Fourth column about her pal Trump: In Sunday's New York Times, Maureen Dowd penned her latest pal-of-mine column about her pal, Candidate Trump.
Since January 31, Dowd has penned four columns about Trump. The tone of these columns has been rather unusual for Dowd. The Times provides these synopses:
April 3, 2016:"Here's the beauty of Trump!" We'd say the March 6 column was the least friendly to the hopeful. Even there, Dowd spent at least half the time explaining why Trump is "wicked fun."
Trump Does It His Way
Donald Trump has an all-new sensation. He admits he was wrong.
March 20, 2016:
Will Trump Be Dumped?
Donald Trump fights those in his party who want to snatch away the nomination, and is unable to resist taking jabs at Elizabeth Warren and Megyn Kelly.
March 6, 2016:
Chickens, Home to Roost
Mixed emotions on Donald Trump: why he's wicked fun and just plain wicked at the same time.
January 31, 2016:
Here's the Beauty of Trump
He knows how to act properly when he needs to, he claims over the phone. But right now he doesn't need to.
In the other columns, especially the last two, Dowd has largely served as a sounding-board for Trump. She has adopted the helpful, understanding tone of an older or perhaps a kid sister.
Dowd's snide, sarcastic tone has been notably absent. Yesterday, we were struck by the way readers complained.
Below, we'll show you excerpts from the twenty comments which had the most reader recommendations as of yesterday afternoon. We were struck by the accurate way these readers described these unusual columns by Dowd.
Once again, though, we were struck by something else:
We were struck by the fact that Dowd's extremely peculiar work has produced essentially zero criticism from professional journalists during the many years when she has damaged the American discourse. We can think of two exceptions:
In November 1992, Katherine Boo wrote a 3800-word piece in the Washington Monthly. She warned about the "creeping Dowdism" which she said threatened the press corps and the national discourse.
Inevitably, Katherine Boo abandoned the "press corps" to work on serious books. What would you expect from a person who had been that prescient?
Sixteen years later, in June 2008, Clark Hoyt became the second career journalist who dared speak the truth about Dowd. In his role as the New York Times public editor, Hoyt savaged Dowd for the torrent of sexist, misogynistic columns she had written about Candidate Clinton's pursuit of the White House. Among the nation's play-for-pay "press corps," no one else had been able to see Dowd doing that!
Because of her status at the Times, Dowd has been a virtual untouchable over the past many years. The other people who pretend to be journalists have refused to comment on her Dowdism, which stopped creeping at some point and consumed the press corps instead.
Liberal readers were also very slow to notice Dowd's inanity and poison. In the last few years, they've finally begun to catch on.
Reading comments yesterday, we were struck by the accurate readings commenters offered of Dowd's recent columns on Trump.
Dowd has been full of poison, for many years, for Clinton, Clinton, Obama and Gore. She has also savaged a series of Democratic wives. In 2004, her columns about Howard Dean's wife were Trumpian in their ugliness and, of course, their inanity.
In all those years, only Hoyt stood up to speak about this ugly mess. The other people we think of as "journalists" all agreed to look away as this gong-show proceeded.
Below, you see excerpts from the twenty comments which had been recommended by the most readers as of yesterday afternoon. We haven't left any comments out. They were the readers' top twenty, bar none.
At long last, Dowd's readers have begun to object to her strangeness and her poison. The people who get peddled to you as "journalists" are still, needless to say, remaining very still:
COMMENTER FROM NEW JERSEY: Note to the Maureen Dowd isolation chamber...there you and the entire fraudulent American press go again, indulging us with another pubertal essay and junior high school discussion of boys, girls, hair, skin, looks and popularity.Those are excerpts from the twenty most-recommended comments. We thought this comment also captured the tone of Dowd's latest buddy piece:
COMMENTER FROM BROOKLYN: I do not understand why Maureen Dowd continues to be a featured political columnist in the Times. She seems much more interested in celebrity than in thoughtful political analysis and continually needs to remind readers of her close personal relationships with the rich & famous. Maybe Maureen can do a gossip column for a tabloid or entertainment website. New York Times, you can do better than this.
COMMENTER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Typical Dowd: fawning all over Mr. MASCULINE while saving her wrath for the one real adult in the room, our current president.
COMMENTER: A fascinating column that highlights the symbiotic relationship that Dowd has with Trump. She sounds more like his friend than a member of the [fourth] estate.
COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK: Ms. Dowd gets paid to write a column once a week and this is what we get?
COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK CITY: Good lord, even in a hit piece on Trump, Maureen Dowd saves her worst slam for Hillary Clinton. When is the NYTimes going to stop enabling this demagogue with a vendetta?
COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK: So you can treat Donald Trump in a civil fashion but Hillary is the devil incarnate? How can anyone take you seriously?
COMMENTER FROM FLORIDA: Not even sure why you write these columns about Trump. You obviously admire him yet you pretend to criticize him. Silly, really.
COMMENTER FROM MAINE: The comments are right on. Dowd's friendship with Trump has, for me, become one of mutual narcissism.
COMMENTER FROM CONNECTICUT: It's time to pack it in, Mo. This said nothing, other than you've cozied up to TD.
COMMENTER FROM TUCSON: Tweedle Dee interviews Tweedle Dum.
COMMENTER FROM VIRGINIA: What, Maureen, not one snarky, sneering word, like you constantly lavish on President Obama or Hillary Clinton? Just some gentle admonishment for Trump?...Why does the Times waste column space on Dowd?
COMMENTER FROM THE MIDWEST: Ms. Dowd, I expect more from an NYT opinion page columnist. Please stop wasting column space on DT and actually write about real issues (or at least real politicians).
COMMENTER FROM THAILAND: Such a superficial article.
COMMENTER: When a New York Times columnist asks a presidential candidate, "How do you rate your own looks?" we know we've reached the bottom.
COMMENTER FROM MIAMI: Maureen is in love! And just like any bright teenage girl, she falls for the dumbest bad-boy in class. Hand it to Trump. He is the only person that has found a way to drain out all the venom and bile that usually characterizes Dowd's columns.
COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK: The larger question becomes why has Maureen Dowd wasted this space and her voice on Trump? Are we supposed to be impressed that she has access to this ludicrous, highly unstable individual? Having trashed President Obama ("Barry" in Dowd's denigrating parlance), Hillary, and Bernie, she now can write about the only candidate demented enough to take her seriously.
COMMENTER: Dowd's snarky comments about serious politicians such as Obama, and her kid gloves treatment of Trump, are quite amazing to behold.
COMMENTER FROM PROVIDENCE: Ms. Dowd, you have a column with the New York Times and asked Trump how he rates his looks? The NYT readership should expect far more hardball questions of a presidential candidate by one of their columnists.
COMMENTER FROM CINCINNATI: Is this a girl crush on Donald Trump in every column on Trump? While every single column on Hillary Clinton Dowd's venomous wrath come out. Total wastage of space.
COMMENTER FROM NEW JERSEY: I am never sure what to get out of a column like this. It appears that Ms. Dowd is having a personal conversation with a celebrity friend. She brings her sister into the discussion and gives the Donald a bit of neighborly advice on how to behave. As far as true content and what Trump's policies are, I've learned absolutely nothing. It's like eating cotton candy at a carnival.Long ago, Boo was prescient in her "Creeping Dowdism" piece. Inevitably, there's no public link to the essay in which she accurately told her guild what they would soon become.