Subscribe via RSS Feed

Tag: "free dahlia lithwick"

"World’s Most Obnoxious Feminist Concern Troll"

[ 13 ] January 2, 2008 |

What should be my outrage about wrong-about-everything hack Bill Kristol getting a New York Times gig because apparently the dozens of other media outlets he seems to have unlimited access to aren’t enough is attenuated by the fact that the Paper O’ Record still employs Maureen Dowd. Melissa McEwan, Molly Ivors and Echidne deal with her latest vacuous atrocity. As usual, it involves Dowd projecting various trivial personal obsessions onto the candidates and then using this as a reasons to attack their candidacies. Frankly, I would prefer straightforward Republican hackery to this.

Strangely, Dowd largely spares Edwards this time, although if he wins in Iowa I’m sure will be back to MoDo’s Deep Thoughts about his haircuts. Speaking of which, elsewhere among the inexplicably sinecured it is indeed funny that Richard Cohen literally can’t get through one sentence of his column about the alleged mendacious lying of candidates without a mendacious lie about Edwards. As Atrios says, “it’s so awesome when the Villagers can’t even keep their fake “scandals” straight.” But, really, this makes sense; once you’ve decided that the price of someone’s haircuts or their spouse’s sex life should be major factors in determining who should be President of the United States, whether the trivia you discuss is actually true or not is largely beside the point. Indifference to truth is just on symptom of the larger problem of hiring people who don’t care about politics and know nothing about any substantive issue to write about politics on major op-ed pages.

Lists

[ 9 ] December 30, 2007 |

The good news is that Will Saletan didn’t include “Black Stupidity” in his end-of-the-year list of “best Human Nature” stories. The bad news is that Saletan is still around to compile the list.

In happier Slate-related affairs, Dahlia Lithwick’s compilation of the Bush administration’s “dumbest legal arguments of the year” is well worth the time. In answer to the obvious question — “only ten?” — Lithwick points out that such a list is only possible if Abu Gonzales receives an entry entirely to himself.

God, what a crappy year it’s been.

Shallow Misogynist of the Day

[ 4 ] December 19, 2007 |

MoDo.

Women…Wearing Pants!

[ 10 ] December 12, 2007 |

More sexist trivia at the Washington Post. In fairness, the Givhan/Milbank clown show doesn’t just apply to Clinton. Somerby — who also correctly points out “the rule of this upper-class clan: Big Dem women are really men. And Big Dem men are just women,” sums up the Post’s coverage of several candidates:

1. An insipid attempt at psycho-biography, written by one of the world’s dumbest people.
2. A piece called “How He’s Running.” (According to Kornblut, who writes today’s piece, “Edwards is running as ‘the son of a millworker.’”)
3. A piece called “How He Looks” (Robin Givhan).
4. A piece called “How He Talks” (Dana Milbank).

If you love the competence of President Bush, you’ll like this method of evaluating candidates.

Happy Thanksgiving!

[ 5 ] November 22, 2007 |

Back from Canada, but off to bucolic New England to celebrate your phoney-baloney version of Thanksgiving.

In the meantime, I have to agree that while probably less destructive to political discourse Collins’s columns have even less content than Dowd’s…

The Horror

[ 11 ] November 18, 2007 |

The heart sags at the idea of dealing with yet another case of MoDo using her longing for 19th century gender relations to create asinine, content-free negative scripts about the Democratic candidates. That features an African-American man being “whipped” by a white woman. Fortunately, it’s been taken care of by Steve:

Is any of this true? I don’t know, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it is. What Dowd is saying is that if a woman tries to psych out her opponents, that makes her a “dominatrix.”

Men can psych out other men all they want, as anyone who’s ever paid any attention to sports knows perfectly well. But a woman? If she competes like a man, she’s using a whip. Girls have to be nice all the time, you see.

[...]

Dowd is appalling — and she will be no matter who the Democratic nominee is. (She loathes all three front-runners.)

Right now, if I were a Democratic operative and a genie said I could choose one media figure to be struck dumb for the next year, my choices being Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Maureen Dowd, I’d pick Dowd in a heartbeat. She’s going to have more of a negative impact on the Democrats in ’08 than anyone else. Her take on the Democrats is a highly contagious toxin.

He also discusses the double standards of her discussions of Strong Saint Rudy and Uppity Bitch Hillary. And also there’s Molly:

In MoDo’s world, where strong women must be balanced out by weak men, the idea of a mutually strong relationship is unthinkable (which may be why Hill and Bill confuse her so much). I can see a similar dynamic with Michelle, who strikes me as less bitchy than funny and self-deprecating, realistic rather than idealistic about the person who shares her life, far from the doe-eyed adoration expected of your Jeris and Judis of the world.

