Monday, November 23, 2009

Maureen Versus The Church

Nearly a month ago, Maureen Dowd took Pope Benedict and the rest of the Catholic hierarchy to task for her perception of the treatment of nuns as well as women in general. And she did it in her inimitable style. Here is but one example:

Nuns need to be even more sepia-toned for the über-conservative pope, who was christened “God’s Rottweiler” for his enforcement of orthodoxy. Once a conscripted member of the Hitler Youth, Benedict pardoned a schismatic bishop who claimed that there was no Nazi gas chamber. He also argued on a trip to Africa that distributing condoms could make the AIDS crisis worse.
Needless to say, this did not sit well with Church leaders. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, took issue with a great deal of recent bad press coverage, including Dowd's piece, and submitted it as an over-the-transom Op/Ed piece. When the Times rejected it, he published an expanded version of the screed on his blog (how very high tech of them). While it takes shots at a lot of targets, here is the part directed against Dowd personally:
Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times. In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription — along with every other German teenage boy — into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.
Yikes. To call Maureen Dowd, a product of parochial schools and Catholic University in her native DC, an "anti-Catholic...nativist" is nothing short of reprehensible slander. This tone was captured on many Catholic blogs including this bit from NRO's Kathryn Jeal Lopez:
The Benedict whom Maureen Dowd scorns speaks a different language than the New York Times typically does. But it’s a liberating one — much more liberating than the tired and angry gender politics that offers little hope to the anxious men and women of our time.
About the only person to come to Dowd's defense was Kelly Fincham of Irish Central:
Dowd's crime? She had the temerity to question why women religious — nuns — are still treated as second-class citizens by the Church. She could have widened the discussion to ask why the Church treats all women as second-class citizens, but she confined it to nuns, saying the Vatican was trying to herd this elderly population back into their "old-fashioned habits and convents."

She pointed out how nuns, for the most part, were ministering to the poor and vulnerable, while a plague of pedophilia ran unchecked through the Church.
{snip}
Dolan calls Dowd's column "anti-Catholic," but what on earth is anti-Catholic about asking the same questions that women have been raising in the Catholic Church for generations — if not centuries?

Why are women second-class citizens in the Church? Why can't we become priests? Why can't priests be married?

And how can the Archbishop of New York accuse Maureen Dowd of damaging the Church, when the greatest damage ever inflicted on the Church has been done from within — by its own male priests?
The drumbeat reached Clark Hoyt, the Public Editor (read ombudsman) of the New York Times who has been very critical of Dowd in the past. His verdict is that she was well in the realm of valid punditry.
Dowd said the issues she raised went to what she sees as the pope’s extreme conservatism and his judgment. “Should I blandly express outrage at the church continuing to treat women as second-class citizens?” she asked. Bland is not what Dowd does. I thought she was well within a columnist’s bounds.
Appealing further up the chain, Hoyt in an online item gets Andrew Rosentahl to explain what an "opinion" piece is allowed to do.
While columnists must adhere to The Times’s high standards of factual accuracy, they are allowed great latitude in characterizing events, people or issues in a way that expresses an opinion. They are free, for example, to say that they believe that the Catholic Church’s hierarchy treats nuns unfairly, even if the members of that hierarchy deny it. They are not even required to include that denial in their columns. Columns are not required, or intended, to be fair and dispassionate accounts of events. They are by nature one-sided. Columnists may find it useful to give the opposing views on any position they take, or they may not, and it’s entirely up to them.

A columnist can be tough, acerbic, playful, joyful, angry, chagrined, outraged or anything else — within the general bounds of decency that are embodied in the values of The Times.
Maureen is definitely most of those. Since this controversy is still raging a month after the original item, it is clear that she rattled some cages. And perhaps they need to read some of those Bible verses about motes in eyes or turning the other cheek, or perhaps most of all, going and sinning no more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh Really?



Virtuous Bankers? Really!?!
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: November 11, 2009

Maureen Dowd picks up the pitchfork and goes after greedy bankers once again.
“Saturday Night Live” was tougher on Goldman Sachs than the government, giving the firm flak about commandeering 200 doses of the swine flu vaccine — the same amount as Lenox Hill Hospital got — while so many at-risk Americans wait.

“Can you not read how mad people are at you?” demanded Amy Poehler. “When most people saw the headline ‘Goldman Sachs Gets Swine Flu Vaccine’ they were superhappy until they saw the word ‘vaccine.’ ”

Seth Meyers chimed in: “Also, Centers for Disease Control, you sent the vaccine to Wall Street before schools and hospitals? Really!?! Were you worried the swine flu might spread to the Hamptons and St. Barts? These are the least contagious people in the world. They don’t even touch their own car-door handles.”
And she goes goes and takes the CEO of Goldman Sachs (or Goldmine Sachs as she calls it later) to task on ethical and spiritual grounds.
Whether [Lloyd Blankfein] knows it, he’s referring back to The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism — except, of course, the Calvinists would have been outraged by the banks’ vicious — not virtuous — cycle of greed and concupiscence.
Which also gives us the Crossword Clue Of The Week®. According to Wikipedia,concupiscence is
selfish human desire for an object, person, or experience.
This is strong theological concept she uses perhaps to rebut the many Catholic critics of her recent column about the Church's treatment of nuns.

And just to prove she paid her dues in CCD, she makes one last allusion to a Bible story.
And as far as doing God’s work, I think the bankers who took government money and then gave out obscene bonuses are the same self-interested sorts Jesus threw out of the temple.
She thinks that maybe it is time to make some changes among the moneychangers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Seeing Red



Ballet’s Mean Streets

By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: November 7, 2009

It's been a long time since we had a really good Movies With Maureen® night at the cinema. But today, Ms Dowd has made up for lost time.

Some movies you have to watch whenever they’re on.

