Maureen Dowd spends her column today trying to toss off jokes about the French while revealing her outrage that the French are not outraged about Carla Bruni. It is a pathetic attempt to be cool when on the inside her squareness and zealous righteousness is chafing to get out.

In this same edition of the New York Times, the Public Editor Clark Hoyt has some scathing criticism of her columns on Hillary Clinton:

Dowd’s columns about Clinton’s campaign were so loaded with language painting her as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism, right along with the comments of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, Tucker Carlson or, for that matter, Kristol, who made the Hall of Shame for a comment on Fox News, not for his Times work.

Dowd's defense is precious:

“I’ve been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years,” Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns. She often refers to Barack Obama as “Obambi” and has said he has a “feminine” management style. But the relentless nature of her gender-laden assault on Clinton — in 28 of 44 columns since Jan. 1 — left many readers with the strong feeling that an impermissible line had been crossed, even though, as Dowd noted, she is a columnist who is paid not to be objective.

What is funny about all of this is Dowd still pines for the Beaver Cleaver world of her upbringing - she is of the Irish Catholic NBC Media world (see Bob Somerby for an extensive treatment on this subject) where men are men (Daddy was a cop), but she also wants to be in Carla Bruni's world - to be as sophisticated and hip as the French.

It is as if Dowd is appalled at herself. If she is, we agree with her.

Speaking for me only

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    Dowd is a good writer (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kmblue on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:10:55 AM EST
    with a bad agenda.

    I don't know where her rage is coming from, but she's got issues.

    Occasionally a good writer. (5.00 / 9) (#8)
    by Fabian on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:31:04 AM EST
    Usually a sloppy, lazy writer.

    I thought she was brilliant once when she skewered GWB.  Then I read her more often, until I stopped completely.

    Dowd does not inform, enlighten or educate.  


    Yeah, (5.00 / 8) (#18)
    by frankly0 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:44:51 AM EST
    I'm not sure I was ever much impressed with her style, which is so Heatherish it might better have been written for the Hollywood Reporter.

    But in the end one comes away with overpowering sense that this is a truly vicious personality, lashing out in whatever direction she can to achieve some kind of destruction equal to the vileness within.

    What I can't forgive is that the NY Times grants such a writer a position of prominence and influence unlike just about any other in journalism. No institution in the media is more full of its own sense of moral importance, and more insistent that we must all do the right thing to elevate our political discourse than the NY Times.

    And yet it enables the likes of Maureen Dowd.

    "Hypocrites" is too good a word for them.


    Also cannot reply (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:53:53 AM EST
    She is the only writer where the comment option is unavailable.  Even Brooks receives comments.

    What's up with that?


    MG....you never ask a question you don't (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    want to hear the answer to....I think it is similar hear...many people would not hesitate to tear MD a new one....just saying

    I think that is similar here....too early... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:37:33 AM EST
    need coffee  :)

    No way, the Heathers were way cooler (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:20:10 PM EST
    than Maureen.  I think that is part of her problem, forever the wannabe, and not realizing the rest of us her age (or younger) got over high school a long time ago.

    Lazy and a throwback to NYC's cocktail club ... (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Ellie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:19:05 AM EST
    ... or I gather that's what she's supposed to be doing. (The Golden Age of Dorothy Parker etc.)

    MoDo rarely has insight into her subjects, but a better writer would treat the people as subjects and try to discern their characters. She more often uses them as targets, and she's so distracted by exteriors, the surface is where her brain screeches to a halt.


    Style over Substance (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by withoutparty on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 04:02:57 PM EST
    Over the past year and a half or so, I've noticed that MoDo seems more concerned with coming up with something "biting" and "witty" and the actual content behind the imagery is lacking any substance.

    Frankly, her book, Are Men Necessary, was the knell of her demise as a respectable writer for me.  I saw it's on clearance at Barnes and Noble this week.

    It's a pity.  She used to be quite witty and informative, in a way.  But now that she is intent on coming up with lame criticisms cloaked in quasi-florid writing, she's really done herself in....


    Liberals should boycott Dowd (none / 0) (#120)
    by BernieO on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:24:48 AM EST
    Bob Somerby at dailyhowler.com has been writing about Dowd since she trashed Gore in 2000. He repeatedly points out that she does this to Democrats yet we do not protest. Just because she excoriated Bush is no reason to like her. She is one of the reasons he was elected in the first place, but you will never see her admit it. Gore was far too effeminate for her tastes.

