Something is happening here: Yesterday, a very encouraging trend continued. Readers continued to pummel Maureen Dowd for her fatuous work, which is quite paralytic.
Dowd has been a study in the fatuous since taking a richly deserved "vaca" in late June. Returning after the Fourth of July, she did four fatuous columns from Paris, then two columns from Boston about the ways Whitey Bulger’s accomplices used to murder their girl friends, then pull out their teeth.
After that, she authored two columns concerning her thoughts about weiner, plus a third column which focused on the color of Christine Quinn’s toenail polish.
After that, just one escape route was left! Yesterday, Dowd penned her second straight waste-of-time, snide-rich groaner about Hillary Clinton. And, for the second straight time, angry readers of the Times told her to Shut the Fudge Up!
Yesterday, Dowd offered a phantasmagoric column about Clinton’s chances in 2016. But the year is currently 2013! This was the first comment:
COMMENTER 1, FROM BOSTON: The election is a long way off, and anything can happen...It's far too early to say anything meaningful about the 2016 elections, but columnists never let that stop them before.Dowd was killing time, as always, with a column on the ultimate Ol’ Reliable. That Boston reader seemed to be tired of this stupid shit. And the next four commenters had the same reaction:
COMMENTER 2, FROM CHICAGO: Your superficial comments are just that. And again, please can't we wait until we have to consider presidential candidates? The election season is too long without you extending it unnecessarily.Those were the first five comments. Commenters 6 and 7 were working the same general beat:
COMMENTER 3, FROM GREAT NECK: This column tells us nothing about what ideas Hillary Clinton might have about the presidency...So I have no idea what to make of the column.
COMMENTER 4, FROM CONNECTICUT: In a time when this country is immersed in the greatest Constitutional crisis at least since Watergate, it's sad that one of the New York Times' top columnists chooses instead to engage in a repetitious and nauseating critique of the probable 2016 Democratic nominee for president—an election still years away!...Disappointingly, this column once again has been reduced to serve as a Hillary Clinton whipping post, apparently to placate the author's desire to trash a woman she personally loathes.
COMMENTER 5, FORMERLY FROM NYC: Honestly, Maureen, I'm not really interested in reading about Hillary right now. I'm beginning to get Hillary fatigue and she hasn't even declared her candidacy yet...I know that newspapers are in trouble but jumpstarting a presidential campaign while our own president is barely 8 months into his 2nd term is pretty low.
COMMENTER 6, FROM CALIFORNIA: I hope we aren't going to be treated to a Hillary rant a week from here on out!Commenter 8 complained about the endless snide remarks aimed at Obama. (Sorry, aimed at "Barry.") Commenters 9 and 10 seemed to have been driven to distraction by Dowd’s endless inanity:
COMMENTER 7, FROM CALIFORNIA: It's disturbing to see yet another piece enabling the inevitability of a Hillary candidacy, in spite of Maureen's codicils and sharp observations. This effort to train the press is orchestrated, and resulted in W, Obama, and now is likely to lead us to Hillary vs. Christie.
COMMENTER 9, FROM WISCONSIN: Non voglio leggere Maureen Dowd mai più!In our own language, Commenter 9 doesn’t want to read Dowd any more. Her inanity has left this Badger speaking in tongues!
COMMENTER 10, FROM NEW YORK CITY:
Ms. Dowd dislikes Barack and Hillary
Both of whom she's ready to pillory,
Working with great thrift
Gives the pair short shrift,
And brings out her heavy artillery.
No mention of Repubs, Ms. Dowd?
I forgot that three make a crowd!
So hostile a hitter
So biting and bitter,
To disagree with her I'm proud!
Eventually, readers succumbed to the bait. They began exchanging pointless remarks about who should run for the White House three years hence. In this way, a flailing, dead-in-life paralytic can drag the discourse way down.
By the way, there are no limits to Dowd’s inanity, or to her invention of facts. She has loathed Hillary Clinton for years, along with every other married Democratic woman. And so, because of her mammoth loathing, she is allowed to type nonsense like this:
DOWD (8/11/13): As the president was getting ready for his [Friday] news conference, his former secretary of state was dominating the news with an event she didn’t even attend. Emily’s List held what was, in essence, Hillary’s first Iowa campaign event, titled “Madam President” and featuring Claire McCaskill, the Missouri senator who famously broke away from Clinton Inc. to join the Obama revolution in 2008. Now McCaskill, who once said she wouldn’t trust Bill Clinton near her daughter, is presciently back in the fold, on board with Ready for Hillary, the super PAC supporting Clinton for 2016.All roads lead to Gennifer Flowers in the minds of The Dead. But what about Dowd’s opening claim? Was Clinton, the eternal witch, really “dominating the news” this Friday, thus upstaging Obama, “with an event she didn’t even attend?”
As ABC News’s Michael Falcone reported from Iowa, the state that allowed Obama to vault over Hillary, McCaskill said she’s dreaming of “that moment in 2017 when we can say ‘Madam President’ to Hillary Rodham Clinton.’ ”
In a funny echo of Hillary’s defense of Bill during the Gennifer Flowers scandal, when she said she wasn’t home baking cookies and having teas, McCaskill told the forum it’s hard for women to run for office because it’s “not sitting down to tea and crumpets.”
In fact, the Iowa event was barely mentioned in the press. It rated a page 10 report in the New York Times the next day; this morning, Joe Biden's upcoming event in the Hawkeye State is reported on page 11. But the Clinton event was reported by very few other newspapers. According to Nexis, it wasn't reported or mentioned on any cable or broadcast news program. That ABC “report” Dowd quotes was in fact a minor blog post.
Her editors let her pretend. That is, they let her deceive Times readers.
Dowd is broken, dead in life. She is also famous and powerful. Neither Drum nor Krugman nor Dionne nor Chait will ever tell you about the pestilence which has spread out from her work since the day, twenty years ago, when Katharine Boo was willing to stand up and warn us.
Camus might have spoken. Not these!
For more than twenty years, career players have averted their gaze as the pestilence spread. Now, Times readers have begun to fight back!
This pushback is coming quite late in the game. Much better late than never.