03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Novak Admits Smear Column Is Even Weaker Than It First Appeared

Bob Novak took to the airwaves today to defend his recent controversial column, in which he claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was sitting on a bit of juicy dirt concerning her rival, Sen. Barack Obama.

Why the need to defend? Well, to put it bluntly, Novak's Saturday column has been ridiculed as - among the more noteworthy descriptions --- "shamelessly unethical" and "unconfirmed crap," for naming no names and containing no tangible information. So, to clear up the facts and keep his name in the news cycle, Novak went on Fox News this morning.

Novak disclosed that his source for the story was not anyone close to Clinton but rather, someone who was "told by an agent of the Clinton campaign" about the alleged dirt. Got that? So Novak was not privy to the dirt itself, nor did he talk to Clinton's people. Rather, he heard it from someone who had heard it from someone else. Another secondary source, Novak went on to say, claimed to have heard the same thing. Fact-checking = completed.

For the record, in the original column, Novak suggested he had more personal knowledge of that rumor-mongering. "Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton," the piece began, "are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination..." There was no mention of a source.

Also during his Fox appearance, Novak used his unconfirmed rumor to further smear Clinton, calling her campaign's supposed tactic "very similar to the kind of tricks that Richard Nixon used to pull, where he would say, 'I know some very bad information about the communists supporting George McGovern, but I can't put that out because it wouldn't be right, because I'm too good of a guy.'" Again, Novak is dragging down both Obama and Clinton.

And if it seems that this whole episode was just concocted up by some Republican operative to make Clinton and Obama look bad, rest assured.

"I haven't spoken to a single Republican," Novak told the Fox and Friends hosts. "This is all Democrats. That's the whole method of the Clinton campaign is when anything derogatory comes up, they say the Republicans are spreading it, but there was no Republicans involved in my reporting on this."

Don't worry, a source who is close to a source told the Huffington Post that this episode will all go away soon.

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