Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dowd Speech Online

Maureen Dowd's speech at Harvard last week is now available on the web. She presents the Theodore H. White Lecture on Press and Politics. The complete archive of that event is available here in streaming Real Player, Windows Media video, mp3, or Quicktime audio. The archive is of the entire event and runs over an hour and includes the presentation of Dana Priest with the third annual David Nyhan prize for political journalism.

A long winded introduction by fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Jones delays Dowd's entrance until over 24 minutes into the event. Maureen looked stunning, of course, in a sleeveless Little Black Dress with her Harvard crimson hair falling in her eyes like a nervous goth girl giving a valedictorian speech. She opens self-deprecatingly in her inimitable whine calling herself a sniper and a kibbitzer, "someone who gives unwanted advice at a card game. Perfect."

She milks her Schlesinger review by repeating some biting comments about Harvard and quotes extensively from him throughout the speech. Other political and pop cultural call-outs include Marie Osmond, Michael Kinsley, Bush I, Stephen Colbert, Iago, Jack Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, Harriet Miers, Jeff Gannon, Ellen Degeneres and others.

The speech is also peppered with classic bon mots and epithets familiar to her readers and her admirers. Watch and listen.


Jeff Gannon said...

Old Media Ablaze Over Staged FEMA Presser

Liberal activists and the Old Media are aghast and outraged over a press conference conducted last Tuesday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Reporters were only able to listen to a department spokesman respond to questions about relief efforts for the California wildfires posed by other members of the FEMA staff. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff appropriately chastised the sham press conference and promised an investigation and disciplinary action and the White House expressed its displeasure with the incident.

Surely no one at FEMA believed that the staged event would not immediately be discovered and criticized. What could the motivation have been for such a stunt? Perhaps FEMA wanted an opportunity to present its version of events before the Old Media created its own reality about the fires and the actions of the agency. News consumers had already listened to reporters making comparisons to the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and attempting to find fault with the handling of relief efforts. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had to take ABC’s Claire Shipman by the hand to convince her that everything possible was being done and that she should stop trying to invent mistakes and shortcomings. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other environuts demagogued the tragedy as evidence of the effect of global warming, while California Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer and Lt. Governor John Garamendi incorrectly claimed that relief efforts were impeded by having troops and equipment in Iraq.

One of the lessons learned in the wake of Katrina is how the unaccountable Old Media are able to create a false impression that their ideological soul mates in the Democratic Party use for political advantage. In my book, “The Great Media War: A Battlefield Report”, I detail the flawed coverage of one of the greatest natural disasters in American history – a record that has yet to be corrected.

When I learned of the fake news conference, I expected that the characterization of Jeff Gannon as a “phony reporter” would be revived. Liberal media activist Keith Olbermann noted it on his nightly train wreck of a talk show and the lefties of the blogosphere dutifully repeated it ad nauseum. This is a classic case of how a lie becomes reality, since the record proves otherwise. I was as real as a reporter gets, writing over 500 articles as a White House correspondent, a job that Secret Service records indicate I actually showed up for more than 200 times over the course of two years. The veracity of my work as a reporter has never been successfully challenged.

Further, in 2006 – a year after my supposed exposure as a “phony reporter” - my peers accepted me into the National Press Club, the most prestigious association of professional journalists in the world. My book about the media will be featured at the National Press Club’s 30th annual book fair on November 1. Not bad for a “fake, fraud and phony.”

Mo MoDo said...

Jeff Gannon's GoogleAlert for his name must be as good as mine is for Maureen Dowd. The comment above is a repost of his latest blog entry.

The Maureen Dowd speech I linked to was taped before the FEMA phony press conference scandal broke and Dowd does not make the connection he is defending himself against.

Dowd was recalling an earlier incident where she had angered the Bush Administration enough that her White House press badge had been taken away, but Jeff Gannon was still getting day passes to press conferences. She points out that Jeff Gannon was later unmasked as a gay male prostitute. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It just shows where NYT columnists rank in the White House pecking order.