    As for Dowd's defense that she has used gender stereotypes to crticise (mostly male) candidates for years, that is true but is actually proof of her culpability. What too many miss is that the media has routinely used sexist attacks to go after our candidates, essentially portraying them as "girlie men" yet we seem to miss the fact that this is clear bigotry against women. (Imagine if they went after white candidates for seeming too African American. We would immediately recognize that as racist.) But when our male candidates are mocked for being too effete, compassionate, etc. we miss the fact that they are being slammed for being too much like women. (One definition of effete is "overrefined, effeminate".) Meanwhile Republican candidates are glorified for their macho behavior, whether it is real or pretend. It's time to stand up to all these bigots. Start by refusing to click on Dowd's columns no matter how tempting they may be. The Time's always has here listed on their online most popular list. (She's number two this week.) If all Dems stopped reading her garbage they would sit up and take notice.


    Huhhh!!! (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by pluege on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:14:25 AM EST
    dowd is like olbermann - they're sensationalists, not writers or reporters. Like gratuitous violence and sex injected into movies lacking any literary or artistic value so people will watch them, dowd and olbermann say anything that will gain them attention all the while saying next to nothing of value.

    I see Dowd (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by talex on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:41:04 AM EST
    as somewhat of a stand-up comedian in print. A little truth - a little sarcasm - a little outrageous - always picking on someone - etc. Sometimes she's good, sometimes not. She has her own niche, her own little view of things.

    But there is nothing to be outraged over. When she attacks Bush or someone on the other side you love her. When she attacks one of your own you don't. So what! Read her or don't - but complain about her when there are much more important things in the world to write about or be concerned with...



    not me (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by SarahinCA on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:07:51 PM EST
    I don't care for her style, and her content is non-existent, no matter her subject.

    Try it somewhere else, but you insult TL readers with your ridiculous generalizations.

    And, if she's just a glorified comedian, she has no business at the NYT.


    It is a wonderful thing (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by talex on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 02:48:52 PM EST
    that we all can have our own opinions. I've read a bunch of posts in this thread which mine echoes.

    This is a place for opinions. Don't insult people whose opinion is different than yours. If you don't subscribe to that then it is you that should "Try it somewhere else".


    It is faux rage most of the time (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by bridget on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 04:09:34 PM EST
    because without it she wouldn't have a column in Times and she wouldn't belong to the village people who talk about the Clintons 24/7 and make millions $$$ in the process. So Why change? Especially since the so-called liberal pundits support that kind of stuff for decades now.

    Somerby is discussing the Irish Catholic Clinton/Gore hating NBC gang in the Daily Howler right now. Yesterday's piece was a must read along with the other day's entries. Tells you everything you must know about the nitwit but terribly harmful press punditry (i.e. the Russerts) in today's times.

    I don't read Dowd because what she is writing is downright silly. Carla Bruni gossip? Spare me the outrage Ms Dowd! But I am not surprised at all. Just more of the same.

    Dowd a good writer? I don't think so. I bet many  bloggers I read on TL could do a much better job than MD. In fact, I know so. The caliber of writers in the NYTimes and WaPo are just as bad as the TV and print "journalists" these days.


    a wannabe (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by bjorn on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:12:45 AM EST
    that describes Maureen very well

    Dowd is another political writer/personality (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kenosharick on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:15:00 AM EST
    along with olberman, maddow,jonathan alter, ect. who I used to respect but will never watch/read/listen to again.

    I don't know where her rage is coming from (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by athyrio on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:18:57 AM EST
    but sadly I know where mine is coming from and it isn't likely to go away any time soon. :-(

    It seems to me that MD just doesn't like (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:39:46 AM EST
    herself, so it is easy to attack persons like Hillary and paint an unattractive picture.  Hillary has more class in the tip of her little finger than Dowd has in her entire body.  MD can never be accused of advancing women's agendas.

    I just find her explanation inexcuseable (5.00 / 9) (#5)
    by ajain on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:26:40 AM EST
    I mean why is she allowed to gender trash anybody? And if gender trashing is acceptable then why not have race trashing and sexual orientation trashing? For the sake of jest and a big paycheck anything is acceptable.

    Exactly right (5.00 / 7) (#9)
    by frankly0 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:31:10 AM EST
    would it be OK for her to use racist language against Obama if she "balanced" it with snarky put-downs of Hillary?

    Only Maureen Dowd and this twit Rosenthal might believe that argument.


