Carol Platt Liebau: A Waste of Time

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Waste of Time

It's really a shame to call attention to this silly piece appearing in today's LA Times by columnist Meghan Daum.

It seems clear that she was really out of topics for this week, and so she decided to take some potshots at two female authors -- Kate O'Beirne particularly, with a little scattered buckshot for Karenna Gore.

Daum apparently objects to O'Beirne's new book, "Women Who Make the World Worse" -- a denunciation of a few of feminism's most egregious leading lights and/or exponents. Fair enough -- except we never really learn what's wrong with the book, except that Daum doesn't agree with it. As far as she gets on criticism is this silly little denunciation of O'Beirne's supposed "notion that all assertive women are litigious, motherhood-resistant and either oversexed or undersexed." Right. Has she met Kate O'Beirne? The woman held her own on "The Capital Gang" for years -- hardly the stigmata of the shrinking violet.

Daum's drive by character assassination is likewise egregious -- she critiques the book's cover as "illustrated with caricatures of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and "Sex and the City's" Carrie Bradshaw that border on the anti-Semitic." Note to Daum: O'Beirne had nothing to do with the book's cover, as I learned when I interviewed her on Talk Radio 790 KABC. Question to Daum: What makes the drawings anti-semitic? Color me obtuse, but I just don't see it. (Check out the book's cover here).

Finally, Daum trashes O'Beirne for not including Oprah as one of the women who makes the world worse -- because, Daum asserts, O'Beirne harbors secret fantasies of appearing on the show. Is this what passes for substance at the LA Times?

In contrast, Daum characterizes Karenna Gore's new book as "bland innocuousness" (though she does throw in her supposition that O'Beirne would declare Gore's heroines some of the women who make the world worse. Well, as for the one I know about, the socialist Mother Jones, O'Beirne would be right. Not surprisingly, Daum admires her -- it's pretyt hard to find a female conservative in LA Times column-land.)

But it's funny: Even as Daum manages to suggest that O'Beirne is vicious and that Gore is innocuous and boring -- well, she produces a column that is both.


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