One of those, for me, is “The Red Shoes.” Like its doomed heroine, I’m pulled inexorably along by the bewitched crimson ballet slippers into a lush, swirling landscape that turns into an inescapable, bloody hell.
But that is the first of many movie allusions yet to come. She warms up with veiled references to Wuthering Heights and Moby Dick, fitting in truly terrible pun in the process.
There are many great works of art about obsession, from Heathcliff’s wailing to Ahab’s whaling, but this is surely the most gorgeously haunting.
She invokes Martin Scorsese, the source of her titular reference, to bolster her high opinion of The Red Shoes.
Now Martin Scorsese calls “The Red Shoes” “one of the true miracles of film history.” He long ago began an obsessive campaign to restore Powell’s reputation.
Maureen then moves onto a colorfully named flick featuring a fellow ginger.


In “Black Narcissus,” their 1947 movie about a lustful nun in the Himalayas, played by Deborah Kerr — they seemed drawn to redheads for Technicolor — the sister faints from sexual desire and the screen goes orange.
And since she got an interview with Scorsese for this column, she carries the color motif into his movies.



It is interesting that Powell twice counseled Scorsese against the color red. He didn’t like the red boxing gloves in the early rushes of “Raging Bull” and urged Scorsese to switch to a black-and-white film. (He did.) Powell told him “Mean Streets” had too much red lighting and he should take some out. (He didn’t).
So if your Netflix queue needs refreshing, you could do worse than to take a few tips from the cinephile of the Op/Ed page. Just make sure the hue on your television can capture all that red.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Maureen Playing Games



Oval Man Cave
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: October 27, 2009

Since Maureen doesn't golf, she has this challenge:

Since the president is finally willing to let women in on the games, I offered up my own challenge: Scrabble. I’m curious about what X and Z words the smarty-pants Y chief executive can come up with.

There might even be $10 in it for you, Mr. President.
Never has an invitation for a board game looked sexier. I'm in.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ratting on Ratzi


The Nuns’ Story
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: October 24, 2009

There is no love lost between lifetime Catholic Maureen Dowd and the current Vicar of Christ in Rome.

In 2004, the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners, resisting any adversarial roles with men and cultivating “feminine values” like “listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting.”

Nuns need to be even more sepia-toned for the über-conservative pope, who was christened “God’s Rottweiler” for his enforcement of orthodoxy. Once a conscripted member of the Hitler Youth, Benedict pardoned a schismatic bishop who claimed that there was no Nazi gas chamber. He also argued on a trip to Africa that distributing condoms could make the AIDS crisis worse.
Her particular beef is with the treatment of nuns who dare question the increasingly reactionary orthodoxy of The Church.
The Vatican is now conducting two inquisitions into the “quality of life” of American nuns, a dwindling group with an average age of about 70, hoping to herd them back into their old-fashioned habits and convents and curb any speck of modernity or independence.
She contrasts this Inquisition (and nobody ever expects the Spanish variety) with the rather light wrist-slapping sexually straying male clergy endure.
The church can be flexible, except with women. Laurie Goodstein, the Times’s religion writer, reported this month on an Illinois woman who had a son with a Franciscan priest. The church agreed to child support but was stingy with money for college and for doctors, once the son got terminal cancer. The priest had never been disciplined and was a pastor in Wisconsin — until he hit the front page. Even then, “Father” Willenborg was suspended only because the woman said that he had pressed her to have an abortion and that he had also had a sexual relationship with a teenager. (Maybe the church shouldn’t be so obdurate on condoms.)
She accurately assesses the recent overtures to ultra-conservative breakaway Anglicans as appeals to anti-feminism and homophobia.
As the Vatican is trying to wall off the “brides of Christ,” Cask of Amontillado style, it is welcoming extreme-right Anglicans into the Catholic Church — the ones who are disgruntled about female priests and openly gay bishops. Il Papa is even willing to bend Rome’s most doggedly held dogma, against married priests — as long as they’re clutching the Anglicans’ Book of Common Prayer.
In the age-old doctrinal debates over the celibacy of the priesthood and the ordination of women, Dowd clearly sees what the current Church position is.
Nuns were second-class citizens then and — 40 years after feminism utterly changed America — they still are. The matter of women as priests is closed, a forbidden topic.
And that, ladies, is a dealbreaker.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dowd Defends Dave

In her column today, Maureen Dowd defends workplace hanky panky:

Office romances abound in life and art (“The Office” has its interoffice wedding this week), and sometimes young staffers are attracted to the boss, and vice versa.
Anybody shocked? I didn't think so. 'Nuff said.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dowd Call Kettle Brown

Maureen Dowd has decided enter the national writer sweepstakes to see who can eviscerate the latest Dan Brown thriller the worst. Her thesis is that rather than being a mind-blowing expose, The Lost Symbol pulls punches and doesn't go far enough.

His book is a desperate attempt to ingratiate himself with the Masons, rather than to interpret the bizarre Masonic rites and symbols that illuminate — as in Illuminati! — how the ultimate elite private boys’ club has conspired to shape the nation’s capital and Western civilization ever since George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol building in a Masonic ritual wearing full Masonic regalia, including a darling little fringed satin apron. If the Masons are more intimidating than the Vatican, if Brown has now become part of their semiotic smoke screen, then all I can say is, God help us all.
Maureen does catalog the more salient features of Dan Brown's writing style, such as it is.
  • Over-reliance on italics.
Or as Brown, who is more addicted to italics than that other breathless Brown, Cosmo Girl Helen Gurley, might put it: What the hell?
  • Crappy romantic subplots.
Emotions are the one thing Dan Brown can’t seem to decipher. His sex scenes are encrypted. Even though Katherine seems like Langdon’s soul mate — she even knows how to weigh souls — their most torrid sex scenes consist of Robert winking at her or flashing her a lopsided grin.
  • Over-written metaphors
His metaphors and similes thud onto the page. ­Inoue Sato, an intelligence official investigating a disembodied hand bearing a Masonic ring and iconic tattoos that shows up in the Capitol Rotunda, “cruised the deep waters of the C.I.A. like a leviathan who surfaced only to devour its prey.” Insights don’t simply come to characters: “Then, like an oncoming truck, it hit her,” or “The revelation crashed over Langdon like a wave.” And just when our hero thinks it’s safe to go back in the water, another bad metaphor washes over him: “His head ached now, a roiling torrent of inter­connected thoughts.”
  • Adjectivitis.
The author has gotten rich and famous without attaining a speck of subtlety. A character never just stumbles into blackness. It must be inky blackness. A character never just listens in shock. He listens in utter shock.
  • Anti-climactic non-endings.
In the end, as with “The Da Vinci Code,” there’s no payoff. Brown should stop worrying about unfinished pyramids and worry about unfinished novels.
More curious is how Maureen Dowd drew the short straw on reviewing this review-proof turd. My guess is that no self-respecting critic would touch it. Besides, who knows more about bad overwrought writing than the style mistress of the Op/Ed page.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Safire On Lingerie

On Safire
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: September 29, 2009

In the list of conversations you really didn't need to be privy to, add the mental image of Maureen Dowd discussing ladies' undergarments with the late William Safire:

“There’s a word here [in the Starr Report] I don’t know,” said The Times’s wordsmith. “What is a thong?”

