Updated: 10/27/07Harvard Crimson, Maureen Dowd gave a speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government yesterday extolling the need for an active press to rein in the “alternate realities” pushed by the White House among others. She credits Dubya with providing job security:
“At a time when journalism is considered an endangered species,” Dowd said, “the Bushies at least have proved that our profession is more necessary than ever.”
Dowd’s speech, filled with incisive one-liners, spanned a wide range of topics, from the current war in Iraq to Shakespeare’s “Othello” to the presidential campaign of comedian Stephen Colbert, who wrote for her column earlier this month.She also invoked Star Wars like she did from Sunday's Madness tirade:
[Cheney] has even begun referring to his nickname, Darth Vader, noting that it “is one of the nicer things I’ve been called recently.”And at Harvard:
Speaking about Vice President Dick Cheney, she remarked, “Darth Vader is shaking his fist at Iran now. What could be more Shakespearean than that?”Which proves that my Hamlet explication was spot on and I would love to find out what the Othello call-out was. Her speech further shows how dexterous she is at switching from The Bard to The Force.
Update: As if she heard me, Libby Hughes of Cape Cod Today goes into further details on the Othello reference in Dowd's speech.
Dowd compared the politics of the White House to a Shakespearean drama, full of sex and envy. She cast Dick Cheney in the role of Iago ( without charm) in the play "Othello." She alluded to Cheney as devious and Rummy as Darth Vader. She noted the political dynasties of the Roosevelts, Kennedys, Bushes, and probably--Clintons. She wondered whether it will be Hillaryland or Rudyville in 2009. "If Rudy Guiliani is a Red Sox fan, anything is possible." She briefly compared Barack Obama to Adlai Stevenson for his self-image as "no image." Dowd also had taken a swipe in her column at Obama's big ears and discovered she had hit a vulnerable chink in Obama's armor.The Barack/Adlai comparison comes from her Schlesinger review. Look for the Othello allusion, the dynasty comparison, and the Red Sox Rudy line in future columns.