Home / General / Who Among Us Could Have Expected Maureen Dowd to Make Up A Quote?

Who Among Us Could Have Expected Maureen Dowd to Make Up A Quote?


As many of you knew while reading the post below, this group would consist of people who follow Maureen Dowd’s work. And that sampler doesn’t even include her epic bungling in the 2000 campaign.

Meanwhile, MoDo would also like you to know that Bill Clinton, in striking contrast to the rest of the country’s political and financial elite, likes it when people pay him to do stuff. Clearly, this is the biggest scandal since Clinton lost money in a land deal and then killed Vince Foster to cover it up.

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    (I.e., why is this even noteworthy?)

  • Daragh McDowell

    Between Douthat, Friedman and Dowd, the fact that Krugman’s columns are republished in my local paper, and its general editorial line of ‘the establishment is always right,’ I really can’t find a reason to place any value on the continued existence of the NYT.

    • Craigo

      Well, I hear they have another section of the paper which doesn’t involve the opinion writers. Possibly several.

    • LeeEsq

      They have a good book review section.

      • Vance Maverick

        Not so much any more. I look at the reviews from time to time, but it’s not even as interesting as the Guardian, let alone the LRB.

      • Lee Hartmann

        Not really. Compared to the New York Review of Books, it has a lightweight and neocon slant.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Is the NYRB no longer justly known as “The New York Review of Each Others’ Books”, then?

      • dave

        Read their review of Al Gore’s book “Earth in the Balance”. It a political hatchet job.

        There isn’t a section of that paper I trust. (Maybe the sports section, but only because fairness and accuracy doesn’t really matter in a newspaper sports section)

    • Emily

      The crossword puzzle?

    • CJColucci

      Bad as the Times is, look at the alternatives.

  • Boots Day

    Yes, you nailed it, MoDo. Bill Cliton spent nearly the entirety of his adult life in government service, all the way through his mid-50s, because all he wanted to do was MAKE MONEY.

    • TT

      Only raw, undiluted, totalistic political power could fuel the Clenis and its nefarious desires. It only turned to making money once it was finished inflicting the horror of low unemployment, rising wages, minimal inflation, and budget surpluses on the country.

  • DrDick

    Frankly, I have long suspected she makes up everything she writes.

    • sharculese

      Most of her columns are literally just Beltway fanfiction.

      • Desert Rat


        Of course, she’s hardly the only one (cough. cough. David Brooks. cough. cough. Tom Friedman) this can be said of at the fishwrap of record, or its partner in journalistic malpractice the WaPo.

  • efgoldman

    Clearly, this is the biggest scandal since Clinton lost money in a land deal and then killed Vince Foster to cover it up.

    And then twisted things around so the whole mess got blamed on Hillary, don’t forget.
    You know how hard he had to work to get just the right melons into Congressman Burton’s back yard, for the shooting demonstration?

  • DanMulligan

    I have to recommend my method — never read anything from Dowd, Friedman, Brooks , Samuelson … oh yeah, and anything on the WSJ editorial page.

    I know that, unlike me, you must write something for the blog, so suggest just saying “_____ wrote a new column today. It’s probably completely made up horse shit. But I’m too busy [insert anything] to waste my time actually caring.”

    Simple and your blood pressure remains constant.

  • James E. Powell

    What’s sad about this is that she is so well-established that there is almost nothing she can do that will get her fired.

    This latest? I have no doubt that she revels in the attention and considers negative comments from people who don’t like her to be a good thing. Her employers like all the clicks and links; they long ago gave up any claim to truth or even utility.

  • anthrofred

    Another step on the road to Being Peggy Noonan.

  • GoDeep

    Opportunistic umbrage. The type of rank obfuscation only a career politician has the shamelessness to do. I don’t see a material difference in the quotes. I took away from the longer quote today precisely the same understanding I had abt the shorter quote yesterday. The quote as originally ran didn’t imply anything negative abt Christine Quinn’s sexuality. That Quinn would accuse another lesbian of attacking her for her own lesbianism is preposterous on its face. This is what happens when you’re losing a race you should be winning I s’pose.

    If de Blasio is really any good he’ll turn this around on her for a fuller critique of Quinn’s elitism and high handedness.

  • Is this what today faux outrage is about? Maureen Dowd “making up a quote”?

    It was a minor misquote that didn’t affect much of the substance. Not really an issue.

    • Craigo

      A “minor misquote” that turned a policy disagreement into a personal attack.

      • If you read the quote and the misquote side by side, there’s no substantive difference.

        • Lee Hartmann

          -1. Work on your reading comprehension.