I flushed and stammered that it was a scanty panty with a string for the back. His hazel eyes glinted with curiosity.

Trying to elucidate, I blurted: “Maybe you’re thinking of thong sandals, where thong is an adjective. With Monica, it’s used as a noun.”

He smiled. “It’s like a G-string,” he said. “That brings back memories of some clubs I went to as a young man in Union City, N.J.”
Maureen also waxes nostalgic over the good times she had with the former Agnew speech writer. She admired his way with words, even the four-letter kind.
Married to the gorgeous English rose Helene, he was a man who loved women; his novels, even the one about the founding fathers, were full of zesty sex scenes.
And if those two quotes weren't enough to make you reach for the brain bleach, try not to picture Baba Wawa in a negligee after reading this:
He told me the story of how when Barbara Walters worked for him at the famous New York P.R. company of Tex McCrary, back in the “Mad Men” era, he wanted to loosen up Barbara, who was very serious. So one Christmas he gave her a sheer black shorty nightgown with matching panties.
And now we know where she gets her affinity for alliteration and bad puns as she adds just one more TMI moment about the toilet arrangements on Murderers' Row.
When I became his “colleague in columny,” as he called me, we shared a bathroom, and I teased him for being the one who kept hair spray there.
William Safire was a wit and wordsmith who will be missed. Especially by Maureen who has done as much to abuse the English language as he did to illuminate it.

Dowd And Bruni On Food

If you ever wanted to listen to a former New York Times food critic discuss the ins and outs of the restaurant business, tonight is your night. The talk is being moderated by Maureen Dowd at 7 pm at Politics And Prose in DC.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hammer Time!


Where the Wild Thing Is
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: September 22, 2009

Former Speaker of the House Tom Delay in order to supplement his meager government pension has joined cheesy reality series Dancing With The Stars on the confident assurance that he won't have to do more than three or four episodes. The Huffington Post has the full non-embeddable video here.

And where politics intersects pop culture, you are sure to find Maureen Dowd who is not without some moves of her own. Her signature verbal flourish is the Dowdversion® where the same phrase is repeated in the same sentence with just a little twist. Take this spectacular example:

Once the Hammer tried to outfox Democrats. Now he’s trying to outfox-trot Donny Osmond. Once he whipped Republicans relentlessly to keep their votes in line. Now he says he and his daughter have “a strategy to whip the vote” on “Dancing.”
That my friends, is a Double Dowdversion.

Perhaps next season we can get Maureen on the dance floor with Mario Lopez and see if she is as good on the boards as she is at the keyboard.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Clinton On Dowd On Tiger

Taylor Branch has just written a new book titled The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President based on his private recorded interviews with Bill Clinton while the Big Dog was still in office. This oral (nudge, nudge) history is full of dishy dirt. According to Mother Jones magazine, Slick Willie had a few things to say about Maureen Dowd's Pulitzer Prize-winning commentary about the Clinton presidency:

In 1997, after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an acerbic column about Clinton and golfer Tiger Woods—maintaining that the the two green-eyed hucksters deserved each other—Clinton told Branch, "She must live in mortal fear that there's somebody in the world living a healthy and productive life."
The article in question was about Tiger declining an invite from Clinton to a ceremony honoring Jackie Robinson:
The leader of the free world offered to send an Air Force plane to pick up Tiger Woods so he could come to Shea Stadium to honor Jackie Robinson, the most important African-American athlete in history.

It would have been an amazing moment: the new legend who effortlessly broke a color line in golf taking a moment to genuflect to the old legend who courageously broke the color line in baseball -- 50 years earlier.

But the 21-year-old who is often described as the Jackie Robinson of golf blew off Jackie Robinson -- and the Fan in Chief. He had more pressing matters, following his dazzling Masters triumph.
She digresses on about the significance of the snub and concludes:
These two guys should get together on the green. They have a lot in common. And it's green.
Now that Bill has more time on his hands maybe they can play a round. Just don't invite Maureen to fill out the foursome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chuckie K Says That Dowd Is Off Her Meds



For those of you without reliable video capability, here is what Charles Krauthammer said:

As for Maureen Dowd imagining a word that wasn't said, well, in my previous profession [psychiatry] I saw a lot of people who also heard words that weren't said. They were called patients. Many of them were actually helped with medication.
The word that was heard but not said refers to this line from her Sunday column:
But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!
Please insert your own pot-calling-kettle-black remark about describing people as delusional.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BaRocky


Less Spocky, More Rocky
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: September 8, 2009

Maureen Dowd has made many movie allusions about Barack Obama before. Everything from Obambi to Spock. Now she returns to the Sylvester Stallone oeuvre to portray his as a punch-drunk loser.




She has used the action hero before, but with Obama's pit bull chief of staff.

If Obama didn’t have a knife-thrower like Rahmbo in the Oval, Democrats would be totally convinced that the president would fold in a heartbeat.
So her advice to Obama is to start running up those steps with the Bill Conti music in the background.
The president told students on Tuesday that “being successful is hard” and “you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.”

