Robert Novak, Ass Kicker, Name Taker
Don't make this man angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. (image via cnn)
Has our favorite Dickensian villain metamorphosed into a virile Hemingwayesque protagonist? We think not. (Averted Gaze) From the Washpo (link via Romenesko):
"Don't mess with columnist Bob Novak when he's on his way to a Maryland basketball game. Novak, the enigmatic center of the CIA leak scandal, was headed to Hawaii Saturday morning to watch his beloved Terrapins play in the Maui Invitational tournament when he tangled with a fellow traveler.
"According to our unofficial mascot on the flight, Novak was boarding an American flight to Chicago when he cut in front of another passenger while entering first class. The guy protested and laid a hand on Novak -- who responded by socking him and threatening to knock his teeth out.
".. Novak, the enigmatic center of the CIA leak scandal, was headed to Hawaii Saturday morning to watch his beloved Terrapins play in the Maui Invitational tournament when he tangled with a fellow traveler....'
"We reached Novak in Maui, just minutes into yesterday's game.
"'Some guy pushed me and I pushed him back,' he said, shouting into the phone from the stands. 'That's all there was to it.'"
(A considerable pause; a sharp intake of oxygen) Several variables contrive to deny Our Novak the status of filthy manliness.
To wit: 1) The article is written so tongue in cheek that one can almost feel the editorial staff laughing in unison at the assembly of the story as we read from the page, 2) While, yes, engaging in fisticuffs over sports is the very stuff of virility, we cannot fail to note that this is not the case when the sports team in question is named after turtles, the slowest terrestrial animals, and, further, not when the alleged pseudobrawl takes place in Maui, and, most importantly, 3) The use of the world "socking" in the article to characterize the state of violence suggests not so much a dangerous fisticuffs in which eyes and teeth would be rendered unhitched, so much as bad 1950's gangster dialogue better left to The Movie Channel. Sorry, Bob, you still only rate a Dickensian villain in our book. A thirsty evil, to be sure.