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