I don’t know what else to say.

Herbert v. Bobo

[ 0 ] November 13, 2007 |

Following up on the fine post of his colleague, Bob Herbert tees off (implicitly) on David Brooks’s attempts to whitewash Reagan’s awful record on civil rights and use of rhetorical code to appeal to the white supremacists whose votes were crucial to the post-CRA partisan realignment:

Reagan was the first presidential candidate ever to appear at the fair, and he knew exactly what he was doing when he told that crowd, “I believe in states’ rights.”

Reagan apologists have every right to be ashamed of that appearance by their hero, but they have no right to change the meaning of it, which was unmistakable. Commentators have been trying of late to put this appearance by Reagan into a racially benign context.

That won’t wash. Reagan may have been blessed with a Hollywood smile and an avuncular delivery, but he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.

Everybody watching the 1980 campaign knew what Reagan was signaling at the fair. Whites and blacks, Democrats and Republicans — they all knew. The news media knew. The race haters and the people appalled by racial hatred knew. And Reagan knew.

He was tapping out the code. It was understood that when politicians started chirping about “states’ rights” to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you.

And Reagan meant it. He was opposed to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was the same year that Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were slaughtered. As president, he actually tried to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He opposed a national holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He tried to get rid of the federal ban on tax exemptions for private schools that practiced racial discrimination. And in 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation.

Congress overrode the veto.

Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.

Throughout his career, Reagan was wrong, insensitive and mean-spirited on civil rights and other issues important to black people. There is no way for the scribes of today to clean up that dismal record.

Indeed. Similarly, I’m sure it’s an amazing coinky-dink that the lone dissenter in Bob Jones v. United States thought as a Supreme Court clerk that “Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be re-affirmed,” served as a polling booth goon, opposed civil rights at the federal, state, and local level, etc.

…and this, of course, is also a critical point.

Score one for NRO

[ 9 ] November 3, 2007 |

Mark Hemingway apparently doesn’t use a spell-checker, but nonetheless — credit where credit is due:

In fact, as I’ve theorized for some time now, Dowd’s aimlessness has become so pronounced that it seems as though her florid sentences could be arranged at random, with little discernable difference to her usual columns. The opening of the New York Times archives has finally given me the opportunity to test this hypothesis.

I spent an afternoon reading Dowd’s columns from the past year, and have produced the world’s first op-ed column mash-up, or MoDo Mad-Libs. Each of the following Maureen Dowd sentences is taken out of context and reassembled into a new whole. The result is somewhat incoherent, disjointed, unintentionally funny, badly lacking context, and an entirely unfair assessment — in other words, it is exactly like a Maureen Dowd column.

‘Tis true. Then again, doesn’t Victor Davis Hanson write for these people?

The Madness of MoDo

[ 0 ] October 31, 2007 |

Molly Ivors does a good job with the latest bit of vacuous misogyny from Maureen Dowd, whose presence on a major op-ed page remains and will always be an absolute disgrace. A couple more points are worth emphasizing. First, none of this has the slightest shred of substantive significance; the idea (also now being propounded by Slate) that pop-psych anecdotes about people’s marriages tell us anything interesting about a presidential candidate’s performance is nothing but a cover for journalists who prefer lazy gossip to actually doing their jobs. The second is that Dowd, as always, doesn’t seem to understand feminism. Not only is feminism (to use Jessica Valenti’s line) not Maureen Dowd’s dating service, most intelligent feminists understand that feminism does not provide any single answer to the question “what should you do if your husband gets a blowjob from somebody else?” Some feminists are in open marriages. Some forgive adultery as anybody in a long-term relationship has to forgive some mistakes. Some will find it intolerable and leave. Feminism is a way of evaluating a relationship, not (leaving aside violence, etc.) a set of one-size-fits-all answers about how to deal with every situation. And finally, it should be obvious (and this is the biggest reason why such analysis is so useless) that Clinton would have been condemned no matter what she did. If she had left her husband, she would be a cold man-hating shrew with no respect for the institution of marriage; since she stayed with her husband, she’s somehow an ambitious schemer who is betraying feminism (which is not betrayed, apparently, by sexist smears on her candidacy in the New York Times.) She can’t win.