    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#60)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:43:38 AM EST
    It is okay if you are part of the group.  Have you read Armstrong Williams articles.  Black conservatives have been using their blackness for years to attack the general populace and get paid at the same time.  It is why, as a member of a group, even if you think something is wrong, you must be careful what you say, otherwise those around you can say say, "look, he or she said it thus what I said wasn't bad. (though it can go too far in my opinion see attacking Bill Cosby"

    Armstrong Williams was asked (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by zfran on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:56:45 AM EST
    by Laura Ingram why he had said he might support Obama. He hemmed and hahed a non-answer about a black man and a woman historically running for pres. When pressed by Laura is he supporting him because they are both black, Armstrong smiled, said oh no, just that it's so historic you cannot just ignore it. This is a dishonest election with dishonest and disengenuous nobodues who want to be somebodies, using positive or negative press.

    s/b nobodies (who's pouring more coffee) (none / 0) (#63)
    by zfran on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:57:35 AM EST
    What does s/b mean? (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:01:53 PM EST
    s/b is "should be" (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by zfran on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:02:41 PM EST
    cf 'Attack Queers' -- a RW weapon to target ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ellie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:59:59 AM EST
    ... their enemies, often using the usual code, and pre-emptively silence objections about bigotry. (cf The Attack Queers: Liberal Society and the Gay Right by Richard Goldstein)

    I skimmed a neighbor's copy and want to borrow it for more but my dead-tree reading time's limited and I don't like lugging more than I already have.


    Can you explain? (none / 0) (#68)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:04:24 PM EST
    Like what you said about Williams (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ellie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:10:31 PM EST
    Get a conserative black guy to go after a black target, a conservative gay guy to take on LGBT, a conservative woman to go after feminists etc.

    Like I said, I didn't read the book cover to cover yet but it's a pretty standard right wing Rethug attack formation.


    Gender- or race-awareness isn't always an 'ism (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Ellie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:31:45 AM EST
    (And same goes for religion, nationality, etc.) Since anyone has many, though not all, on display to me it's only bigotry when the attribute is deliberately used to diminish a person's accomplishments and cancel their human rights.

    If someone wants to be a bigot in feeling and thought, be my guest. I still hold by challenging individuals on their own words and actions on encountering them, rather than applying selective and opportunistic outrage.

    If someone wants to use neutral public spaces or access to opportunity and other community resources, go after them.

    You know ... write an angry letter to the Times.


    Irish Catholic Mafia (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:30:00 AM EST
    Where and when did this Irish Catholic Mafia come from? Very odd indeed when you see the "goodfellas" over at NBC. BTD, could you post a link to the Somerby articles of that? I'm to lazy to go hunting.

    I still remember when Tweedy went on and on to Elizabeth Edwards that he liked her and so she must be a good Catholic girl. She said no, and he just could fathom that she wasn't and he could still like her. What are they all drinking. OK, I didn't mean that as an irish joke esp. as part of my extensive mutt makeup includes irish. But seriously, kool-aid much.

    Back to topic at hand. I've always thought Dowdy was very strange. She always comes across as the ultimate girly girl (not to be sexist on purpose at least) who very often hates women. I think she does have some really serious issues. I wonder if there are any articles that try to psychoanalyze her.

    Here's one (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by echinopsia on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:11:22 PM EST
    that satirizes her.

    The Crying of Maureen Dowd

    And another on the same column (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by echinopsia on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:19:43 PM EST
    Yes, Dowd "performs femininity" (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by Cream City on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:17:37 PM EST
    in one of my unfavorite phrases from scholarly analyses -- but it is apt in this case, as I also saw (when I used to read the fool) Dowd's prose as so often posed and girlish.  It reminded me of one of the most catty groups in high school, whom I used to overhear in the girls' restroom.  (Interestingly, later reunions revealed that many in that group went on to extremely unhappy lives.:-)

    You want BTD to do your research (none / 0) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:35:48 AM EST
    because you're too lazy?  Gee.

    Just go over to the Daily Howler and look at any of his posts from the past week and a half.


    since he referenced the subject (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:41:06 AM EST
    I thought it would be handy. I'm looking through those now. I haven't found anything on the irish catholic mafia as an issue per se yet though.

    where did he say mafia? (none / 0) (#30)
    by SarahinCA on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:09:22 AM EST
    He said "media"

    He didn't... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kredwyn on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:14:50 AM EST
    The phrase Somerby uses most is "East Coast Irish Catholics."

    right (none / 0) (#50)
    by SarahinCA on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:31:15 AM EST
    I thought the poster was saying BTD used the term "mafia."

    oops, you're right (none / 0) (#61)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:51:03 AM EST
    I used that term when BTD and I assume Somerby didn't. My bad. Didn't mean anything by it but just me being an idiot.

    Try the last week or so... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kredwyn on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:10:32 AM EST
    following Russert's death. Easy research...you just click the "Previous" and "Next" buttons.

    Try this one... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kredwyn on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:13:40 AM EST
    I imagine this Irish Catholic thing ... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:39:07 AM EST
    falls into the long standing belief that "everyone loves the Irish."

    The notion is that the Irish (and especially Irish catholics) are ethnic enough to appeal to all other ethnic groups, but white enough to appeal to WASPs.

