Monday, October 8, 2007

Blog Watch: OJ Al

Updated 10/8/07 9:20 P.M.

There are basically two reactions to Sunday’s column where Dowd channels Clarence Thomas as OJ Simpson as political po-mo piece of theater. The first reaction is to blanch at the gall of Dowd passing the blame on Gore’s defeat on to Thomas when conventional wisdom is that she single-handedly scuttled Internet Al by endlessly criticizing his wardrobe and choice of college roommates. Wonkette (where yours truly has been known to be found) sees it as MoDo confessing:

It has been a while since we actually read MoDo regularly, so maybe our grasp of her grasp of irony is a bit rusty, but the whole thing is kinda funny considering how Dowd herself is nearly as responsible for Al’s political destruction as one vilified member of the court that sold him out!

It wasn’t until we were 9 paragraphs in that we even realized it was a hilarious Anita Hill joke and not just a belated admission of guilt on Dowd’s actual behalf.
The other level of umbrage was to take aim at the rather casual racism of equating a Supreme Court Justice with a Heismann Trophy winning running back. After all, football stars are respected members of society. Mike Wacker at the Cornell Daily Sun thinks the metaphor got taken a little too far:
Dowd even goes so far as to accuse Thomas of lynching Al Gore, which makes absolutely no sense not only because Bush v. Gore had nothing to do with race, but also because the victim of the lynching, Gore, is white. Honestly, Dowd needs to get off her holier-than-thou podium and discover what real lynchings were like before she ever makes such an idiotic and insensitive comparison again.
No More Mister Nice Blog objects to the minstrelization of poor Clarence:
Ripple and Marvin Gaye. That's part of what MoDo wants you to laugh at regarding Clarence Thomas -- the image of him listening to black-guy music while drinking cheap black-guy wine. It's not her only line of attack, but why is it in there at all?
Finally, Scott Lemieux succinctly just objects to the whole roleplaying aspect of the column:
Please never try to write satire in another voice ever again.
Ironically, the fake inner monologue was used by MoDo several years ago on none other than Al Gore himself. Perhaps she has gone to that well once too many times.

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