He should take his own words to heart. He can live long and prosper by being less Spocky and more Rocky.
And to prove she is no one trick pony, in addition to her Movies With Maureen® magic, Dowd has peppered this piece with nearly a dozen Crossword Clues©. See if you can find all these words:
ensorcelled
puerile
elucidation
scintillating
somnambulant
verities
mojo
Sisyphean
malarkey
demagoon
risible
Bonus points if you can figure out the one she just made up. Even a lug like Barocky should be able to figure that out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dowd Fires Salvo Against Anonymous Bloggers

Stung by the Perfect Sting
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 25, 2009

Maureen Dowd has this revelation today about here secret fantasy life:

If I read all the vile stuff about me on the Internet, I’d never come to work. I’d scamper off and live my dream of being a cocktail waitress in a militia bar in Wyoming.
As tempting as that lifestyle would be, what prompted that thought was the Battle of The Blonde Bimbo Bloggers.
It began eight months ago when Liskula Cohen, a 37-year-old model and Australian Vogue cover girl, was surprised to find herself winning a “Skankiest in NYC” award from an anonymous blogger. The online tormentor put up noxious commentary on Google’s blogger.com, calling Cohen a “skank,” a “ho” and an “old hag” who “may have been hot 10 years ago.”
Completely unaware of the Streisand Effect, Cohen lawyers up.
Once she had the e-mail address, Cohen discovered whence the smears: a cafe society acquaintance named Rosemary Port, a pretty 29-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student.
But, according to Dowd, the bigger issue here is the nature of online anonymity.
Yet in this infinite realm of truth-telling, many want to hide. Who are these people prepared to tell you what they think, but not who they are? What is the mentality that lets them get in our face while wearing a mask? Shredding somebody’s character before the entire world and not being held accountable seems like the perfect sting.
And this point I start squirming uncomfortably. Dowd makes a brief half-hearted defense of Pseudonym-Americans as Jon Swift (the anonymous blogger one, not the Irish babies one) calls them us.
Pseudonyms have a noble history. Revolutionaries in France, founding fathers and Soviet dissidents used them. {snip}

As Hugo Black wrote in 1960, “It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.”
But, and there is always a but, Maureen comes down hard on us poor anonymous snarkers.
But on the Internet, it’s often less about being constructive and more about being cowardly.
Ouch, that hurts. I snark because I love. So Maureen, if you want to know who I really am, don't call the legal department. Just send me an e-mail to dowdreport AT gmail.com. We'll talk.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Devil And Miss Dowd

The Last Empress
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 22, 2009

When Maureen Dowd goes Hollywood, she goes all the way. After seeing a documentary on Vogue editor for life Anna Wintour, she fills a megaplex full of movie allusions. Even the column title is a movie pun. Naturally she starts this Movies With Maureen® marathon with the roman a clef featuring Meryl Streep as Wintour impersonator.


Just like Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Wintour can be seen in the new film clutching a Starbucks cup in her office and the back of her chauffeur-driven car.
But Maureen gets to the bottom of how badly Anna treats her help. And it is only a little coincidence that former boyfriend Michael Douglas starred in the movie of the same name.


At the screening Wednesday, towering with gorgeous girls in bondage gladiator heels and threaded with famous designers, one designer not favored by Anna muttered that she was a sartorial Star Chamber who smothered creativity.
But it's not all oldies at the Dowd-plex. For example, she knows about the hot word-of-mouth Iraq war flick.

Indeed, the Vogue priestesses choosing glamour spreads in “The September Issue” seem just as intense as the soldiers in Iraq defusing bombs in “The Hurt Locker.”
But Vogue is an institution and Wintour seems to be something not quite real.


So the question invariably arises: Behind those bangs and dark glasses, is Anna human? Or did she tie Hermès scarves together and make a daring escape from District 9 in a getaway car driven by Oscar de la Renta?
But the magazine is floundering Wintour's helm. Can she keep it from sinking?And if you need a metaphor for a disaster, go big.


The Vogue team and moviemakers didn’t know they were dancing on the deck of the Titanic.
And Maureen Dowd is loving watching the Fashionista-In-Chief go down with the ship.

Updated: 8/23/09

Southern Avenger Objects To Being Called A Malcontent

Jack Hunter, a conservative South Carolinian columnist who goes by the nom de web of Southern Avenger has put up a YouTube rant commentary titled "Whites Are People Too" directed largely at Maureen Dowd and to a lesser extent Paul Krugman



His objection seems to be to her column titled Toilet Paper Barricades (which we here at Dowd Report neglected while on our summer sabbatical). In particular, SA is offended to be called a malcontent, reading some racial slight into the word as Dowd used it:

Instead of a multicultural tableau of beaming young idealists on screen, we see ugly scenes of mostly older and white malcontents, disrupting forums where others have come to actually learn something.
I really can't follow the politely racist point Hunter makes, but it has something to do with black mobs protesting injustice not being called malcontents as well. If that is the level of grievance we are down to in this country, we have made great strides, but it seems we still have far to go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hung-Over

Lust, American Style
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 18, 2009

Much like trying not to think of blue elephants, Maureen Dowd puts this unpleasant image in our head, complete with an Alliteration Alert™:

The last thing you probably need in your head at this point are images of the Wall Street sociopath nuzzling and nickering.
This elder-porn is courtesy of Bernie Madoff's mistress who has a tell-all to flog and TMI ensues.
Weinstein, according to a preview in The New York Daily News, gets her revenge for losing her life savings by revealing that Madoff’s unimpressive assets were not merely financial. She also recalls that her friends called her Bernie “Winky Dink” because he blinked anxiously when he was around her.
Yeah, right. Because he winks a lot. Sure.

But Maureen also has some other scorned woman news from that political tome, Vogue.


Jenny Sanford is still sharing about her husband’s affair as well. Her interview in Vogue is accompanied by a leggy photo of the 47-year-old in a beach cover-up that looks like a fetching ad for a new, less embarrassing husband.
Having run out of current scandals, or just saving the latest Reille Hunter revelation for a rainy day, she moves onto art imitating life, plugging the latest series from an ER alum.


In the new CBS drama “The Good Wife,” Julianna Margulies channels Jenny, Silda, Hillary and Elizabeth, summoning stoicism even when her teenage daughter tells her, “Some girl said Dad slept with a hooker my age.”
And speaking of hookers, Dowd is entitled to expense her cable bill this month by recapping some recent episodes of the single-entendre titled HBO series.