    Have you ever noticed how often the main characters in movies are given Irish last names?

    It's all nonsense, of course, but it's been out there in the media for decades.


    While the Irish are taking (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by nulee on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:12:39 PM EST
    a hit, let me point out that 'they' aren't all like Dowd.  There are some excellent progressive and feminist forces at play in the Irish community that have hitched their wagon to Hillary, and saw the good that the Clinton's did by putting Ireland on the American agenda


    - I'd like to see Dowd retire ASAP, she's a disgrace, as is Matthews,  and have someone with a brain and things to say, like Alessandra Stanley replace her.


    Bob Somerby is writing about the Irish Catholic (none / 0) (#114)
    by bridget on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 04:20:17 PM EST
    NBC gang the whole week right now

    Friday's entry was as winner - must read
    I check the DH daily for years now.

    here you go:

    don't miss the rest of the discussion :-)
    and the Daily Howler archives are excellent


    What she needs to be told (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:30:07 AM EST
    is that nothing she's ever written in that style is especially funny or welcome.

    Dowd is (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by mkevinf on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:32:13 AM EST
    a painfully self conscious writer when it comes to style.  
    And as far as Hillary Clinton goes, Dowd has been going after both Clintons with a zeal that belies any pretense to fairness.  I don't know if she's being paid to not be objective, but I'd say she's definitely being paid to trash any viable Democratic candidate, although she's been, by her standards, relatively easy on Obama.  

    I second BTD's recommendation of Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler re: the ill-effects of the Irish Catholic milieu in parts of the media - and I'm Irish Catholic!  Somerby frequently takes on Dowd and not only is he objective in his analysis, his personal characterizations of Dowd, et al, are hysterical.

    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:40:18 AM EST
    "she's definitely being paid to trash any viable Democratic candidate"

    No, she's not being paid to do that.  Folks have got to get over the idea that media organizations deliberately set out to trash somebody or pump somebody up by order from the top.  It simply doesn't work that way.

    In particular, op-ed columnists, once hired, literally get zero editorial oversight.  They write what they want to write in the way they want to write it.

    Dowd shares a widespread media pathology, reinfoced by its own echo chamber, but nobody tells her what to write and what not to write.  Unfortunately.


    I agree, no conspiracy, just idiots (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:43:37 AM EST
    doing idiot things for their own twisted reasons. Some of it is done in gangs (see msnbc), but often just lone idiots. I think there is some interesting high school clique type things that happen, and some pretty wacky issues that perhaps need some psychological attention.

    No, the fact (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by frankly0 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:57:30 AM EST
    is that she is

    1. Trashing any viable Democratic candidate
    2. Being paid to do so

    It is irrelevant that she is allowed to write whatever she wants to write, and chooses to trash any viable Democratic candidate. In the end, the management at the Times has the ever present binary choice: keep her or fire her.

    It has chosen to keep her, as vile as she is, as viciously biased as she is.

    And that tells us all we need to know about the Times management, and its own biases about what is, in their view, tolerable in a their own opinion pages for a columnist they themselves pay.


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 02:29:38 PM EST
    And far be it from me to defend the Times management.

    But the fact is that the only thing they demand of her for that big paycheck is write stuff people will react to one way or the other.  She's almost always on the top 10 emailed list, and that makes them happy.  Beyond that, and unless she commits some egregious plagiarism, it's a life sinecure, essentially.

    If she turned around overnight and started pasting McCain in the same juvenile terms, they'd be just as happy.

    No newspaper fires a columnist for being wrong.  No newspaper fires a columnist for being biased or unfair.  No newspaper fires a columnist for being controversial.


    Dowd and similar writers, though (none / 0) (#97)
    by Cream City on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:21:12 PM EST
    tend to reach their positions by showing cleverness in writing -- and some then seem to resort to cleverness at all costs.  (I do agree re oversight of opinion columnists being nigh nonexistent, and that is increasingly problematic; spouse and I just were discussing the same re local columnists in our town who take down the newspaper's reputation -- as readers do not make distinctions that newsrooms do.)

    The "Irish Catholic" millieu is (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:50:13 AM EST
    rampant, even outside of news.  Case in point: Ironically, Nancy Keenan the lead of NARAL America (which endorsed Obama without involving state chapters) is a devout Catholic (yes, with all the implications of that).  Firedoglake link.

    The whole trojan horse moral police in the media is also infiltrating other organizations.  It's kind of everywhere.

    And to keep on topic:  Dowd's writing has always reminded me of the style found in junior high school newspapers -- snarky, but sometimes painfully naive.  And she works for the New York Times?  It just shows that connections are everything.


    I'm so perverse that I (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:42:36 AM EST
    like Carla Bruni a lot after reading that column. She sounds like a vivacious, confident woman, unashamed of her sexuality or her past.

