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Robert Novak undergoing treatment for a brain tumor

Robert Novak, the journalist who has made a fair amount of news himself this month, is suffering from a brain tumor, he revealed today.

Syndicated columnist Robert Novak announced that he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor "On Sunday, July 27, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor," he said in a statement. "I have been admitted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where doctors will soon begin appropriate treatment.

"I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period."

The news was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, which syndicates Novak's column. Initially begun as a joint effort with the late Rowland Evans that began 45 years ago, the column is the longest-running such commentary in America.

Novak, 77, is especially well-sourced within Republican circles. Earlier this month, he floated in a blog posting the prospect that John McCain would unveil his vice presidential choice while presidential rival Barack Obama was traveling abroad last week -- only to say later that he probably had been led down a primrose path by the McCain campaign.

Last Wednesday, he hit a pedestrian while driving his car in downtown Washington and, apparently unaware of the accident, kept going. He was stopped by onlookers and cited by police; the victim, an elderly homeless man, suffered minor injuries.

The brain tumor diagnosis occurred after Novak became ill while spending the weekend on Cape Cod, Mass; coincidentally, Sen. Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor this spring after he suffered a seizure at his family's Hyannis Port compound on the peninsula.

In a column published today, Novak reflects on the failure of Obama to breakthrough the 50% mark in various national polls through today, despite the many generic factors favoring the Democratic Party in this campaign season.

Novak concluded that McCain, despite "running a flawed campaign in a big Democratic year" still could win the presidency "unless Obama closes the deal."

The Swamp blog also has a post on Novak, as does our Countdown to Crawford blog.

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (26)

The comments to this entry are closed.

For the sake of Novak and his family, and for the sake the LA Times' reputation, please do a better job of deleting any vile comments by mentally defective freaks which are occasioned by tragic events such as this one.

Hoping for a full & speedy recovery.

I may not be a fan of Robert Novak but chalked up his hit and run last week to possible signs of dementia, since it's hard to imagine him hitting someone and just driving off. Sounds like it might have been the tumor instead.

Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery and my prayers go out to him and his family.

Bob Novak's claim last week that he was not aware of having struck a pedestrian, even though the man was sprawled on his hood until rolling off, seemed lame and incomprehensible to me at the time.

Novak's newly diagnosed brain tumor may give some legitimacy to what seemed like an impossible mental lapse.

I wish him success in battling what sounds like a grave illness.

I wish him a speedy recovery.

I'd like a second opinion that is not from the defence side of an impending hit-and-run charge. He said he'd like to hit someone, then did, then drove off. Then he is conveniently diagnosed with an alibi.

Robert Novak wrote that he will be "suspending his journalistic work", but does that mean his syndicated column has a GOP hack will continue? Will the White House continue to write his columns for him?

Thank God our president is immune to this horrible disease.

Let that be the reason for Novak's disrepctful, devious and bizarre behavior all these years; the most recent being a Hit & Run for which he is probably facing serious Crimminal/Civil charges. The fact that he got conned by McCains pepole on pending VP pick shows he loosing it; which, probably was part a Typical Novak smoke screen to create Buzz for McCain on another Non Issue. Either way all the Good Cancer Patients/Surviors may be a little uncomfortable with him (alledgely) in their ranks looking for sympathy. In any event I wish the Bum well and a speedy and full recovery.

Get well soon, Bob. We can't put a traitor like yourself in prison if your dead.

Karma. Bad Karma.

First Bush hitman Lee Atwater succumbed to a brain tumor. Now, right wing zealot Bob Novak suffers from this ailment.

Hopefully CIA agent Valerie Plame, whom Novak outed, can advance her lawsuit before "the Prince of Darkness" says 'Good Night'.

When will people realize that this EXPLOSION of BRAIN CANCER...which was all but NON-EXISTENT only A DECADE due to the PROLIFIC USE OF 'CELL PHONES'! ! ! If it's doing this to our adults....what the he* * is it doing to OUR CHILDREN? ? ?