There is one value to Dowd’s column: it reminds us of the amount of sexism Clinton is going to be subject to in the general. If Clinton runs against Giuliani, you can bet the ranch that to Dowd, Matthews, Russert et al. the adultery of Clinton’s husband will be a bigger issue than the actual adultery (and callous humiliation of his wife and children, etc.) of the Republican candidate.

Gail Collins: There To Make MoDo and Bobo Look Smart

[ 28 ] October 27, 2007 |

I forgot to blog about this on Thursday, but this has to rank as one of the most remarkable recent paragraphs written on the increasingly embarrassing NYT op-ed page:

Lately, anti-Huckabee conservatives have been suggesting he’s soft on crime. The story involves an Arkansas man, Wayne DuMond, who was accused of kidnapping and raping a high school cheerleader in 1985. While he was free awaiting trial, masked men broke into his home, beat and castrated him. His testicles wound up in a jar of formaldehyde, on display on the desk of the local sheriff. At the trial, he was sentenced to life plus 20 years. When Huckabee became governor, DuMond was still in an apparently hopeless situation, though theoretically eligible for parole. Huckabee championed his cause, and wrote him a congratulatory letter when he was finally released in 1999. Then in 2000 DuMond moved to Kansas City, where he sexually assaulted and murdered a woman who lived near his home.

“There’s nothing you can say, but my gosh, it’s the thing you pray never happens,” the clearly tortured Huckabee recently told The National Review. “And it did.” If by some miracle he became the presidential nominee, there would obviously be many opportunities to point out that Michael Dukakis never sent a letter to Willie Horton celebrating his furlough.

Why do the leaders of the religious right keep sidling away from a Baptist minister whose greatest political sin seems to have been showing compassion to a prisoner who appeared to deserve it?

Tristero and Somerby point out the rather massive gap in the story here: that DuMond was released not out of some independent sense of compassion but because a wingnut campaign on his behalf was launched because the woman DuMond raped was a distant relative of Bill Clinton. There also doesn’t seem to be any corroborating evidence that DuMond was the victim of a vigilante attack, which is the presumed source of the “compassion” allegedly demonstrated by Huckabee (unless Collins wants to argue for early parole for serial rapists on the merits.) This was not just a parole that happened under Huckabee’s watch, but one he personally intervened to secure. Was this result of a careful assessment of the facts? Where did he get the information that made him decide that keeping DuMond in prison was unjust? Er:

The state official who advised Huckabee on the Dumond case confirmed that the governor knew very little about Ashley Stevens’ case:

“I don’t believe that he had access to, or read, the law enforcement records or parole commission’s files — even by then,” the official said. “He already seemed to have made up his mind, and his knowledge of the case appeared to be limited to a large degree as to what people had told him, what Jay Cole had told him, and what he had read in the New York Post.”

Jay Cole, like Huckabee, is a Baptist minister, pastor for the Mission Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville and a close friend of the governor and his wife. On the ultra-conservative radio program he hosts, Cole has championed the cause of Wayne Dumond for more than a decade.

Cole has repeatedly claimed that Dumond’s various travails are the result of Ashley Stevens’ distant relationship to Bill Clinton.

The governor was also apparently relying on information he got from Steve Dunleavy, first as a correspondent for the tabloid television show “A Current Affair” and later as a columnist for the New York Post.

Much of what Dunleavy has written about the Dumond saga has been either unverified or is demonstrably untrue. Dunleavy has all but accused Ashley Stevens of having fabricated her rape, derisively referring to her in one column as a “so-called victim,” and brusquely asserting in another, “That rape never happened.”

The columnist wrote that Dumond was a “Vietnam veteran with no record” when in fact he did have a criminal record. He claimed there existed DNA evidence by “one of the most respected DNA experts in the country” to exonerate Dumond, even though there was no such evidence. He wrote that Bill Clinton had personally intervened to keep Dumond in prison, even though Clinton had recused himself in 1990 from any involvement in the case because of his distant relationship with Stevens.

“The problem with the governor is that he listens to Jay Cole and reads Steve Dunleavy and believes them … without doing other substantative work,” the state official said.

Had Huckabee examined in detail the parole board’s files regarding Dumond, he would have known Dumond had compiled a lengthy criminal resume.

Interesting definition of “compassion” there. The bottom line is that a woman is dead, not as a tragic consequence of an imperfect parole system but because Huckabee went along with crackpot anti-Clinton conspiracy nuts and released someone with a significant history of violence and sexual assault. Seems like something worth considering when determining if someone would make a good president for me. But that would mean returning to the lunatic war on the Clintons, in which the Times was frequently complicit, and we can’t have that!

Page 7 of 7« First...34567