    I think Dowd is jealous.

    Good for Hoyt (5.00 / 10) (#17)
    by kempis on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:44:49 AM EST
    I especially appreciate his conclusion:

    Even she, I think, by assailing Clinton in gender-heavy terms in column after column, went over the top this election season

    Yes, she did.

    Dowd is a sort of center-left Peggy Noonan/Dorothy Parker wannabe.

    She can be clever in her attacks. Unfortunately, when anyone reaches for gender or race or ethnicity or height or weight or any physical characteristic as a weapon, that's not clever. That's cheap.

    It seems the sort of speech (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Cream City on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:28:57 PM EST
    that would be deemed hate speech in my workplace.  Seriously.  I simply could not get away with saying anything in the classroom anywhere close to what the NYT pays her a fortune to say.  She has cheapened it, at a time when its rep already was in retreat.

    So what, I could care less that the NYT loses its rep, of course.  But that it has enabled her to contribute to the cheapening of discourse and even the democratic process in this country is simply appalling of the so-called leader of responsible media.  And now it absolves itself with this little slap on the hand -- since public editors are laughed at in newsrooms, used simply for such a purpose as in this case, to look responsible.


    Dorothy Parker (none / 0) (#115)
    by hopeyfix on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 05:20:05 PM EST
    is rolling around on her thumb after this one. Not even using the "wanna be" heals it.

    Me thinks Ms. Parker probably would be a Hillary voter. ;)


    Not thumb (none / 0) (#116)
    by hopeyfix on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 05:21:01 PM EST
    tomb :)

    Good One! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:50:55 AM EST
    I like the Leave It To Beaver comparison, I would add that she embodies the colorized version though, with the registration a bit off and the colors quite garish. That weird color is the cool part (superficial and reaching), underneath it is the same old square (content).

    Occasionally I have laughed at her writing, but usually she seems to be trying waaaaay too hard, so I rarely read her. I would agree that with her that Hillary comes across as more masculine and Obama as more feminine, which are both positive strengths and add to electability, imo. For her to spin  negatives out of where they fit on the gender identification scale, is very, very Leave It To Beaver.

    This piece, about her mothers death, was touching though. It shows where she is coming from: Leave It To Beaver.

    "Leave It To Beaver" (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    family dynamics is a myth anyway. If she really believes that was the way it was, she is rather immature.

    I keep wondering what is under this rage about women. She sure does not like the female gender, and that includes herself I guess.

    I have seen the NYT become pretty pitiful over time.I used to read the entire paper every Sunday morning. I miss it.


    Myth? (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:16:32 AM EST
    I would say more a model, but then again myths are models of a sort.

    Having grown up with Leave It To Beaver (none / 0) (#84)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:56:44 PM EST
    and watching families around me, a true family dynamic is probably somewhere between Leave It To
    Beaver and Married With Children.  My niece's husband watched LITB and thinks that is how all families operate....as most know....not even close.  

    Awwww (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:30:10 AM EST
    A bit teary eyed, I read Dowd's really touching tribute to her mom again. Her mom often showed good sense. This line seemed particularly appropriate:

    When I told her I was thinking of writing a memoir, she dryly remarked, "Of whom?"



    "Her mom often showed good sense...." (none / 0) (#121)
    by DFLer on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:23:46 AM EST
    and good grammar!

    Maureen Dowd is but one of a group of (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:54:14 AM EST
    op-ed writers who have been exposed by this election as being no more insightful or wise or witty than the "ordinary" people who offer up their opinions and insights in venues like TL - and it would not be hyperbole to say that the Dowd crowd is often quite a bit less insightful than the "ordinaries."

    I don't know - maybe it's that we're not all eating cocktail weenies with the powerful people, and pretending that we are in with the in crowd.

    There are times when I want to tell Dowd that she has to stop playing out the horrors of her junior-high school years - that that's what therapy is for - she seems to write from a deep well of hate that she projects onto others, and either she is just not as good at disguising it as she used to be, or that well is much deeper than we imagined.

    Makes me wonder just how sad and pathetic her life really is.

    Touche'. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Mark Woods on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:07:08 AM EST
    Yes, I do pity her at times. I read a book called the 'Female Grotesque' by Mary Russo and several times I thought of Dowd whilst reading it . . .

    That's why I laughed out loud when the NYT started charging the premium fee for Dowd -- insult to injury, no less!


    Bob Somerby had Dowd's number 8 years ago (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:03:00 PM EST
    She was terrible during the media's "War Against Gore" during the 2000 campaign.

    She is a waste of valuable newsprint.


