Add this to the infinite list of reasons I don’t watch CNN.
Journalist Robert Novak’s status as a CNN contributor will remain unaffected during a federal probe into the revelation of a CIA officer’s identity, executives at the news channel said Sunday.
“I think we’re all aware that no one really knows what’s going on in the investigation of the Valerie Plame incident,” said Jonathan Klein, president of CNN/U.S. “So it would be awfully presumptuous of us to take steps against a guy in his career based on second, third, fourth-hand reporting.”
Klein praised Novak as “one of the most outstanding political reporters this country has ever known.”
Appearing before the Television Critics Association, CNN News Group President Jim Walton was asked if Novak could be expected to have a long relationship with CNN despite questions about his role in the probe.
“Yes,” Walton responded. He was then asked if Novak didn’t represent a problem for CNN.
“Robert Novak has broken no laws and he has distinguished himself as a journalist for many, many years and he brings a different voice to our air …,” Walton said.
Novak’s silence on the probe has prompted a buzz of media speculation about whether he cooperated with prosecutors. But Walton said CNN is making an independent decision about his continued employment.
“I think as a news organization you stand up to the heat sometimes,” he said. “… We make the best decision, the right decision, not based on the amount of noise coming in … from outside.”