Carol Platt Liebau

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I do NOT feel sorry for Maureen Dowd -- even though she clearly wants me to.

Are we to believe that a woman who is bright enough to write in the pages of The Grey Lady really can't figure out why she's called "mean"? She's called "mean" . . . (drum roll) . . . because she is mean. Her pieces are snide, snarky, petulant and personal. They're not "tough" -- "tough" pieces take people on about the issues. "Mean" pieces focus primarily on personalities, traits, eccentricities, appearances. They bestow "clever" little cutting nicknames (like "Rummy" or "The Boy Emperor"). They don't seem above taking a cheap shot when it'll make for a delicious insult or a beautifully worded sentence.

Mona Charen is a "tough" columnist. She takes no prisoners, and she tells it like it is. But one gets the sense that she's in it because she actually cares about the policy -- not because she wants to be the Queen Bee of the Beltway High School (to borrow a Dowdian metaphor).

Maureen Dowd bemoans the dearth of female opinion columnists throughout the country -- a sad thing, I do agree. But maybe it would be an easier problem to remedy if the preeminent female columnist -- and sad to say, that's Dowd -- stopped behaving like a precious little "Mean Girl" and started writing (and acting!) like someone who cares more about the issues than the trend (both pop-cultural and ideological) currently in vogue.


Post a Comment

<< Home