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TV Morning Shows Give Short Shrift to Novak's Passing

The network morning news shows could not have cared less about the passing of conservative columnist Robert Novak. While ABC, CBS and NBC all ran obituaries during their August 18 evening news shows, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's The Early Show on Wednesday completely skipped over Novak, not once mentioning his death.

Over on NBC's Today, fill-in news anchor Hoda Kotb squeezed in a brief item during the 7am update: "Friends and fellow journalists are remembering famed columnist and TV commentator Robert Novak. He died Tuesday in Washington after a battle with brain cancer. Robert Novak was 78 years old."

Novak was hardly a niche conservative or Washington figure, but someone well known to millions of Americans, with his syndicated column running in more than 300 newspapers for many decades and co-hosting three different CNN programs over a 20-year period before eventually moving to the Fox News Channel in 2005. Nor was he some figure from the distant past, stepping down from his daily column only after his illness was diagnosed in mid-2008.

While virtually ignoring Novak on Wednesday, all three morning shows had yet another update on Michael Jackson, 55 days after the pop singer's death.

-Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center.