Maureen Dowd and Katherine Boo!


The road that has been widely taken: Long ago, Katherine Boo became the sage of an age.

The year was 1992. Writing for the Washington Monthly, Boo did something that just isn’t done—she complained about Maureen Dowd’s fatuous work! In the process, she coined an immortal phrase:

“Creeping Dowdism.”

Katherine Boo was prescient. At an early stage, she diagnosed the disease which has spread all through the “press corps.” The Dowdism was “creeping” at that time.

Since then, it has galloped, stampeded.

Where are Dowd and Boo today? On Sunday, Dowd presented her latest cry for help. She offered her latest analysis of politicians’ wives on the New York Times op-ed page.

Silly commenters cheered her on. The nation’s IQ kept dropping.

By way of contrast, Boo has published her latest book: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.

Just for the record, Mumbai used to be Bombay!

Ironically, Boo’s book was praised last week in the New York Times, the entity through which the Dowdism rampaged. You might even say that Boo is writing about very poor children in very poor neighborhoods, the kinds of people we liberals pretend to be concerned about, so we can bash the other tribe for their lack of concern.

In 1992, these were two sides of the journalistic world. One side has crept, spread and conquered.

The immortal reply: What does Dowd care about? In a profile in Brill’s Content, Gay Jervey recorded her immortal remarks.

The year was 1999. Dowd's alleged words, recalled by Joe Klein, define the current age:
JERVEY (6/99): “Maureen is very talented," observes Joe Klein of The New Yorker. "But she is ground zero of what the press has come to be about in the nineties... I remember having a discussion with her in which I said, 'Maureen, why don't you go out and report about something significant, go out and see poor people, do something real?' And she said, 'You mean I should write about welfare reform?’”
"You mean I should write about welfare reform?" We'd call that a perfect screen-grab.

Yesterday, Dowd mused about Callista and Michelle. She told us what their husbands see when they look into their eyes.


  1. Dowd is beyond shameful, but she has won and is all the rage. So the need is to just keep pointing out how shameful she is.

  2. The Joe Klein/Mo Dowd exchange has sort of become the Howler's own dog strapped to the roof of the car. It's even possible to defend Dowd in this context as being browbeaten by Klein and offering a weak retort.
    As readers of The Daily Howler well know, Klein himself deserves nothing by contempt in these matters and is therefore a questionable witness. It was Klein (just see the Primary Colors movie) who heaped praise on Bill Clinton for talking straight to the working class about there jobs were being stent overseas. Saying "tough shit" to these people was seen by Klein (and how much work has he done on poor people lately) as a very noble aspect of Clinton.
    Look, Maureen Dowd is an idiot, but it was around 96 that Bill Maher told his audience that the two must read writers were Mo Dowd and Christopher Hitchens. Even among the politically correct truth tellers such bozos were given credibility. When Maher has Dowd on, can we expect some tough questions? Darling, it simply isn't done!

    1. Good points all.
      Maher and Hitchens were outspoken atheists, so the connection is clear.
      But Maher and Dowd? Go figure!

    2. These are very good points.

      Third Way Democrat Joe Klein is hardly a model of virtue when it comes to reporting --or policy.

      The lunatic Dowd shovels credibility into a the coal furnace of Times quite adequately without the need to quote the "journalist" who said regarding his badly botched reporting of the 2007 FISA-destroying bill ""I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right.""

      You might want to consider this, Bob Somerby

  3. Dowdism has crept to this article from Sunday's New York Times, which finds Romney's sense of humor to be deficient. The article begins by disputing Romney's claim to love humor. In fact, the article supports that claim, by mentioning various jokes made by Romney. However, the real complaint is that reporter Mark Leibovich says he didn't find Romney's jokes funny.

    Why Mark Leibovich's taste in humor is a significant quallification for being President is left unmentioned.

  4. Ugh. I read some of the online comments on the latest Dowd groaner. They lapped it up, just absolutely loved it. A snarky, catty, empty, unfunny Real-Housewives-esque savaging of Newt's "too-perfect" wife. Sad and scary.

  5. Governor Romney could be criticized on all sorts of policy matters, but never will this be done by Dowd. She is a disgraceful columnist, but she is very, very powerful and has bent much even most political analysis to her whims.

    1. oh come on. if she is so powerful as to bend the press to her whims then i suggest the fault lies not with her but with the press. youre scapegoating her to let the press as a whole off the hook. hmmm... you remind me of somebody.

  6. While the Maureen Dowds and Gail Collinses of the media world are repeating trivial background events that make Romney look bad, they're ignoring favorable background events that are not only more telling but are much more interesting. Only today did I become aware of Romney's amazing role in finding the missing daughter of a Bain Capital partner.

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  8. Governor Mitt romney could be belittled on all kinds of plan issues, but never will this be done by Dowd
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  9. They lapped it, just definitely cherished it. A snarky, empty and catty unfunny Actual-Housewives-esque savaging of Newt's "too-excellent" partner. Sad and scary.
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