"The Prince of Darkness" is dead.
Otherwise known as Robert Novak, this gnome-like figure dominated political talk shows for decades as a panelist for "The McLaughlin Group" and later "The Capital Gang."
So, was he the coolest man on the planet?
Of course not. But in my opinion, he deserves to be in the top 100 or at least ahead of Green Day.
See, Novak epitomized cool because he stole the left's stereotype of conservatism and made it his own. If being a fan of free markets, a strong defense and limited government made him evil, then evil he was.
And so he became Satan. And like the devil, he never changed.
Novak ignored trends: He looked Novakian for decades: Short, round, joyfully evil, like an alien marble that survived on puppy souls.
Men like Novak normally don't inspire a cult, but he did. Because he was cool.
While others would carry around dog-eared copies of old Hunter S. Thompson paperbacks and believe nonconformity means acting like a nonconformist, fans of Novak knew that true rebellion meant rebelling against vacant rebellion. Novak, after all, wore a three piece suit every day — making him more of a badass than a tattooed and pierced Johnny Depp could ever be.
I met Novak when he spoke at an intern program in the '80s and he talked to all of us, personally, afterward. He spoke about the importance of real reporting: Which meant talking to people and then talking to more people.
It's probably a good thing he never really had to deal with blogs, where mockery is easily fomented because bloggers rarely talk to anyone. But once you talked to Novak, you liked him — which is why the left couldn't stand him.