The only place at the moment where you can see women forking over money to have sex with a gigolo is on HBO’s salaciously named “Hung.” The kooky comedy is about a divorced Detroit high school basketball coach, Ray Drecker (played by the hunky Thomas Jane), who needs money after his house burns down and his twin teenagers are forced to go live with their mother.
As if to answer the enternal what-women-want question, Maureen makes this observation (with special bonus alliteration):
His Proustian pimp has to explain that the young woman with the “bruised heart” is seeking a romantic connection more than a physical one.
Perhaps Sanford and Madoff need to spend more time in front of the tube with their wives instead of jumping into the sack.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Palin's Run


Sarah’s Ghoulish Carousel
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 15, 2009

It's been weeks since Maureen Dowd has thrown out a really interesting pop-cultural reference, but when she returns to form, she does so in a big way with this week's Movies With Maureen® moment. Eschewing her typical chick flick and AMC genres, she goes straight for the high geek euthanasia touchstone.

She has successfully caricatured the White House health care effort, making it sound like the plot of the 1976 sci-fi movie “Logan’s Run,” about a post-apocalyptic society with limited resources where you can live only until age 30, when you must take part in an extermination ceremony called “Carousel” or flee the city.
It's good to know that Farrah Fawcett's biggest big screen triumph will live on in our memories forever.

Then Dowd doubles down with an even more obscure Separated At Birth call-out.


Painting the Giacometti-esque Emanuel as a creepy Dr. Death, Palin attacked him on her Facebook page a week ago, complaining that his “Orwellian thinking” could lead to a “death panel” with bureaucrats deciding whether to pull the plug on less hardy Americans.
You have to really know your Swiss surrealist sculptors to pull that one out of your butt. And just to prove this is no fluke she also throws in a bonus Movie Moment that doubles as an Alliteration Alert™.
So Newt took it upon himself to become Palin’s Pygmalion.
All I can say is: Maureen, welcome to Sanctuary.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bitter Morning Brew

Maureen Dowd got woken up at quarter to four to discuss her Sunday column comparing Hillary Clinton favorably to Sarah Palin (which sure counts as faint praise in our book) on MSNBC. Maureen Dowd says:
I love Sarah Palin. I love her more than anyone because as a journalist she is the best story ever.
When asked about Palin's chances in 2012, Maureen thinks that Palin absolutely has a shot at the nomination.
She is the first person to ever fuse politics with reality TV. I think she could absolutely be the nominee. She is sort of playing to people's darker impulses. And that core of the Republican party that is left, that is very bitter, is loving her.
And just like pots and kettles, Maureen can spot bitter a mile away.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Number Three With A Bullet


The new meta-news website Media-ite (which is just as hard to say as it is to spell has a running list of influential media personalities ranked Casey Kasum style. The top 3 are all New York Times columnists with Maureen Dowd running behind stablemates Krugman and Friedman. Here is their blurb on her individual page:

Maureen Dowd (born January 14, 1952) is a Washington D.C.-based columnist for The New York Times. She has worked for the Times since 1983, when she joined as a metropolitan reporter. In 1999, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her series of columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Then they have a very useless link to Wikipedia for more information. Because I'd never think of looking there.

The algorithm for this dopey horse rating system is highly suspect as it weighs various online metrics like Technorati and BlogBuzz (whatever that is) with things like print circulation and pageviews. And that is where this system falls apart. All the NYT columnists have the same pageviews and circulation which means they are just using the numbers for the Times as a whole for each individual. Lame.

Also, all three of these are widely syndicated and appear in newspapers all over the country, so their circulation numbers should reflect that. That is part of Dowd's influence. She is read widely outside the greater New York area, albeit on a delay as her column gets reprinted around the country.

And the real baffling part of the ratings is that somehow Michelle Malkin snuck her way up to number four. I understand that she is an internet phenom, but her print presence seems vastly overstated. Media-ite lists a print circulation of 763,530 which sounds wildly improbable. I have never seen her 'column' in a dead trees fishwrap anywhere.

The amazing part of Dowd finishing in the show position is that she does almost no online promotion at all. Her twitter is just links to her latest column, and those are probably produced in the bowels of the NYT online division somehow.

Still, bravo to Maureen for ranking so high. Even if it's only in Media-ite.

(h/t to The Zoo)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Something Fishy

Sarah’s Secret Diary
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: July 7, 2009

Today's column is done in faux-Palin speak, a time honored Dowd gimmick guaranteed to keep wingnuts revved up about how Maureen Dowd is jealous and snobby and elitist. Therefore, it's helpful to review the source material to show that if anything Maureen with her innate need for complete sentences and coherent thoughts is actually undershooting the parody potential.



And there a few other pop cultural references to be illustrated.

I posed for a cheesecake shot in Runner’s World with short-shorts and a crumpled American flag that’s destined to be on the bedroom wall of every conservative 12-year-old boy. It’s the metaphor, stupid! Heck yeah, I’m running! As I learned when I was a beauty contestant — flags and gams show you it’s about country.


And before you say anything though about the glam shots of me stretching and preening on the waterfront in my cute running outfits, don’t bother. That would be a sexist double standard.


It’s just like when Obama, the One Who Must Be Obeyed, said his family was off-limits so everyone left them alone. But they never left mine alone. Thank goodness for that though because we hate being out of the limelight! It was a blast to see Bristol with my grandbaby Tripp on the cover of People as the ambassadress of abstinence!

But Maureen, through Fake Palin, knows what is really driving Sarah. Caribou Barbie has eyes fixed on an bigger race.
It’s about me running the country.

It’s about me running.

It’s about me.
The game Dowd is playing is that by posing phony Palin as a presidential hopeful it might force Sarah into some sort of non-denial that can be used against her latter. But then Maureen falls into wishful thinking.
The media doesn’t get Sarah Palin. I hear planes buzzing. Oh, no!! Have they all left??
If only we could.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Drudge Attack

It's a pretty poorly kept secret that Maureen Dowd's Sunday columns are often available late on Saturday to anyone that bothers to check out the NYT website frequently enough. This sort of advanced investigative journalism led Matt Drudge of his eponymous report to issue the following scoop Saturday afternoon:

MAUREEN DOWD TRASHES 'NUTTY' PALIN
Sat Jul 04 2009 14:40:36 ET

NY TIMES Op-Ed Queen Maureen Dowd runs out of adjectives and insults while ripping away at Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in an upcoming Sunday column.

