Conservative columnist Robert Novak has dropped out of a scheduled debate at U-C Santa Barbara about media bias.
Novak says he canceled the May 25th appearance after learning he would face liberal critic Eric Alterman.
The two have a history of clashes, and Novak says he won't appear publicly with Alterman because he feels the debate would devolve into a critique of him instead of the bias issue.
Novak's decision left organizers with little time to find another speaker, so they canceled the event.
In his criticism, Alterman has criticized Novak for disclosing in a column the name of C-I-A agent Valerie Plame. The revelation, based on unnamed sources, triggered a federal probe to determine who leaked the information.
Poor baby. Can't expect him to confront someone who refuses to play by the lame-ass rules of the Washington press corps -- you know, never ask embarassing questions, no matter how shameful the behavior of the subject, pretend the press still does its job, pretend sucking up to power is inevitable and proper...