Baltimore Sun's Zurawik: Novak 'a Very Dark Force in Cable TV News'

Less than two hours after the news of Bob Novak's passing on Tuesday, Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik, a regular on CNN's Reliable Sources, took to his "Z on TV" blog to excoriate Novak.

Though Novak never approached the vile, personal degradation regularly delivered by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Zurawik condemned Novak as "a very dark force in cable TV news contributing mightily to the toxic culture of confrontation, belligerence and polarization that so defines cable TV." He charged: "There is no way to be nice about his impact on cable TV during its formative years - and his contributions for the worse to the tone and style of what passes for political conversation today."

Zurawik concluded the August 18 post, "Robert Novak on cable TV: A Polarizing Presence," by ruing "Novak's sneering TV persona and the role it played in reaching back to the dark political style of the 1950's Richard Nixon - and leading us to the polarized, angry space that cable TV and the conversation of American politics now inhabits."