David Bauder, television writer for the Associated Press, is reporting that conservative syndicated columnist Robert Novak is leaving CNN after 25 years to join Fox News:
“Commentator Robert Novak, who hasn't been seen on CNN since swearing and storming off the set in August, will leave the network after 25 years and join Fox News Channel as a contributor next month.
“Novak, 74, said Friday he probably would have left CNN anyway when his contract expired this month even if it hadn't been for the incident.”
The columnist seemed to want to play down the August incident when he walked off a set in the middle of a debate with Democratic strategist and commentator James Carville:
“‘I'm sorry it ended that way but I am confident if it hadn't happened that I would still be leaving CNN,’ he said. The network has been de-emphasizing political content, and canceled the long-running debate show ‘Crossfire.’"
With this announcement, Novak also appeared to address what will certainly be speculated in the days to come, namely, that his move to Fox News is ideologically based:
“‘I don't think that's a factor,’ he said. ‘In 25 years I was never censored by CNN and I said some fairly outrageous things and some very conservative things. I don't want to give the impression that they were muzzling me and I had to go to a place that wouldn't muzzle me.’"