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Daily Howler: Dowd is a cleaned-up version of Coulter. Wikipedia offers some context
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WIKIDOWDIA! Dowd is a cleaned-up version of Coulter. Wikipedia offers some context: // link // print // previous // next //

WHEN YOU READ DOWD, YOU’RE RIDING WITH COULTER: The nation’s big papers and pundits have been exceptionally dainty about Ann Coulter’s latest. On Friday, at a major conservative political gathering in DC, she called John Edwards a “f*ggot.” This has produced little reporting or commentary in the mainstream press. For example, Coulter’s comment has not been mentioned in any of the Washington Post’s news reporting. (It was mentioned, very briefly, in passing, in Dana Milbank’s Saturday “sketch.”) If Nexis is to be believed, it hasn’t been mentioned in the Boston Globe or the Chicago Tribune at all. This morning, USA Today skips it.

But then, there’s little new about Coulter’s conduct—or about the press corps’ silence. In July 2006, for example, Coulter called Al Gore a “total fag” on Hardball. Chris Matthews—an endless Gore-trasher himself—didn’t utter a peep of protest. No, Matthews doesn’t approve of Coulter. But he was too weak—too afraid—to speak up.

Nor did the “press corps” offer a peep of complaint about Coulter’s ludicrous best-seller, Slander. When it appeared in 2002, the book simply brimmed with factual “errors”—literally, from its first page to its last. But the New York Times knew the easy way out! Its “reviewer,” Janet Maslin, took a talking-point straight from Coulter. In her “review,” Maslin cited the number of foot-notes in Slander, and used the footnotes as a marker of the vast research its author had so clearly conducted. As we noted, if you simply checked out some of those footnotes, you would have quickly seen that Coulter’s book was a fraud (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/22/02). But praising Coulter for her research makes life much simpler for Manhattan’s swells. It exempts them from all those hateful e-mails. As such, it gets them to the Hamptons a bit earlier on Fridays. Or possibly, on Thursday nights.

Yep! Our news orgs have long enabled Coulter. If your nation goes up in the smoke in the process, these loathsome Antoinettes just don’t care.

But then, why should pundits criticize Coulter when she describes Dem males as big “f*ggots?” It’s very similar to the gender-based “analysis” their dauphine, the Comptesse Maureen Dowd, has long offered. In Dowd’s work, John Edwards is routinely “the Breck Girl”(five times so far—and counting), and Gore is “so feminized that he’s practically lactating.” Indeed, two days before we voted in November 2000, Dowd devoted her entire column, for the sixth time, to an imaginary conversation between Gore and his bald spot. “I feel pretty,” her headline said (pretending to quote Gore’s inner thoughts).That was the image this idiot wanted you carrying off to the voting booth with you! Such is the state of Maureen Dowd’s broken soul. And such is the state of her cohort.

And now, in the spirit of fair play and brotherhood, she is extending this type of “analysis” to Barack Obama. In the past few weeks, she has described Obama as “legally blonde” (in her headline); as “Scarlett O’Hara” (in her next column); as a “Dreamboy,” as “Obambi,” and now, in her latest absurd piece, as a “schoolboy” (text below). Do you get the feeling that Dowd may have a few race-and-gender issues floating around in her inane, tortured mind? But this sort of thing is nothing new for the comptesse. Indeed, such imagery almost defines the work of this loathsome, inane Antoinette.

Coulter has been visibly disturbed ever since hitting cable in the mid-90s. But Dowd is a borderline nutcase too—a slightly cleaned up version of Coulter. (Ah, we Irish! Yes, each had an Irish Catholic dad.) Coulter comes right out and calls Dem men “f*ggots”—but Maureen Dowd has always come close. Just as Chris Matthews is a slightly cleaned-up William Donohue, Dowd is a more presentable Coulter. For mainstream voters, Maureen is easier to take. For that reason, she has done us more harm.

