Monday, August 09, 2004

Russert Flashback, 10/5/03


Novak: Well, there is a code in this—the business I’m in and have made my life’s work, that you do not reveal confidential sources, sources who are giving you information, not for attribution. I have said elsewhere, on CNN, that if I were to give up that name, I would leave journalism. But I wouldn’t give up the name. I have had officials who have given me information about the government, classified, unclassified, for over 40 years, and, obviously, if you once reveal a source on that kind of information, just as Dana is not revealing the source on her story, you’re finished.

Russert: You would be willing to go to prison?

Novak: I don’t think I’ll have to go to prison. I don’t—I’d be surprised—you’re a lawyer, do you think I’m culpable?

Russert: I’m not going to practice this morning.

Novak: OK.

Russert: But would you be willing to go to prison before giving up the source?

Novak: Well, I think that’s a dramatic question that—I will not give up the source. Put it that way.

Russert should have been put on leave. Actually, he should have put himself on leave. He's both part of the story, and covering it. Atrocious.

(thanks to Igrantius)