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October 01, 2004

Information Wants to Be Free, But I Wouldn't Refuse a Commission

by Ron Hogan

It was just a little over a month ago when I followed up a brief NYT piece with a deeper investigation into the links between Robert Novak and Regnery. I ended that post by saying, "Gee, it sure would be nice if some political blogger--or, hell, a print journalist--ran a little further with this ball." Well, here's the next best thing: Salon correspondent Mary Jacoby.

Novak also has a long-standing professional and personal relationship that he did not reveal--with Regnery's owner, newsletter magnate Tom Phillips. Phillips owns Eagle Publishing, whose subsidiaries include Regnery; Human Events, a 60-year-old conservative newsweekly; and the Evans-Novak Political Report, Novak's subscription-based newsletter ($297 a year). In addition, Novak is an unpaid member of the board of Phillips' private foundation, the Phillips Foundation, which awards journalism fellowships to young conservatives.

Or, as I put it back in August:

Novak père also happens to serve on the board of trustees of the Phillips Foundation, which awards fellowship grants to conservative journalists, with Alfred Regnery--and just last year, that organization gave Novak its Lifetime Achievement Award. (His association with the group goes back at least as far back as 1998, when he was cited in news reports as one of the judges for that year's awards, and possibly further.) But wait, it gets better: Regnery is itself a division of Eagle Publishing, which was spun off from Phillips International--the corporate parent of the Phllips Foundation--in 1993.

Of course, this is the sort of information anybody who had the time and the inclination could dig up--just remember, I dug it up thirty-one days ago. Also, my headline was snappier. On the other hand, I didn't bother trying to call Novak for an official "no comment," but what do you people want for free?


I asked three journalists of signicant standing about this story including Jack Shafer and all responded with, it had been "covered. Meaning, I guess, the NYT piece that was buried somewhere in the paper.

One writer opined that everybody knew that Novak was a sleaze (and worse). So there you have it

I will pay for the phone call if you want.

Posted by: birnbaum at October 1, 2004 10:27 AM
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