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Robert Novak: Prince Of Twilight?

Any young “Conservative” who plans on making it in today’s climate avoids excessive controversy and goes along with the cultural flow.

by Kevin Lamb

The publication of The Bell Curve in the fall of 1994 created a major uproar in newsrooms in Washington and New York. The book was a big problem for many editors and journalists since they were unsure about—and largely unfamiliar with—the book’s empirical claims. At Newsweek, where I worked as a library assistant, the book generated a buzz that led to awkward conversations and intense discussions. Everyone had an opinion about Herrnstein and Murray’s controversial work.

Almost everyone, that is.

Leaving work one afternoon, having just picked up a copy of the book at Sidney Kramer’s on I Street earlier that day, I encountered Robert Novak in the elevator. (The Evans and Novak office was in the same building, one floor above us.) Trying to strike up a conversation with the “Prince of Darkness”, who is notoriously conversation-averse, I asked what he thought about The Bell Curve. “The race book”, Novak replied dismissively, in his snippy Crossfire mode.

Novak’s brush-off reply made clear that he didn’t have any opinion about it and would just as soon not have any opinion about it.This is typical. “Conservative” journalists inside the Beltway are rarified specimens. Most are highly detached from the issues that concern Middle America: Immigration, affirmative action, crime, job security, the stability of “safe” neighborhoods and “good” schools, and so on. What matters to this elite cadre aren’t issues or ideas, but access to information (cultivating reliable sources for exclusives) and peer acceptability (avoiding rejection from fellow journalists, fatally often liberals). With the rise of politically correctness, this means an unprecedented level of conformity now holds sway over Establishment “Conservatives”.

Any young “Conservative” who plans on making it in today’s climate avoids excessive controversy and goes along with the cultural flow.

http://buchanan.org/blog/?p=841

2007-09-10

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