    "Absorbed the Stick that Beat Them" (5.00 / 8) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:01:08 AM EST
    Why are we surprised that there are women who are sexist?  In my experience -- and I believe this is borne out by the scholarship on sexism, many women in our culture absorb the larger culture here. When the feminist movement began, women who wanted to be treated in parity with men in business and the professions were ridiculed, and some women who chose more traditional roles treated their counterparts with derision.  Now that women are more accepted and more prevalent in business & professions, we  often divide into 2 groups -- those who help each other and those who do not -- for all sorts of reasons. I see Nancy Pelosi's opposition to Hillary's candidacy in part motivated by a desire to retain the position of most pre-eminent woman in U.S. politics. I've heard this called the "Queen Bee" syndrome.  
    To me, the absorption by some women of the sexism of the culture explains why many women as well as men have called Hillary too agressive, divisive, etc. when the same behavior in men in public life is called appropriately assertive and forceful representation of his views or constituency.
    In short, women are not immune from the effects of our culture. It is unfortunate when women such as Dowd with sexist attitudes hold such prominent positions in the media.  

    would she even be an NYT columnist (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by SarahinCA on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:11:08 AM EST
    if she spoke of people (especially women) any other way?

    Perhaps not, but in order to (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by zfran on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:30:24 AM EST
    "compete" she can still have her principles or else, as we have and are seeing, she is non-principled and cruel...what a message she's sending to up and coming young (women)columnists!!!!!

    exactly (none / 0) (#53)
    by SarahinCA on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:32:31 AM EST
    However, you are assuming she is working against her own principles, and I say, her principles have only to do with what gets her press and what keeps her job for her.

    Gail Collines has been pretty fair (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by catfish on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:17:32 PM EST
    She did some good reporting on the absurdity of the caucuses.

    Gail Collins rules (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by hopeyfix on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 05:27:41 PM EST
    I was not offended when she made jokey remarks about Clinton, because, honestly, she got it. It is very different. She knows how to write, she knows timing, she knows how to say things, differently from Ms. Dowd.

    BFO....I said the same thing about Nancy (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 02:35:53 PM EST
    Pelosi a couple months back and it was poo poo'd
    by many.  But, I truly think that is part of her motivation.  Nancy does have every reason to worry, as she has not done a very good job as SOTH after the first 100 days.  Hillary gets things done and makes many boys and girls look inept.

    Everyone Who Grew Up In The US (3.00 / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:14:29 AM EST
    Is sexist to some degree. It is inescapable. Our books, adverts, movies, and roles are all based on sexism. The level of awareness and malign acceptance of it differs big time, though. Many do not intend to act sexist and when called on are perhaps a bit embarrassed but all in all eager to dump the sexist remarks and behaviors ingrained in our culture.

    When it comes to the game of power though, I am amused that some adopt the worst of the so called masculine traits (macho) and call it liberation.


    Squeaky, good point but (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    I don't call power traits good or evil necessarily, but I object when the media treats the same traits in Males as acceptable or laudable but in Females as unacceptable, worthy of derision, and deplorable.

    Yes (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:31:22 AM EST
    That is called sexism.

    What we need, imo (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 02:26:06 PM EST
    is a national conversation about sexism, but not one where the sexist media calls in women "commentators" who know little about the subject but are happy to exonerate the media because these commentators really haven't a clue.  I'd like to see a real discussion on any of the MSM shows among those who have seriously studied the subject and are old enough to have at least some life experience.

    Dowd has major gender issues. (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by tree on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:02:35 AM EST
    She doesn't "twist gender stereotypes". She reinforces them. Whenever she wants to trash some Democrat, like Edwards or Obama, she tends to describe them as feminine and less than "real men". With, of course, the implied assumption that "real men"(the patriarchal stereotype) are a step above other men, and women are another step below.  She's totally assimilated the patriarchy. She's threatened and appalled by strong women. They upset her ordered world. I don't know where it all comes from, but she's got it bad.

    And she never acknowledged (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by catfish on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:19:10 PM EST
    that Hillary was running for a position that's only been held by men.

    She can play with the stereotypes if she acknowledges stereotypes.


    remember silence of the lambs (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:02:43 AM EST
    pretend they never caught buffalo bill and he was able to complete his project and put it on metamorphing himself into ........   Maureen dowd.

    Whom among us does not like NASCAR? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Ellie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:04:02 AM EST
    I hope that invented quote she fraudulently attributed to John Kerry to "prove" his elitism -- and which the Kewlaid Kidz used to tank his presidential run -- will be her epitaph someday.

    Cause MoDo always was, like George Bush, a NASCAR-luvin corn-chip scarfin' down to earth Real American. She's good people as they -- except snootynez like Kerry -- say.

    The NYT continues to ignore my tireless efforts to make them send MoDo to cover NASCAR.