Palin is "one nutty puppy", in the mind of Dowd, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT, with "erratic and egoistic behavior".

Dowd spits her holiday barbecue in 800 words, designed for fireworks.

"Exquisite battiness... solipsistic meltdown so strange... incoherent, breathless and prickly... Sarah's country-music melodramas... girlish burbling."

Developing...
Since the entire column was already available online (since yours truly was also able to get the post up early as well), I'm not sure what was 'developing', but it was enough to drive his minions into action.

I'm not shocked that Drudge took umbrage at a column ridiculing Palin. I'd be more shocked if Dowd hadn't opined about the resigning guv. What was amusing was how quickly Drudge's blogiteriat fell in line and spread his breathless excitement. Much of that brief item was reproduced nearly in full by the following blogs:

Chicago Ray Report (complete with some new-to-me tasteless photoshops)
The Virginian
Red Stater (my new favorite rabid wing nut)
Invincible Armor
Worcester Right
and others

Then, on the Washington Times website, Andrew Breitbart had this assessment:
Misses Dowd, Couric and Fey - Obama's Angels (featuring Joy Behar in the role of "Bosley") - used a potent mix of mockery, snobbery and vitriol to undermine Mrs. Palin's feminist bona fides.

They are what my wife calls "pad throwers," an allusion to the shower room scene in the Stephen King film "Carrie," in which the popular girls throw sanitary napkins and tampons at the film's namesake.
Maureen's one defender on the right is one Liz Trotta who also had not much good to day about Palin, but did have this to say about Dowd's column:
[Maureen Dowd's column] was a well written, funny piece. And, you know, there's one other element here, and I think most writers are afraid to bring it up. They sort of skirt the idea that this is a woman who has used her good looks and her gender to really get ahead in the political world. That's something, of course, the men don't want to admit, and certainly not the women.
(h/t to Freedom Eden for the transcript.)

One recurring theme in the counter-attacks on Dowd is that her single childless life makes her wholly incapable of empathizing with Palin who is presumably putting the needs of family first. It is most bluntly laid out by Scipio:
Poor Maureen can never admit what really drives her batty about Palin. It is so obvious. Dowd has the envy the empty wombed have for the fecund.
In their attack the messenger strategy, the wingnuts are going after Dowd's looks and age, blaming her bitterness on her lack of a spouse and kids, and calling her jealous of Palin's accomplishments. You know, the failed vice-presidential candidate that went to five colleges before getting a degree and has yet to complete a full term of an elected office.

The boomerang attack is noted Rovian tactic and by calling Dowd unhinged, they seem to be subconsciously projecting their fears about the stability of their favored (soon to be) X-GILF. Which only makes Maureen's theory that Palin is one 'nutty puppy' all that more plausible. But I think that most of the knuckle dragging defenders of Sarah are just hoping for a hair-pulling catfight because as Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother observes, never break up a a girlfight because you never know if they'll start kissing.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Crazy Town Critters

Now, Sarah’s Folly
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: July 4, 2009

Maureen Dowd likes to go on little riffs where she puts in as many puns on a theme as she can. Today she has two different trends going based on Sarah Palin's surprise resignation.

Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy.
As is clear from the example above, in this column she is combining references to mental illness with examples from the animal kingdom. She is clearly trying to pack in as many of each as possible, so let's keep score. With the addition of 'caribou' that gives the critters a 2-1 lead.
Usually we don’t find that exquisite battiness in our leaders until they’ve been battered by sordid scandals like Watergate (Nixon), gnawing problems like Vietnam (L.B.J.), or scary threats like biological terrorism (Cheney).
'Battiness' could go either way, so we will give each side a point there. And while 'gnawing' is often done by mad dogs, it doesn't rise to the level of a full reference.
The White House can drive its inhabitants loopy.
That's a slam-dunk for the crazy category. but then we have another tough call.
As Alaskans settled in to enjoy holiday salmon bakes and the post-solstice thaw, their governor had a solipsistic meltdown so strange it made Sparky Sanford look like a model of stability.
Since 'salmon' isn't used as a metaphor, we are going to disqualify that, but we do give full credit for 'meltdown.'
On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard. Gobsmacked Alaska politicians, Republican big shots, the national press, her brother, the D.C. lawyer who helped create her political action committee and yes, even Fox News, played catch-up.
Here we give the fauna a 'fowl' shot with 'incoherent' scoring on the rebound. No points for 'Cub' since that is an aviation reference and not an avian one. We would love to give 'Fox News' a point, but without an accompanying 'crazy as' it falls short.
She can hunt wolves from the air and field-dress a moose, but she fears being a lame duck? Some brickbats over her ethics and diva turns as John McCain’s running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin.
Then the wildife goes on a hat trick tear with a bonus point coming from 'brickbat'. The crazy side gets a mercy score with 'diva.'
Maybe there’s another red Naughty Monkey high heel to drop — there’s often a hidden twist in Sarah’s country-music melodramas. Or is this a reckless high-speed escape from small-pond Alaska, where her popularity is dropping, to the big time Below?
The primate-named footwear call-out scores as does the 'reckless' remark, but 'small-pond' goes in the basket as well.
Even some conservative analysts admitted that the governor’s move seemed ga-ga before venturing the spin that Palin might be “crazy like a fox,” as Sarah’s original cheerleader, Bill Kristol, put it.
We finally get our 'crazy as a fox' call-out as a quote from the equally unhinged Kristol Meth. Under normal circumstances the use of 'cheerleader' would be worth mentioning as the second sports metaphor of the column, but the other trends are having a barnburner of match.
Why not? Palin/Sanford in 2012, with the slogan: “Save time — we’re already in Crazy Town.”

