September 5, 2007

Maybe Dowd is the one who invented the Internet

1998.jpg Reading the new Vanity Fair essay on how the media created an artificial persona for Al Gore in 2000, I was struck by Maureen Dowd's repeated appearance. Throughout the campaign, Dowd's limp-snarky exaggerations about Gore -- his ego, his artifice, his femininity -- helped set the tone for the rest of the press pack.

Dowd has since come around on Gore, but her M.O. has never changed. Remember, it was Dowd who invented John Kerry's supposed "Who among us doesn't like NASCAR" quote and distorted a Bush quote to make him look soft on Al Qaida (as if any distortion were necessary). She has also peddled similar too-good-to-check stories about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

All of which is why even an obvious, intentional exaggeration from MoDo can't simply be written off as an acceptable bit of humor. Everyone may know it's not literally true when they read it the first time, but once the idea behind it is part of the CW, Dowd's jokes carry the weight of fact.

Here is Dowd today on Obama: "The urbane young senator who rules over Chicago society with his wife, Michelle, the glamour boy who has graced more fashionable magazine covers than Heidi Klum, the debonair pol who has wowed crowds at white-tie and black-tie press dinners in D.C., suddenly started ranting about Washington pundits and other jades on the Potomac who don’t appreciate the thrilling loftiness of his message and purifying minimalism of his résumé." [emphasis added]

For the record. Number of fashionable magazine covers graced by Obama: 3 4 (GQ, Vibe, Wired, Men's Vogue; not counting the unfashionable Time, Newsweek or Ebony). Number graced by Klum: 25 (not counting TV Guide or dozens of European magazines).

And of course Spy had Hillary on the cover twice.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Seal also thinks that if Hillary can't run a house, how could she run America?

Make that four for Obama.

That's a joke, right? WTF is "Men's Vogue"?

(Insert sarcasm emoticon here)

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