    Fun with Dowd (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:05:57 AM EST
    During the primary, I took one of her anti Hillary columns and put her name wherever she had Hillary.  I think she was talking about herself.  Sort of a self loathing that is transferred to other women.  

    I believe psychologists call this ... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:19:50 AM EST

    In Dowd's case it's so obvious that I'm surprised the entire Manhattan psychological community has performed an intervention.


    Stellaaa, I think you would enjoy (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:04:20 PM EST

    Shooting the Boh: A Woman's Voyage Down the Wildest River in Borneo (Paperback)
    by Tracy Johnston

    Johnston laments she used to be the beautiful woman all the man gathered round, and now, on this trip, the French models upstage her as she begins menopause.  Good read.  


    Jon Swift did something similar (none / 0) (#90)
    by tree on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:10:45 PM EST
    I misread Dowd's as Dowdy's at first glance-- (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by jawbone on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:10:34 AM EST
    and thought what a perceptive putdown! Looked again and saw it was just the normal wording.

    But in fact, she is somehow stuck in the June Cleaver world, trying desperately to be hip and meaningful. Instead, she's just dowdy. And vicious.

    She makes her points through mockery and name-calling.

    I don't think I'll be able to see her name again without associating it with "dowdy."

    Ooooops! Dowdy was right there in the title! I DID (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by jawbone on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:14:51 AM EST
    see it. Heh. Must make that coffee....

    Nobody had objected. That IS precious. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:17:53 AM EST
    You have quite the selective memory, MoDo.

    Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by LadyDiofCT on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:23:53 AM EST
    After 25 years of NY Times delivery to our home, we decided that the opinions of Dowd and Rich were too vile and hate filled to continue supporting their pages.  We cancelled our subscription in March and feel clean again around here.    

    what i always get from dowd's columns (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by Turkana on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:29:37 AM EST
    is that she's a miserably unhappy person.

    I've always thought she (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:05:30 PM EST
    considers herself to be the NYT's Molly Ivins.  

    I just don't get the point (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by dianem on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:41:43 AM EST
    What does this column say? As best I can figure, it's "French people are different". I can't imagine that the New York Times readers will find that a novel idea. We shouldn't be criticizing Dowd because of her politics, but because of her minimal insight into human nature and/or her inability to express any insight she has. She's like a little boy who goes through life breaking things and then revels in his power to enrage the grown-ups. What I can't understand is they the NYT gave her a place on their editorial pages. She contributes nothing of value. He only "controversy" lies in being offensive, while she provides no value along with that offense.

    gee, he just now noticed? (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by cpinva on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:13:39 PM EST
    where's he been for the past 16 years or so, along about the time ms.dowd lost what remained of her mind? she's been in a tailspin since. her "defense" is actually kind of ironic; that she used the same sexist language on males is somehow supposed to make it all better.

    i could go on (and on and on and on, ad infinitum) about ms. dowd, but really, what point would be served? everyone (except, apparently, those who sign her paycheck at the times), realizes she went off the edge and over the cliff years ago, this primary season isn't anything unique.

    sure, ms. dowd has issues, she's nuts. that's a big issue. but it's a personal issue. the important public issue is why does the times continue to provide a platform for her raging insanity?

    Seriously, and her lame defense (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by nulee on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:19:50 PM EST
    to his criticism is that 'I treat everyone this way and no one complained before'.  I guess she hasn't been reading her email, baby, we've been complaining for 15 years.  Dowd's work is trash - not funny, not leftist, not insightful, just hate.  

    It's cheap hatred that she spools into dime-store commetary books that stand for nothing. She is out of her league and it is high time the NYT recognized that.


    MoDo is not positive, she's a negative journalist (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Sunshine on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:25:54 PM EST
    She has built her reputation being against someone, and it is easier to be against gender than race, and besides she earns the approval of the guy guys and make her the lady who thinks different...  
    What more could you ask for?

    Isn't this the modus operandi (5.00 / 0) (#108)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 02:31:15 PM EST
    of the Rethugs at least since Newt?

    Ugh...Dowd (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by dmk47 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:27:21 PM EST
    I love the idea that cutting and pasting tropes of sexism to demean a woman is okay as long as it's accompanied by cut and pasted portrayals of liberal men as feminine wimps (and that's all it was with Dowd and O. --- just the same thing she does with nearly every male Democrat).

    At least somebody at the Times is calling her out. That oughta happen more often.

    She's a fluffy Whiskas-breathed leg-clawing hack (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Ellie on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:39:45 PM EST
    As usual, digby nails it:

    As an aside, is it just me or has Dowd's preening self-regard recently made a shift into Norma Desmond territory? (digby 2/27/2008)

    I added my $0.03 on Her Dowdiness in the comments:

    Thing is, the character of Norma, at one time in her life, was somebody. She had talent and craft best suited to another time and an earlier medium.