'Crazy Town' is also a Betty Boop short with this IMDB description:
Betty Boop and Bimbo take a wild streetcar ride to Crazy Town, where birds swim, fish fly, and everthing else reverses normal behavior.
The birds and fishes reference is too oblique to count so this one scores only on 'Crazy'. While that is stretch for a Movies With Maureen moment, the next paragraph is a clear Crossword Clue. That also doubles as an Alliteration Alert.
Palin’s speech is classic casuistry.
.The NYT handy pop-up dictionary defines it as "Specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead" so we will give it to the unhinged side of the column.
Why “milk it,” as she put it, when you can quit it? “Only dead fish go with the flow,” she said, while cold fish can blow out of town.
In another instant replay situation, 'milk' doesn't cut the mustard and 'fish' only scores once.
Sometimes, she explained, if you’re the star, you have to “call an audible and pass the ball” and leave at halftime, “so the team can win” somehow without you.
To round out the column, we get another misplaced sports metaphor, but then Maureen finishes strong.
The musher must jump out of the dogsled when warmer climes call. As Palin’s spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, says, “The world is literally her oyster.”
And the final score is:
Nutty: 10
Puppy: 14

But the real winners are the voters of Alaska who no longer have to deal with this batshit crazy squirrelly nutjob. Now if only the rest of the country could say the same.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sex Scandal Survival Tips

Rules of the Wronged
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 30, 2009

With Mark Sanford's serial weepy confession still playing out, Maureen Dowd is offering up advice to the overlooked victim in these scandals, the political wife. Here is an illustrated guide to some of the more salient points.

Stay away from the press conference.

Stoicism at the skunk’s side is overrated and, as Larry Craig’s wife learned, sunglasses don’t help.







The press is not your friend.

If you can’t maintain a dignified Silda Spitzer silence; ... go to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or even Deepak Chopra before crying to The A.P. A news wire is not a spiritual adviser.





Keep the kids at home.

Don’t bring the children into it. They suffer enough being the kids of politicians. Don’t trot out the family on “Oprah,” as Elizabeth Edwards did.



Really, keep the kids out of it.


Even if you’re a clever, competent woman, you risk sounding like a stereotypical harridan if you use the kids as a bludgeon and tell the press, as Jenny did: “You would think that a father who didn’t have contact with his children, if he wanted those children, he would toe the line a little bit.”


Stay above the fray.


Don’t trash a mistress, as Hillary and Elizabeth did, as a wacky stalker. No one — except the wife — blames the girlfriend as much as they blame the husband.





Bonus advice to the Other Woman: Keep the cameras in the drawer.

And just when you thought John Edwards could not sink any lower, there is news of a sex tape, in which Rielle Hunter shows off her skills not only in videography but pornography.
(See this post for some of her more tasteful filmic efforts.)




And finally:
Make lemonade out of lemons.


Cut your losses and keep going. Don’t let yourself get dragged into his drama or your reputation may follow his down the well. Hillary refused to let that happen. She salvaged her long investment in Bill Clinton and turned a profit when she became a senator.




There you have them, Maureen Dowd's advice to the wronged. Because two wrongs don't make a right, but do make a delightfully catty op-ed column.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sanford's Roaming Holiday

Genius in the Bottle
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 27, 2009

Maureen Dowd is practically cackling with Schadenfreude as she dissects the Mark Sanford scandal with both an Alliteration Alert™ and a Crossword Clue© combined.

In a weepy, gothic unraveling, the South Carolina governor gave a press conference illustrating how smitten he was, not only with his Argentine amante, but with his own tenderness, his own pathos and his own feminine side.
Her use of 'amante' for 'lover' also foreshadows her comparisons to come.

She also wastes no time getting right to her Movies With Maureen® Moment, a romcom from 2006, proving that Dowd has been to the theater since Audrey Hepburn died. (She does manage to namecheck Roman Holiday before the end of the column.)
He wanted to get his girlfriend a DVD of the movie “The Holiday,” presumably the Cameron Diaz-Kate Winslet chick flick about two women, one from L.A. and one from England, who trade homes and lives.
And Maureen is often called emasculating but it rarely gets as obvious as this:
He got into trouble as a man and tried to get out as a woman.
That rhetorical flourish is her patented Dowdversion® where she directly compares and contrasts two things using similar phrasing. The entire rest of the column is one long Dowdversion as she contrasts Sanford's parsimonious public political image with his Latin lover (or at least Latin-loving) alter ego who she dubs Marco.

penny-pinching millionaire Mark, who used to sleep on a futon in his Congressional office and once treated two congressmen to movie refreshments by bringing back a Coke and three straws.Marco, international man of mystery and suave god of sex and tango.
Mark was the self-righteous, Bible-thumping prig who pressed for Bill Clinton’s impeachment Marco was the un-self-conscious Lothario, canoodling with Maria in Buenos Aires
Mark is a conservative railing against sinners; Marco sins liberally.
Mark opposes gay marriage as a threat to traditional marriage. Marco thinks nothing of risking his own traditional marriage, and celebrates transgressive relationships.
Mark is so frugal for the taxpayers that he made his staffers use both sides of Post-it notes and index cards...Marco is a sly scamp who found a sneaky way to make South Carolina taxpayers pay for a south-of-the-border romp with his mistress.
Mark is so selfish he tried to enhance his presidential chances by resisting South Carolina’s share of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, callously giving the back of his hand to the suffering state’s most vulnerable — the jobless and poor and black students.Marco is generous, promising to send a memento of affection that Maria wants to keep by her bed.
Mark hates lying. As he said of Bill’s dalliance with Monica, “If you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.”Marco lies with brio, misleading his family, his lieutenant governor, his staff and his state about his whereabouts, even packing camping equipment to throw off the scent from South America.
Mark, who disdains rascals, agreed that he wouldn’t [skip off to the other woman]. Marco, who is a rascal, skipped off.
Dowd sums up with the reason that Republican sex scandals are so juicy (even though she got her Pulitzer for Clinton's and has covered Edwards' with brio.)
Sanford can be truly humble only if he stops dictating to others, who also have desires and weaknesses, how to behave in their private lives.

