Thursday, May 24, 2007

Maureen Dowd: High School 'Queen Bee'

What does Maureen Dowd do when she wakes up in the morning? I mean, seriously, her latest column is about how Al Gore can't win because he is to fat (not to mention she repeatedly ignores the fact that he has said that he isn't running, that she cites no sources - even ones that might not be credible or anonymous - that indicate that Gore is running, or that the only information that she actually cites is an interview with Diane Sawyer which she watched on her T.V.

For those of you who don't want to pay to see the NYT article, here are the particularly "interesting" parts of the column:

"I'm not a candidate," he told Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America." "This book is not a political book. It's not a candidate book at all."

Of course, his protestation was lost given the fact that he was sitting in front of a screen blaring the message "The Race to '08," and above a crawl that asked "Will he run for the White House?"

That stupid Al Gore, I mean he goes from losing the 2000 election because of his brown suits to not being able to tell network executives not to put "Race to '08" when he is doing an interview on their network. Oh, but, wait!!! He does tell them on the show, for the next line in Dowd's column is:

He is so fixed on not seeming like a presidential flirt that he risks coming across as a bit of a righteous tease or a high-minded scold, which is exactly what his book is, a high-minded scolding. He upbraided Diane about the graphics for his segment, complaining about buzzwords and saying, "That's not what this is about."

So, one would think that Dowd would think that this was the right thing to do, but, no, actually she continues:

Diane was not so easily put off as he turned up his nose at the horse race and the vast wasteland of TV, and bored in for the big question: "Donna Brazile, your former campaign manager, has said, 'If he drops 25 to 30 pounds, he's running.' Lost any weight?"

That poor Diane, just trying to do her job as a reporter and this man, Al Gore who obviously can't be trusted because he lied about inventing the internet and being the inspiration for "Love Boat", is now trying to not not run for President while not not not having a discussion about real political matters while not running for President which is why he shouldn't have the crawl beneath his name but not supposed to say that because he's not running for President. Make sense?[1]. So how does Al respond?

Laughing obligingly, he replied: "I think, you know, millions of Americans are in the same struggle I am on that one. But look, listen to your questions. And you know, if the horse race, the cosmetic parts of this -- and look, that's all understandable and natural. But while we're focused on, you know, Britney and KFed and Anna Nicole Smith and all this stuff, meanwhile, very quietly, our country has been making some very serious mistakes that could be avoided if we the people, including the news media, are involved in a full and vigorous discussion of what our choices are."

He explained to James Traub of The New York Times Magazine that TV induces a sort of national trance because the brain's fear center, the amygdala, receives only a fraction of electrical impulses from the neocortex, and couldn't resist lecturing about the amygdala -- "which as I'm sure you know comes from the Latin for 'almond.'"

Huh? If Dowd isn't going to be a real reporter and schedule an interview with Gore herself (shock! why should she do that?), then she can at least listen to what he says on the boob tube. Oh, but she is too busy recounting what another reporter told her (seriously, why is she on the Times's payroll). And, what was her purpose in bringing up this conversation with Mr. Traub? So she could discuss a separate conversation she had with Mr. Traub:

Mr. Traub said that, as he followed the ex-vice president around, the Goracle was "eating like a maniac: I watched him inhale the clam dip at a reception like a man who doesn't know when his next meal will be coming."

That's right! We can't vote for Al Gore -- he's too fat! The only image that comes to mind is the high school popular girl who whispers behind people's backs loud enough so everyone can hear, "Do you know what she did last night..." or "I heard that he ate, like, an entire cow last night". So, you heard it from her lips: Britney broke up with KFed, Anna Nicole Smith died and Al Gore is too fat to be President. And this is the New York Times!!!

Oh, and in case you are interested (Dowd, playing the role of "Mean Girl", lowers voice and audibly whispers): "That Barack, he's too skinny. I mean, God, I would rather vote for Rudi, he's soooooo much cuter and more manly:"

Barack Obama is as slender as an adolescent and exercises constantly, but he still sometimes seems strangely tired on the campaign trail.

I'm glad that the nation's paper of record has such high political discourse.

[1] I would like to note that this confusion is not due to selective quoting. Every quote to this point is taken from subsequent paragraphs in the column.


motlo said...

To think that just a couple of months ago she was talking about how far sighted Gore has proven to be. (Feb 28 NYT). Of course, that was the only time she has written anything nice (or, at least, not overtly insulting about Gore).

I think you were nicer about her screed than it deserved. Her style and content has sunk to the level of Glen Beck.

Mike3550 said...

Motlo, in hindsight, I think that you might be correct about being too nice to her. On the other hand, if history serves, she will give me another opportunity real soon...

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