Coulter teaches contempt for gays, and tries to extend that contempt to Dem pols. But that’s what Dowd has done all these years! And we liberals and Dems have been too weak to understand and address the problem.

We scream about Coulter—and give Dowd a pass. But when you read Dowd, you’re riding with Coulter! When will we get our heads out of our keisters and take ourselves where the harm is the greatest? It makes us feel good to savage vile Coulter. But what about simpering Dowd?

HER LATEST INANITY: Has there ever been a more tortured soul than that of the hapless, inane Dowd? Dowd is the badly-maimed semi-survivor of our mid-century Irish-Catholic cultural wars. In her most recent column, on Saturday past, she pretty much begged us to see this.

The destructive themes of Dowd’s broken soul were on display in her first seven paragraphs.

First, the thinly-veiled contempt she directs toward all Big Dem male pols. Here’s the first paragraph of her column—a column in which she begs Obama to get in a big fight with Clinton:
DOWD (3/3/07): As I sit across from Barack Obama in his Senate office, I feel like Ingrid Bergman in ''The Bells of St. Mary's,'' when she plays a nun who teaches a schoolboy who's being bullied how to box.
It’s no surprise to see that the nuns are still haunting Maureen Dowd’s dreams. But note the instant description of Obama. Let’s say it again: In the past few weeks, Dowd has described Obama as “legally blonde;” as “Scarlett O’Hara;” as “Obambi,” as a “Dreamboy,” and now as a “schoolboy.” But as we’ve noted, Dowd persistently mocks Dem males as a race of big girlie-men. They feel pretty—and they’re the Breck Girl. Now, Obama is constantly some sort of “boy”—or an iconic white woman.

Big Dem men are constantly girls. And big Dem women? Keep reading:
DOWD (continuing directly—pgh 2): I'm just not certain, having watched the fresh-faced senator shy away from fighting with the feral Hillary over her Hollywood turf, that he understands that a campaign is inherently a conflict.
Big Dem women are “feral!” Indeed, when we get to paragraph 4 through 6, Dowd spells it out just as clear as a belle at a ball. Added warning! When Dowd refers to Obama as “Barry,” it’s one more snide diminution:
DOWD (paragraph 4-6): After David Geffen made critical comments about Hillary, she seized the chance to play Godzilla stomping on Obambi.

As a woman, she clearly feels she must be aggressive in showing she can ''deck'' opponents, as she put it—whether it's Saddam with her war resolution vote or Senator Obama when he encroaches on areas that she and Bill had presumed were wrapped up, like Hollywood and now the black vote.

If Hillary is in touch with her masculine side, Barry is in touch with his feminine side.
Leave aside the persistent infantilism involved in images like “Godzilla” and “Bambi.” Here, Dowd states her endless—and vacuous—theme. Big Dem males (like “Barry”) are girls. And big Dem women are men.

Dowd has pimped these inane, tortured theme for more than a decade. For the record, though, one Dem male was not a girl in Saturday’s column. That would be Clinton aide Howard Wolfson. In paragraph 7, Dowd called him as a “thug.”

So let’s see. Obama (“Obambi”) is just a boy. Clinton (“Godzilla”) is a man—and she’s feral. And what led Dowd to cast this strange drama? Simple! When David Geffen called Clinton every name in the book, Clinton called on Obama to denounce his statements! Was this a good tactical move by Clinton? We have no idea—but it’s a very tame bit of political conduct. But it isn’t tame in the mind of Dowd, or in the scripts of her well-scripted cohort! (More below.) In Dowd’s mind, this unexceptional behavior made Clinton a thug—and, of course, it made her a man. And when Obama didn’t punch back hard enough, that made him a weak boy—a “Barry.”

Dowd goes on and on, throughout this column, trying to start a (pointless) fight among Dems. But let’s remember the basic theme: Every Democrat must be a loser! When Clinton makes a fairly trivial move, she has fought Obama too hard! When Obama doesn’t name-call Clinton, he hasn’t fought hard enough!