        • sharculese

          That’s not even a little bit true, but I’d love to see you try to explain it!

        • Craigo

          One Quinn for what she does. The other criticizes her for who she is.

          • Craigo

            One criticizes Quinn, of course.

            • Lee Rudolph

              Oh. I rather thoughthoped you were going to go all Lord of the Quinns on us.

        • Vance Maverick

          The misquote makes it sound like Quinn’s (alleged) policy blindspots are due to the kind of person she is. The original makes it sound like “She has some policy blindspots, and she’s unapproachable.” Which is campaign propaganda, obviously, but doesn’t make the invidious implication.

          • James E. Powell

            It is difficult to get someone to understand something when his political identity depends on his not understanding it. – after Upton Sinclair

    • brad

      It’s a bit more than that.
      Dowd tried to make a noted former lesbian activist now married to De Blasio sound like she was not so subtly gay baiting, calling Quinn “too gay” for public office.
      If John Lewis, not that he’s a “former” anything, had implied Obama was “too black” for office, it’d kind of have been a thing. Yes, McCray isn’t that big a figure, but NYC politics are a very small pond. This won’t even change the polls, but it’s Dowd, once again, altering a quote to gin up some minor controversy and get her work attention. It’s bad journalism and the point is the NYT should be embarrassed that it has turned Dowd into part of its brand identity.

  • Anonymous

    You keep forgetting the free dahlia lithwick tag, man!

    • Anonymous

      I mean, think of the future robot archivists, and take the time to DO IT RIGHT. :)

    • ajay

      It’s a good point: why would you choose Paywalled Maureen Dowd when you could read Free Dahlia Lithwick?

  • The misquote version is:
    Quinn is “not accessible … She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave

    Clearly, the “not accessible … ” indicates that what comes after it is related to Quinn being not accessible. This is also the sentiment of the full quote. The personal stuff was the Quinn campaign’s spin.

    • Warren Terra
      • Misquote in column:
        Quinn is “not accessible … She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave”

        “And she is not accessible, she is not the kind of person who you can talk to and go up to and have a conversation with about those things, and I suspect that other women feel the same thing I’m feeling.”

        Both mean that the speaker thinks quinn someone who you can talk to about your problems.

        There has to be a more productive outlet for your need to be outraged.

        • Warren Terra

          Context is key. In context, McCray alleges that Quinn has no record of being concerns with these matters, as a policy matter. She then asserts that a conversation with Quinn on the topic wouldn’t be useful.

          By contrast, Dowd says McCray claimed Quinn is constitutionally incapable of conversing about these issues, with no lead-in alleging she pays little attention to them – and then, to provide context, Dowd spends several paragraphs talking about the sexual histories of the candidates and their spouses, so you can understand just what sort of a person Quinn is, to be uninterested in the topic of child-rearing.

          • Uncle Kvetch

            Context is key.

            It certainly is. And beyond the context that WT points out is Dowd’s long record of reveling in the petty squabbles and clique wars of “politics as high school redux.”

            There is nothing she would have loved more than to stir up a nice big “lesbian catfight” to which she could then apply her puddle-deep analytical skills.

            She is a prime example of why we can’t have nice things.

    • rea

      When you publish a direct quote from someone, you have to get it right. Dowd had taped the conversation. If she couldn’t hear what was on the tape, she shouldn’t have tried to quote it. Dowd has a long history of being caught distorting purported direct quotes.

      Saying that there is no substantive difference between what Dowd published and what the interviewee actually said isn’t much of a defense. The interviewee owns her own words, she doesn’t own Dowd’s words.

  • Steve S.

    this group would consist of people who follow Maureen Dowd’s work.

    I would like to know who these people are, because I can honestly state that I have never read a word this individual has written unless it was linked from a liberal blog in a “can you believe how stupid this is” post. She appears to be a writer with no natural constituency other than natural-born complainers like Lemieux or Bob Somerby.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      you left out Arthur Sulzburger jr of the NYT – and people like him who decide what goes on editorial pages across the country. It’s been a while, but Dowd used to show up in the major Iowa newspapers now and again

    • James E. Powell

      I won’t believe that either of those two are natural born complainers until I see the original birth certificates and I’m talking long form.

    • Rob

      Aaron Sorkin consider her to be the epitome of wit and class. So the same people who think The Newsroom is good.

    • bob somerby

      Those people are the rest of the (utterly frivolous) press corps, who have been taking their cures from Dowd since the 1980s.

  • Manju

    I’m going to defer judgment until Catherine Zeta-Jones weights in.

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