Let's not forget that in his long lists of dubious achievenments, treason should not be discounted or taken lightly. He's a self-serving, entitled, hack who's never cared about anything that didn't benefit himself or further his own agenda, no matter at what cost to others.....

May God have mercy on his soul (or that which is left of it).

Hard to feel any remorse for someone who outs a CIA Officer.

If I were as cynical as he, I would think "How Convenient, perfect timing to avoid a felony charge."

If I were as heartless as he, I would think "Good riddance."

Stories about Mr. Novak have always been full of mysteries, from CIA's covert Op to the faceless pedestrian. This latest one raised another mind boggling question.
Why is a man with brain tumor admitted to a Women's Hospital?

Actually, publishing the CIA officer's is the high water mark of this Novak's karmic contribution to date. He does not get credit for 'outing' her, since he didn't, he just ran with what he was fed, per usual.

When did everyone start getting all touchy-feely about painting targets on criminals who live beyond the reach of the law, anyhow? It's a little odd for repuglicans to do it, but odder still to see the democrats whinging about it so.

Some actions are good in and of themselves, regardless of motive.

Outing an intel officer is in that class.

In response to Paul...he did "Out" her. It is the Journalist job to police their comments. Just as it would have been illegal and treacherous to post schematic on how to build a hydrogen bomb during the 50's (even if the WH gave them to you), it would be treachery to publish the identity and\or where-abouts of clandestine individuals operating in the Soviet Union, so is the active act of publishing an operative identity now. Just because Bush-Cheney says differently doesn't make it so.

On my part this news is just further re-enforcement that proves that God is still alive and on the side of right. "Vengeance is mine..." Thank you, Jesus! God will take care of them all in the end.


Outing an intel operative, from any country at any time, is always a righteous thing to do. So, even Cheney's office did one right thing during its tenure.

Intel operatives overseas are either traitors themselves, or encouraging treason.

The problem is not for Val Plame (safe in the US.) The crocodile tears are shed for the folks she may have worked with overseas. If they worked with her, they were traitors.

We cry for those traitors, why? Because they are idiots useful to us?

I hope Novak makes a full and speedy recovery. He should be physically and mentally competent to stand trial for treason.

Johanna, what lazy, lazy "reporting." A sanctioned leak? Richard Armitage wasn't told to leak, he was just a loose-lipped gossip hound. The independent counsel was called for by people who wanted to tar and feather Cheney's office and it turned out a leaky State Dept was the actual source. Karl Rove didn't leak Plame's name to other journalists. Michael Cooper testified that he told Rove Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and Rove said "Yeah, I heard that too." That's a 'leak'? Apparently the fact that Plame worked at the CIA was the worst kept 'secret' in Wash. And she was a desk jockey, no longer a covert operative. Finally, leak or not, it DID discredit Wilson. Wilson LIED when he said his wife had nothing to do w/his getting the assignment to go to Niger. Wilson was the biggest liar in the entire affair.

I have no problem showing disrespect for the disrespectful. And I feel no compassion for his family. Good riddance.

Once again the LA Times and its "excellent" readership are making their true natures so obvious. Keep being "compassionate" and "caring" like you do, it makes us conservatives' jobs easier. Its funny how quickly the moral relativists can call someone pure evil just for their political stance, especially when they are down and under. Talk about hypocrisy.

All of you, who are posting vile comments about Bob Novak, remember that when others post the same thing about Kennedy when he dies.

I would have thought that the LA Times would have learned a lesson after the vile things that were posted about Tony Snow.

The libs are a "pox" upon this country

You wimps yelling treason are the one I worry about. You don't know what you're talking about. Novak is a patriot, you on the other hand (and you know who you are) are cowards, sissies and society's mis-fires. When there is incoming I'd rather be alone in the bunker than playing nurse made to soft liberals. Semper Fi!!

Brain tumours are no fun. It is amazing the mean comments by nameless faceless individuals.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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