Maureen Dowd’s Cry for Help

 

MoDoI have a thesis: on New Year’s Eve, the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd — a woman who falls into the category that those with management experience refer to as “too crazy to fire” — will announce that her entire 2014 corpus was an elaborate piece of performance art.

You may recall — in fact, you likely recall better than Dowd herself — that MoDo got an entire column earlier this year out of getting baked out of her mind on a pot-infused candy bar in a Denver hotel room. Dowd thought the lesson from that experience was that Colorado wasn’t doing enough to caution infrequent marijuana users about the dangers of excessive dosages (governments being instituted among men to point out the haltingly obvious to them). I thought the biggest revelation was that it’s unusual for a Times column to be written with chemical enhancements (don’t kid yourself — the collected works of Paul Krugman can’t be explained without reference to bath salts).

Dowd has outdone herself, however, with her newest column, which executes a seamless 17-point turn between the death of Robin Williams and — you guessed it — Hillary Clinton. Dowd spends the first few paragraphs of her column recalling a 1993 interview she did with Williams, and then works out a transition that makes one wonder if she’s currently keeping all of her earthly possessions in a stolen shopping cart:

As our interview ended, I was telling him about my friend Michael Kelly’s idea for a 1-900 number, not one to call Asian beauties or Swedish babes, but where you’d have an amorous chat with a repressed Irish woman. Williams delightedly riffed on the caricature, playing the role of an older Irish woman answering the sex line in a brusque brogue, ordering a horny caller to go to the devil with his impure thoughts and disgusting desire.

I couldn’t wait to play the tape for Kelly, who doubled over in laughter.

So when I think of Williams, I think of Kelly. And when I think of Kelly, I think of Hillary, because Michael was the first American reporter to die in the Iraq invasion, and Hillary Clinton was one of the 29 Democratic senators who voted to authorize that baloney war.

What follows is 14 paragraphs on Hillary, with Williams’ name never once mentioned again. I leave it to you to conclude whether Dowd is spectacularly tasteless, utterly disinterested in basic journalistic craftsmanship, or just slightly unhinged. 

I choose all three. If Maureen Dowd has taught me anything, it’s that writing is about not having to make choices.

Image of MoDo’s creative process courtesy of EJHill.

 

 

 

There are 28 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    And now, Free Association Time with Maureen Dowd!

    • #1
  2. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    I looked at this column yesterday and thought it was one of the strangest things I had ever read.  Glad I’m not alone.

    • #2
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    She probably realized that her Clinton/Obama rant wasn’t long enough so she took a top news story and played Six Degrees of Hillary Clinton.

    If Williams had not died she could have written, “Lauren Becall passed away at the age of 89. She was once married to Humphrey Bogart. Bogart’s nickname was Bogey. President Obama is currently shooting lots of bogeys on his Martha Vineyard golf outings. Obama once named Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State.”

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Dowd and Krugman make quite a pair.  There’s something wrong with both of them.

    • #4
  5. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    And when I think of Iraq, I think of that delightful time I was eating a robust garlic hummus at this exquisite Lebanese diner in the Bronx.  The pita was sadly stale and I was worried I’d chip a tooth like that time when I was skiing in Aspen when a random passer by remarked that my hair looked like it came from a bottle.  I can only assume they meant a bottle of claret, and the best claret is only served at an unlikely German Kaffee house in the middle of Lyon.

    • #5
  6. mwupton@gmail.com Lincoln
    mwupton@gmail.com
    @MattUpton

    For the first split second, my animal brain thought “That woman is good looking.” Then the rest of my rational brain caught up sent me huddled in a corner. Come to think of it, I have had a tendency to date unstable women. This explains so much.

    And now whenever I think of dating, I’ll think of Maureen Dowd. Richocet just ruined my life.

    • #6
  7. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Sulzberger!”

    • #7
  8. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere
    @Fredosphere

    Vance Richards:

    She probably realized that her Clinton/Obama rant wasn’t long enough so she took a top news story and played Six Degrees of Hillary Clinton.

     Next up: Fifty Shades of Gray Lady.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    She must have had another brownie . . .

    • #9
  10. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    I read her column this morning. So, in the words of Miracle Max …

    miraclemaxAnd thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?

    • #10
  11. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    This is what happens when you give a stoned ginger a keyboard.

    • #11
  12. douglaswatt25@yahoo.com Moderator
    douglaswatt25@yahoo.com
    @DougWatt

    I really need to get those excommunication letters to the post office, thanks for the reminder Troy.

    • #12
  13. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    That column is the Jay Peterman Catalogue of opinion pieces.

    • #13
  14. user_2967 Inactive
    user_2967
    @MatthewGilley

    Gang, somewhere Larry King is tugging at his suspenders and beaming with admiration.

