The new and improved Maureen Dowd!


And then too, the same old model: It’s always amazing when Maureen Dowd rises to fight the scourge of misogyny, as she does in this morning’s column.

It’s even more amazing when she affirms the heroic Hillary Clinton. In the past twenty years, has any “journalist” done more than Dowd to advance the cause of misogyny in the mainstream discourse?

Dowd has built an entire career around gender-based insults of male politicians, matched with catty takedowns of Democratic politicians’ wives. For our money, her insulting treatment of Howard Dean’s wife, Dr. Judith Sternberg Dean, set a new low in American letters. But her "critiques" of Barry Obambi’s big brassy wife weren’t a whole lot better.

Then there’s the question of Hillary Clinton. In June 2008, someone with a major platform finally told the truth about Dowd, something that simply isn’t done in our “liberal journals.” (Darlings! Careers could be lost!) That person was Clark Hoyt, the New York Times’ public editor.

In our view, Hoyt became a hero that day. Here’s what he said as he started:
HOYT (6/22/08): Pantsuits and the Presidency

Some supporters of Hillary Clinton believe that sexism colored news coverage of her presidential campaign. The Times reported in a front-page article on June 13 that many are proposing boycotts of cable news networks and that a ''Media Hall of Shame'' has been created by the National Organization for Women.

The Times itself, however, was barely mentioned, even though two of its Op-Ed columnists, Maureen Dowd and William Kristol, were named in the Hall of Shame.

Peggy Aulisio of South Dartmouth, Mass., said, ''A real review of your own stories and columns is warranted.'' I think so too. And I think a fair reading suggests that The Times did a reasonably good job in its news articles. But 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.

''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.
"Her gender-laden assault on Clinton." Someone had told the truth!

Hoyt simply pounded Dowd this day. Your “liberal journals” have always shirked this duty. Darlings! Such things simply aren’t done! We wait until Limbaugh says something! Then, our values emerge!

(Dowd “said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns.” When it comes to major career liberal writers, her statement was basically accurate.)

This morning, Dowd has flipped. She’s fighting misogyny now–and she simply adores Ms. Clinton. And she’s upset about Rush Limbaugh too! Just the same way you are!

To this day, our liberal journals have never commissioned reports on the work of Dowd and Matthews. The chimps at Salon have never been to willing to go there. And if someone notes some such obvious fact, other chimps will rise in protest, pretending that all is well.

The chimps at Salon have never gone there. Does your lizard brain let you know why that is?

Tomorrow: More on Dowd’s new column. It some ways, it’s the same old model.


  1. "To this day, our liberal journals have never commissioned reports on the work of Dowd and Matthews. The chimps at Salon have never been to willing to go there. And if someone notes some such obvious fact, other chimps will rise in protest, pretending that all is well."

    And that absence of comment from anyone else proves that you are just obsessed, obsessed with Dowd.

    No one else says a thing, but that's because Dowd has NO INFLUENCE at all. No one is paying her the slightest bit of attention.

    You should just get over it. (And by the way, nothing more about Al Gore, please. Ever. KTHXBAI)


    1. To imagine a writer who is able to address the sort of a readership provided by an institution the size of the NYT as being nugatory is a little bit outside my view of a useful exercise in judgment . Aside from the generations of mean girls who matured snickering in tandem with , for all intents and purposes , a supremely bright , witty lady , who in the the swooning eyes of the brigades of disappointed home coming queens , and those of many others , being of a type easy on the eyes such matinée idol looks , sniping away at sitting targets . How many maturing folks imagined these things not being vicious projections but playful , amusing wits who entertained from the royal seat of experience and wisdom . It was how it was done in High School , what would make the way its done in the private halls and chambers where the aristocrats keep their hands clean and tidy any closer and more comfortable .
      I have on more than one occasion met accomplished people who impress me with their breadth of experience and knowledge , who just caint quit her . I accept that a certain habitual persistance from human behavior is inevitable . Until the unthinkable happens , and it happens too close to home is the time when the light bulb might begin to burn . Bringing upsetting squabbles and undignified views of saintly matinée idols is the best way to forge an unbreakable bond between the idolised saintly love , and the cold cruel world .

    2. If nobody is paying attention why do her pieces get hundreds of comments? Why did she win an (undeserved) Pulitzer?

    3. G.H.Bush loves her - does that make him an object of your contempt, also? Pull your claws in girls (and guys)....your own insecurities are showing like a sagging petticoat beneath a rented designer dress, and it ain't pretty...

  2. @Swan: Mr. Somerby is not obsessed with Dowd. He has written a lot of posts about Gail Collins and others who are just as snarky.
    As far as nothing more about Al Gore, you'll have to not visit this website, for it's point is that the mainstream media will never discuss it's treatment of Al Gore and others. And by the mediahe means the New York Times and Washington Post as well as some others.

    1. Swan does have a point. Not all that long ago, Bob was using Dowd as Exhibit A in a much larger issue --- the inside-the-beltway media culture that leads to "groupthink" to get ahead, and the rather incestuous relationship between these "journalists" and the people they are supposed to cover.

      Thus we could have Gwen Ifill talking about the swell time when good buddy Condy Rice dropped by, as well as the accounts of the wonderful parties thrown by Margaret Carlson and Maureen Dowd -- parties you just HAD to attend, since everybody who is anybody would be there.

  3. I have to differ that Salon has never said a word against Dowd. Alex Pareene listed her, deservedly, in his Top 50 Media Hacks, quoting her infamous column that characterized Hillary Clinton as a dominatrix. I'm pretty sure Glenn Greenwald has taken a swipe or two at her, although he takes swipes at everyone. Now, it's true that Salon also gave a platform to Camille Paglia, who is Dowd's identical twin separated at birth except for the pompous misuse of academic jargon. But you can't entirely hate an e-mag that publishes the yearly Hack 50.

    1. When that hack list is written by a 24 year old new hire who came to Salon with 5 years experience at Gawker, you'll forgive me, I hope, if I think Ms Walsh doesn't take such musings very seriously. Nor should the targets given the lightness of the criticizer.

  4. FROM Huff Post: (The following proves the point.)

    Rick Santorum wound up winning both races, but Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow and John Heilemann debuted their blue act in between the period when Santorum had been declared the victor in Alabama, but had not yet officially won in Mississippi. This last fact allowed O'Donnell to call the race a "three-way" between Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, something that made Maddow giggle quite a bit. Maddow also made hay of Chuck Todd's comment that Santorum's voters were turning up to the polls later in the evening than the other candidates'.

    "The fact that you were calling it a three-way is breathtaking enough, but the fact that nighttime is the right time for Santorum on top of that is turning out to be an overwhelming thing," Maddow said.

    Heilemann acknowledged the "triple entendres" ricocheting across the room, before adding one of his own, saying, "there's nothing that is more uncomfortable for Rick Santorum for being in a three-way."

    "With two very handsome men, it should be noted!" Maddow chimed in. "Well, one very handsome man," O'Donnell said. "Romney's the handsome one."

    "I don't know, taste," Maddow said. "I'm no expert."

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