Perhaps Robert Novak stormed off the set of “Inside Politics” because CNN’s Ed Henry was about to throw the book at him, the gigantic “Who’s Who in America,” in which the famously outed CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name appears. Henry had the book sitting in front of him during Thursday’s show and, before Novak’s spectacular on-air fit, planned to ask the Prince of Darkness something like: Is this where you got Plame’s name? Or did it come from Karl Rove?
The question was planned in response to Novak’s column last week in which he defended blowing Plame’s cover. “She could
be identified as ‘Valerie Plame’ by reading her husband’s entry in ‘Who’s Who in America,’” Novak wrote.
In an ever-so-brief and slightly rough-and-tumble telephone interview with HOH on Friday, Novak said, “That’s none of your business!” when asked what his answer would have been to Henry’s planned question. Quivering, HOH summoned up the courage to ask, “Are you going back before the grand jury?”
Novak paused and said, “That would suggest I’ve been there before and you don’t know that.” (HOH wrongly thought that perhaps Novak would be more vulnerable and not so sharp after his on-air meltdown.) He very politely, for Bob Novak, declined to answer the question and said he would not discuss the case. But he did confirm that CNN producers had warned him ahead of time that Henry, who was hosting “Inside Politics” when Novak flipped out, would be asking the P of D how he got Plame’s name. Again, the answer to that question is ... none of our business.
Of his outburst, Novak told HOH, “I lost my temper which was not excusable.” He blamed “James’ rudeness” for provoking him. Yes, that would be the Ragin’ Cajun, James Carville. “He went on ad hominem. ... I do not go on ad hominem,” Novak said. (Oh really, Mr. Novak?)
Congressional staffers, meanwhile, were chuckling up a storm over the little epithet that wild man radio host Don Imus used to describe Henry, our beloved former HOH columnist. While most accounts of the Novak incident painted the young budding television journalist as calm, cool and collected during Thursday’s bizarro incident, Imus, as staffers recall hearing it, called Henry a “panty-wearing sissy boy.” To which Henry responded, “Bring it on!”
Fight at Capital Grille. Careful whose wife you ogle, fellas. Lest you wind up like lobbyist Oliver Kellman, who was spotted “eyeballing” a very attractive woman outside the Capital Grille who, as it turned out, is married — to former NBA player Sherman Douglas, no less.
Kellman, a Democrat turned Republican, walked out of the high-priced steakhouse at about 10 p.m. Thursday with three others in tow when he spotted Douglas’ lovely wife. None too pleased, according to eyewitnesses, Douglas confronted Kellman and suggested in so many words that the lobbyist stay away from his woman.