    • #14
  15. Julia PA Member
    Julia PA
    @JulesPA

    Earlier today Michael Stopa posted “Keys to the Asylum”  and shared a surreal exaggerated characterization of Michelle Bachmann, found on Kos:

    “Her mind must be a horrible place, a place of bats and alligators and carnival rides staffed by sad-faced clowns wielding axes in one hand and machetes in the other.”

    Well, I have to say the photo of Maureen Dowd on the main page carousel introducing this post is a much better fit for Kos’ characterization. Actually both pictures of Mo work with Kos’ description. 

    Hunter from Kos’ should be fired because he used 31 words instead of two [Bat@#$% Crazy] and he described the wrong Chick.

    • #15
  16. user_278007 Inactive
    user_278007
    @RichardFulmer

    Doug Watt:

    I really need to get those excommunication letters to the post office, thanks for the reminder Troy.

     Not excommunication, exorcism.  Her head’s spinning like a top.

    • #16
  17. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    If I were feeling charitable, I would call this sad, and I daresay that the late Michael Kelly, who was a strong supporter of the Iraq War, would not find this amusing either.

    • #17
  18. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    Thank you for not including the next 14 paragraphs you said were in the senseless tiatribe. Two were enough.

    • #18
  19. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Maureen Dowd is still alive?

    • #19
  20. Deacon Blues Inactive
    Deacon Blues
    @DeaconBlues

    Yeah, I think you (and EJHill) pretty much have it figured out. She was fried enough that she started a sentence, and by the end of it she forgot what she was talking about.

    • #20
  21. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    I almost never read anything from the NY Times, but I saw the lead in to Dowd’s column on Robin Williams, and I thought she might have an interesting take on William’s passing.  So I read it.  And was baffled.  How did she get from Robin Williams to Hillary being disloyal to Obama?  It went right over my head and since I have no interest whatsoever in Dowd’s opinions, I made no effort to try to piece together the logic.  Maureen Dowd is one disjointed lady.  Heavy use of pot might just explain that column.

    • #21
  22. macandwally@gmail.com Inactive
    macandwally@gmail.com
    @ChipHead

    Why denigrate homeless women to the level of MoDo?

    • #22
  23. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Funniest line in the post:

    basic journalistic craftsmanship

    • #23
  24. user_525137 Inactive
    user_525137
    @AdrianaHarris

    Apparently, Ms. Dowd is still on the pot.

    • #24
  25. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    genferei:

    Funniest line in the post:

    basic journalistic craftsmanship

    What a basic journalist crafts.

    • #25
  26. SPare Member
    SPare
    @SPare

    Your wires are getting crossed.  You have just re-printed a lost Thomas Friedman article.  Another of the gang of loonies on the NYT Op-Ed pages.  Where do they find these maroons?

    skipsul

    :

    And when I think of Iraq, I think of that delightful time I was eating a robust garlic hummus at this exquisite Lebanese diner in the Bronx. The pita was sadly stale and I was worried I’d chip a tooth like that time when I was skiing in Aspen when a random passer by remarked that my hair looked like it came from a bottle. I can only assume they meant a bottle of claret, and the best claret is only served at an unlikely German Kaffee house in the middle of Lyon.

    • #26
  27. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    SPare:

    Your wires are getting crossed. You have just re-printed a lost Thomas Friedman article. Another of the gang of loonies on the NYT Op-Ed pages. Where do they find these maroons?

    skipsul

    :

    And when I think of Iraq, I think of that delightful time I was eating a robust garlic hummus at this exquisite Lebanese diner in the Bronx. The pita was sadly stale and I was worried I’d chip a tooth like that time when I was skiing in Aspen when a random passer by remarked that my hair looked like it came from a bottle. I can only assume they meant a bottle of claret, and the best claret is only served at an unlikely German Kaffee house in the middle of Lyon.

     Can you really tell one from the other?  I can.  Friedman would have included  reference to how great China is, while Dowd would just have nattered on about Bush ruined Chinese food.

    • #27
  28. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    skipsul:

    And when I think of Iraq, I think of that delightful time I was eating a robust garlic hummus at this exquisite Lebanese diner in the Bronx. The pita was sadly stale and I was worried I’d chip a tooth like that time when I was skiing in Aspen when a random passer by remarked that my hair looked like it came from a bottle. I can only assume they meant a bottle of claret, and the best claret is only served at an unlikely German Kaffee house in the middle of Lyon.

     Lyon is in France, the country that gave us the Statue of Liberty. Although Liberty Island is in New York harbor, it sits on the Jersey side of the harbor. I live in New Jersey, so the passing of Williams will, of course, lead to conversations about me.

    • #28

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.