    MoDo hasn't even earned nerd points (like Krugman).

    She's just some lame camp follower, never progressed beyond trying to impress a gaggle of can gossips who aren't EVEN the kewl kids -- they have kewler things to do -- or even the "popular" kids, who are the subjects of the can-gossip.

    Comparing herself to a fluffy white cat [as MoDo did in the column digby cited] is so telling. Were she half her age, her puerile fascinations would be excusable and even fun the way breathless young entertainment reporters are when they're on the red carpet and just digging being at Some Function.

    But alas, quel fromage, MoDo's a bit ungainly to demand kittenish treatment for herself and she's sad to watch: a smelly old cat prancing out of the room with a big piece of its last dump stuck onto its incontinent posterior.

    Dowd sounds like Margery Eagan (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by befuddledvoter on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 12:57:11 PM EST
    of the Boston Herald.  All Eagan did primary season was trash Hillary.  It was horrible and persistent. I commented online and canelled my subscription.  Herald is number two paper in Boston.  While I really read the Globe, I subscribed to the Herald to support a second paper. They often cover stories Globe will not.  

    Boston Herald has now called me twice asking why I cancelled.  Each time I explain, as I did online, that Eagan's Hillary bashing was the reason.  Margery is also Irish Catholic.  She blames Hillary for Bill's philandering.  What planet are these writers from?  I told her to research more and write less. Here comments on the Rulz Comm evidenced that she did not know what the heck she was talking about.  

    Why are people like this in such positions?  They do a great disservice to the readership.

    Ann Coulter wannabe (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by tarheel74 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:02:26 PM EST
    that is a short description of Dowd. Except she has a bully pulpit unlike Coulter and sells lesser books. In the final analysis she is a caricature of herself, stuck in her gender role too confused as to whether she wants to be the new age woman who asks are men required or too dependent on men to do the "manly stuff" like head the government. Women's rights will never go anywhere unless we relegate people her to the dustbin of history.

    With all due respect, you merit very little (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Cream City on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 01:09:36 PM EST
    of it for such an illogical and simply silly comparison of producers vs. consumers of media --  and producers with the major audience and authority aka media legitimization of the NYT.  

    you'll not find dowd saying she is a satirist (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by pluege on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 02:05:50 PM EST
    none of your examples pretend to be anything other than they are. dowd on the other is on the Op-Ed page of the NY Times masquerading as a serious political pundit when in realty she is nothing but an immature child saying anything to get attention.

    Many things aside, she's boring. (5.00 / 5) (#111)
    by rghojai on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 03:14:24 PM EST
    To me, even reading columnists I generally don't like, those of whom I have mixed feelings, there's occasionally an interesting thought, something brought to light I hadn't heard or thought about. With Dowd, no. She has a one-note writing style, is predictable. Independent of the language she used, the candidate she attacked, to keep doing it and doing it and doing it, essentially saying the same thing, is weak. Much as I dislike their politics, Kristol and Brooks do better in those respects.

    The Bruni column seems ok in isolation n/t (none / 0) (#12)
    by rilkefan on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:36:55 AM EST

    Hm (none / 0) (#45)
    by Steve M on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 11:21:44 AM EST
    I'm pretty sure there are worse insults to point to than "feminine management style"!

    It's very peculiar (none / 0) (#118)
    by Alien Abductee on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 05:35:19 PM EST
    how she manages to drag Michelle Obama into it.

    She takes all the negative things about Madame Sarkozy that are likely to shock puritannical American sensibilities - promiscuity, drugs, infidelity - and connects them rhetorically for no apparent reason with the spouse of the Democratic nominee. And all the positive aspects, like Mme Sarkozy's charm, diplomacy, erudition, and political acumen are placed rhetorically with the dumb@ss George Bush, as if this can like for Sarkozy lift him up.

    What a propagandist for movement conservatism that woman is, whether she means to be or not.

    a poor article by hoyt (none / 0) (#119)
    by boredmpa on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:31:18 PM EST
    I mean come on word searches?  I know the Ombudsman position is a joke, but Hoyt is really insulting my intelligence.  It's the overall rhetoric that is used, what isn't said, and the contrast with other candidates.

    He's an ex-editor, if I recall, and he assumes his audience won't catch that he only focuses on Dowd, doesn't look at rhetoric, and only searches for key words. The times was rancid with Dowd/Rich and other op-ed columnists as well as Editorials and their selection of Opinion pieces.  All around, sexism and race-baiting was horrible on the nytimes this season.

    I hope someone in their Business Analytics group noted my IP only visits there about twice a month now.