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 Herm├Ęs 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.