It would be hard to get dumber than this. And it’s hard to imagine why grown men and women at the Times (Andrew Rosenthal) still put this embarrassing schlock into print. But unfortunately, Maureen Dowd is an authority figure, writing at the top of our “journalistic” elite. She has offered this tormented dreck for years. During that time, Dems and liberals have suffered endlessly from her dumb, tortured conduct. We are in Iraq today because of the work of these losers.

And oh by the way, it’s never her fault! Go ahead! Treat yourselves to a dark, morbid chuckle as Dowd, in paragraph 3 of this column, states an all-important part of her inane cohort’s script:
DOWD (paragraph 3): The Democrats lost the last two excruciatingly close elections because Al Gore and John Kerry did not fight fiercely and cleverly enough.
Of course! It can’t be said often enough! Right in paragraph 3, Dowd re-schools us. It was all Gore’s (and Kerry’s) fault!

So let’s see: Dowd invented the punishing Love Story bull-roar. She lied about the Naomi Wolf business—savaging Gore every step of the way. She devoted six separate columns to the punishing image of crazy Gore holding conversations with his bald spot. And, of course, she invented that laughable Kerry “quotation”—the “quote” that Kerry never actually spoke. But always, Dowd returns to that key part of the script—what happened to them was all their own fault! Those Dems are just such big girlie-men! They didn’t “fight fiercely enough!”

Dowd is one of the dumbest figures in a pitiful age of celebrity “journalism.” If you’ve ever heard her trademark simpering on TV, you’ve heard the soul of our modern “press” elite. But increasingly, her simpering style defines the state of American political “journalism.” Question: Just how long do Democrats plan to put up with this absolute nonsense?

WIKIDOWDIA: Inanity, thy name is Maureen Dowd! Could American discourse possibly get dumber? Al and John and “Barry” won’t fight. But when Hillary offers a small peep of protest, that’s it! She’s denounced as a thug!

Yes, it’s hard to get dumber than Dowd. In a saner era, the Times would cart her off to a high-class “home” and pay the bills for some much-needed treatment. But then, the empty souls of people like Dowd have always worked their will among us, thwarting progress and worming their way into the highest regions of power. We thought of that story again last week—when we read Wikipedia’s entry on Marie Antoinette.

If you read the full entry, perhaps you’ll be struck by the way French politics of the era was driven by invented tales—invented tales spread by “pamphleteers.” (Insert “talk show hosts” and “columnists like Dowd,” and you have a portrait of our own era.) But then, we also read the following passage—this time, about Antoinette herself. Omigod! Who wouldn’t think of Dowd, simpering queen of belle lettrists?

WIKIPEDIA: Fulfilling Marie Antoinette's determination to avoid boredom, conversation in her circle shied away from the mundane or intellectual. According to Madame Campan, one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting, "The newest songs from the Comédie, the most timely joke or pun or quip, the bon mot of the day, the latest and choicest titbit of scandal or gossip—these comprised the sole topics of conversation in the intimate group about the queen; discussion on a serious plane was banished from her court."

The queen's circle of friends was very exclusive...
Who wouldn’t think of our own inane Dowd when reading that portrait of Antoinette? After all, Dowd’s circle of friends is exclusive too; it includes an array of the jugglers and clowns who have done so much to degrade our discourse (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/23/07). And Dowd’s court is determined to help their queen avoid the boredom which presses out from her soul. Once again, we recommend Gay Jervey’s portrait of Dowd’s social conscience, as presented long ago in Brill’s Content:
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?'"
Let them eat Ring-Dings, Dowd told Klein. Heaven forbid that this fatuous loser should actually “report about something significant.” Heaven forbid that our top Antoinette should care about real people’s lives.

Yep! In the 90s, Dowd was “ground zero” of a fatuous press corps—and things are only worse today. But then, the Dowds have always moved among us. In turn, the Madame Campans have bustled about, shielding such queens from their own inner boredom. And they themselves have done their best to visit their own inane, broken souls on a wider and suffering world.