The Republican Party will never revive itself until its sanctimonious pantheon — Sanford, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Palin, Ensign, Vitter and hypocrites yet to be exposed — stop being two-faced.
Until then pundits will continue to play the Marco Polo game of catching hypocrites trying to weave and dodge when their transgressions are unmasked.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All The President's Women

Vice and Spice
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 23, 2009
Warning: Link from picture at right is NSFW

Maureen Dowd made her mark and earned her Pulitzer prying over the peccadilloes of a President that couldn't keep his pants on. With our current president hopelessly squeaky clean (except for his occasional cancer stick, which we will discuss later), she has had to focus overseas for a suitably salacious sex scandal. Previously Dowd has fixated on France's Sarkozy, but now she moves down the boot to Italy with a nice Alliteration Alert™.

Our president is positively monkish compared with Silvio Berlusconi, whose Vesuvial vices spurred a trio of women academics in Italy to write an “Appeal to the First Ladies.” It urges Michelle Obama and other wives of world leaders to boycott next month’s G-8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, to protest the Italian prime minister’s “sexist” and “offensive” manner toward women.
What's so fun about this one is that even the wronged woman is not exactly in the right, since she is a forme mistress of his.


His wife, Veronica Lario, a former actress who met him while she was starring topless in “The Magnificent Cuckold” and who is now divorcing him, has operatically upbraided him twice: once two years ago after he had a public flirtation with a TV starlet whom he later appointed as Minister of Equal Opportunities; and again last month when Lario charged her randy hubby with “consorting with minors” after he went to the 18th birthday party of a model and gave her a diamond and gold necklace.


Said birthday girl was one Noemi Letizia. In addition to the 6,000 euro necklace, he gave her a rather creepy souvenir according to a gossip site.
Silvio Berlusconi, 72, also signed a photograph of himself for Noemi Letizia as well as a book in which he had written a goosebumps-raising dedication to her saying: ‘To my little Noemi, my little graphic artist, your little daddy teacher.”
It takes more than some intergenerational hanky-panky to qualify as a scandal in Italy, so it helps that there are call girls to check out.

And a comely 23-year-old starlet named Barbara Montereale told La Repubblica this week that she got paid by a hospital equipment vendor for going to the villa in January — an incident now under police investigation.
In her interview (available on YouTube for those of you that speak Italian or just like to watch women speak Italian) she names another woman wishing to exchange favors.


She claimed she went with another girl, an “escort” named Patrizia D’Addario, who told her that she had had sex with the 72-year-old prime minister and asked for a favor about a building project but never got it. Now a disillusioned D’Addario has released a secret recording she made in which Berlusconi’s voice is heard saying: “Go and wait for me in the big bed.”
But even all this salacious detail doesn't get Maureen to 800 words, so in clumsy contrast, she excerpts long transcripts of Barack getting the third degree over his smoking habits. And to make the transition, she employs her latest favorite Crossword Puzzle Clue© (which she helped get on the NYT list of most looked up words).
Given Berlusconi’s louche ways, L’Aquila is a safe place for President Obama to indulge his lingering smoking habit.
Maureen has been on Barry's butt over his butts for at least a year. Instead she suggests a closer venue for the random nic-fit.
It was enough to make a guy sneak out to the Truman balcony for a smoke.
But Dowd did make it through an entire column of scandal (big or imagined) without mentioning The Big Dog once. Perhaps she is on the road to recovery.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seven In One Blow


Obama’s Fly Move
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 20, 2009

In Maureen Dowd's last column she packed it full of her trademarked alliterative alertness but it was missing her equally famous references to old movies. To compensate, she has used her latest missive on a trivial Obama related news item to pack in as many cinematic Movies With Maureen® moments as possible.

While being interviewed, Obama, annoyed with a fly, swatted at it and killed it. Maureen finds transcendental meaning in it.

And there are others who see a mystical, metaphorical dimension to the way the president nonchalantly lasered in on the meddlesome insect after it ignored his admonition, “Hey, get outta here.” Without even uncrossing his legs or lunging about, the Chill One caught it, crushed it and kicked it aside and then said to Harwood, “Now, where were we?” before returning to his point about regulatory reform.
Jon Stewart, her late night faux news crush, gave her an opening with his reference to the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick.



“It’s like he’s got one of those Fly Terminator targeting systems in his eyes,” marveled Jon Stewart.
So that allows her to trump it with a call-out to a insect themed comic book movie franchise.
Maybe the president who collected Spider-Man comics as a kid couldn’t resist the age-old face-off with a fly.
Echoing her nickname from the campaign that evokes the Eddie Murphy stinker, she invokes a certain mysticism.
The moment had echoes of parables in which the ordinary one becomes the golden one.
But the most famous filmed fly swatter is the zen master Mr. Miyagi.
In “The Karate Kid,” a teenager whose father has died learns lessons about the body and spirit from his surrogate father and karate teacher, Mr. Miyagi. His lessons are about not going to the dark side, the importance of discipline, and catching flies. “Man who catch fly with chopstick,” Mr. Miyagi says, “accomplish anything.”
This bit was so obvious even Jimmy Fallon found a way to use it.



But for our Maureen, it's not enough to mention one famous fly-swatting scene. While obviously inspired by the Disney Mickey Mouse version, she cleverly disguises it by referencing the original Brothers Grimm version.


In the Grimms’ fairy tale, “The Brave Little Tailor,” a tailor brandishing a rag kills seven flies swarming around his jam-smeared bread. The little man admires his own bravery so much — “For joy his heart wagged like a lamb’s tail” — that he wants the whole world to know of it. So he stitches up a belt for himself embroidered with the legend “Seven at one blow!” and saunters out.
We even get a little Clint Eastwood bravado out of the Flyswatter In Chief.
Then [Obama] solicited more snaps for what Harwood called his “ ‘Make my day’ moment” from his press secretary off camera: “Whaddya think, Gibbs?” After the interview was over, he continued his superfly moves by cleaning up the carcass with a napkin.
But wait! There's more! Having already namechecked Jon Stewart, she gets to also mention her occasional guest writer Stephen Colbert.


The “shocking murder in the White House,” as Stephen Colbert dubbed it, was a small moment. “All they want is to be loved and to feed on our waste,” Jeff “The Fly” Goldblum said in a dry defense of the exoskeletal creatures on the Colbert Report.
Dowd tries to tie it all up with some mumbo jumbo about acheiving agendas, but it's clear she's proud to make as many movie allusions as possible. Perhaps even seven in one blow.