one of the network's contributors has been severely compromised by his contradictory statements and accounts, as well as by his complete lack of candor, on the issue of his involvement in the outing of Valerie Plame."
As Media Matters noted on August 5:
"In light of the recent indictments handed down against Libby by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, I trust that CNN will acknowledge the seriousness of this matter and make Novak's suspension permanent," added Brock.