TOMORROW: The evil of the press corps’ banality, Selma and slave-owner style.

VINTAGE DOWD: One more part of Dowd’s latest column defines the great dauphine’s style:
DOWD (3/3/07): When the Tiger Woods of politics goes to a civil rights commemoration in Selma, Ala., this weekend—just as the story breaks that his white ancestors had slaves—he will compete for attention with Hillary and the man billed as the first black president. How does he feel about the Clintons double-teaming him?

Talking about the woman he described at the Beverly Hills fund-raiser as smarter, better-looking and meaner then he is, he grins: ''My wife's pretty tough.''
Hiss! Spit! Hiss-spit! Mee-ow! Dowd, broken loser of silly cultural wars, has always written like a throwback survivor of mid-century “women’s pages.” And so—Hiss! Hiss-spit! Meow!—she couldn’t wait to alert her readers to this latest bit of “biographical” inanity. More on this topic tomorrow.

According to Madame Campan, “the latest and choicest titbit of scandal or gossip—these comprised the sole topics of conversation in the intimate group about the queen.” And darlings! According to a genealogical researcher, one of Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfathers may have owned two slaves at one time! For a brief moment, Dowd’s boredom had lifted. So she rushed to transmit the new tidbit.

THE ROLE THAT IS PLAYED BY ANN COULTER: Gore and Edwards are big girlie-men! Dowd delivers this message to the New York Times crowd—and Coulter sends the message to losers.

Example: On Sunday morning’s Washington Journal, C-SPAN devoted its first forty-five minutes to a discussion of Coulter’s remark. And a string of Coulter-defenders called in to explain away her conduct. This gave us a chance to understand the role Coulter plays in our world. (Eventually, the clip will be posted here.)

The “explanations” offered by Coulter’s fans simply beggar description. About 35 minutes in, a broken soul from Vermont topped things off; he explained that his dictionary has two definitions of “f*aggot,” and until someone asks Coulter which one she meant, it’s unfair to criticize her comment. (And yes, he actually quoted the definition in which a “faggot” is a bundle of sticks.) Host Steve Scully isn’t allowed to comment, but he questioned the caller as to which definition he thought Coulter had meant. But the caller kept explaining away Coulter’s comment. There was no sign, of any kind, that his call was some sort of a put-on

These calls help us grasp a key point—one that’s almost never discussed. Many voters are breath-takingly stupid, and their tribalism will take them to the ends of the earth. These are the people the GOP has learned to address and marshal through Coulter (and through others like her). Speaking in her famous direct way, she tells these people that Dem males are just big girlie-men (“f*ggots”). Speaking in more mellifluous tones, Dowd sends this message to others.

Repeat: Dowd and Coulter have the same message. They just send it to two different groups.

But if you listen to this full segment, you will note that most of the callers are somewhat less stupid than this utterly hapless Vermonter. Most of Coulter’s defenders say something like this: Since Coulter was speaking “in a comedic context,” her statement was really A-OK. But then, this has been a controlling RNC narrative at least since the spring of 1999. At that time, the factually bogus attacks on Gore were explicitly defended as examples of humor. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, they explained. We’re just enjoying some good solid satire.

This is why we find it so maddening (but so typical) when Keith Olbermann endlessly refers to “the comedian Rush Limbaugh” on Countdown. Plainly, Olbermann thinks he’s delivering a zinger, but this is the explanation the other side favors! Whenever Limbaugh gets into a factual jam, he says, But I’m just an entertainer! Since Olbermann wastes his afternoons talking sports, he apparently hasn’t yet heard.

She said it in “a comedic context!” The RNC has pimped this narrative since the first days of the War Against Gore. If you listen to Sunday’s C-SPAN tape, you can hear Coulter’s army spouting it NOW. Or you can just dial up Mr. O and hear us recite their tales for them.