Evidently, after stalking off the set, Novak confronted anchor Ed Henry and D.C. bureau chief David Bohrman off-air, furious that Henry’s post-walk-off statement that he intended to ask about the Plame investigation might lead viewers to believe Novak was upset over that.
Of course that might very well be the case. According to people familiar with the events, Henry had warned Novak in advance that he would ask about Plame and related materials were on the table in front of Henry on-set–leading some to wonder whether Novak had been eyeing them through his segment and getting more agitated as he realized what was in store. The exact nature/subject of the questions Henry intended to ask are unknown.
[Certainly if all it took to break Novak were a few moments of blowhard banter with James Carville, he would have stalked off the set every day for years. There had to be another trigger this time.]
For its part, CNN was furious with Novak’s behavior and after suspending him, a New York-based spokesperson said it was a “mutual decision” for Novak to leave indefinitely.
The whole episode is a score for CNN, which has taken flak over the past two years for allowing Novak to skate through on the network during the ongoing Plame investigation–now CNN gets to look like the super-tough guys.
The entire episode, though, coupled with his bizarre column earlier this week, further fuels speculation in Washington that Novak is closer to the heart of the ongoing grand jury investigation than previously imagined. Might he be facing upcoming testimony in front of Patrick Fitzgerald‘s posse?
All told, is Novak beginning to crack under the pressure?
> Novak told the Post’s John Maynard: Carville “was questioning my motives…. I would hope he was just trying to be funny and I took it the wrong way. I shouldn’t have done what I did, but I did and I apologize.”