Maureen Dowd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Maureen Dowd
Born January 14, 1952 (1952-01-14) (age 57)
Washington, D.C.
Education B.A. in English
Occupation Columnist
Notable credit(s) Pulitzer Prize

Maureen Dowd (born January 14, 1952) is a Washington D.C.-based columnist for The New York Times.[1][2] She has worked for the Times since 1983, when she joined as a metropolitan reporter.[1][2] In 1999, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her series of columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal.[1][3]

Dowd was born in Washington, D.C.,[1][2] the youngest of five children, where her father (who was born in County Clare in Ireland) worked as a Washington D.C. police inspector.[4]


[edit] Career

In 1973, Dowd received a B.A. in English from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.[1][2] She began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for the Washington Star where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter, and feature writer.[1][2] When the newspaper closed in 1981, she went to work at Time.[1][2] In 1983, she joined The New York Times, initially as a metropolitan reporter.[1][2] She began serving as correspondent in The Times Washington bureau in 1986.[1][2] In 1991, Dowd received a Breakthrough Award from Columbia University.[2] In 1992, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting,[2] and in 1994 she won a Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications.[2][5]

In 1995, Dowd became a columnist on The New York Times Op-Ed page[1][2], replacing Anna Quindlen,[4] who left to become a full-time novelist.[6] Dowd was named a Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine in 1996.[2] She was the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.[1] In 2000, she won The Damon Runyon Award for outstanding contributions to journalism.[7] In 2005, she was the first Mary Alice Davis Lectureship speaker sponsored by the School of Journalism and the Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin.[8]

[edit] Writing style

Dowd's columns are distinguished by an acerbic, often polemical writing style. Her columns often display a critical and irreverent attitude towards powerful figures such as former President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and Pope Benedict XVI. Dowd sometimes refers to Bush as "Bubble-Boy" or simply "W." Former Vice President Dick Cheney is known by a variety of monikers, including "Vice", "Darth", "Shooter", "Tricky Dick Deuce", "Dr. No" and "Big Time."[9] Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld she routinely calls "Rummy," although this is actually a nickname used by his long-time close personal friends. "Wolfie" however, is not an actual nickname used by the friends of Paul D. Wolfowitz. President George H. W. Bush, whom she covered as Times White House Correspondent, is known as "41," "Daddy" or "Poppy Bush." More recent targets of Dowd's derision include former CIA Director George Tenet, known as "Slam," or "Slam-dunk" and Cheney's chief of staff after the resignation and indictment of Scooter Libby, David Addington, who is commonly referred to as "the Black Adder." In a not-so-veiled swipe at Katie Couric[citation needed], Dowd frequently refers to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "I'm-a-Dinner-Jacket."

Her use of many such nicknames has prompted some to parody the concept of her own book, Bushworld, by saying that it is really "Dowdworld - Enter at Your Own Risk."[10] Another frequent Dowd motif is to catalog the popular culture influences of the public figures she profiles in her columns.[11]

[edit] Frequent subject matter

[edit] Al Gore

In the run-up to the 2000 presidential election, Maureen Dowd took a consistently hard position against Democratic candidate Al Gore. She wrote that "Al Gore is so feminized and diversified and ecologically correct that he's practically lactating."[12] Joe Conason writes in that:

'Particularly catty and revealing is a quote from a 1999 column in which she suggested that Gore's environmentalism raised questions about his masculinity. But that was simply one episode among dozens that continued well after the 2000 election cycle. When the former vice president dared to voice his anger about the bloody debacle in Iraq two years ago, the Times columnist sweetly lumped him in with "the wackadoo wing of the Democratic Party." He had to be nuts to be upset about the lies that led us into war, didn't he?'[13]

Media Matters for America criticized Maureen Dowd for her constant criticism of Al Gore while publishing a compilation of her previous takes on Al Gore.[14]

[edit] Criticism

Dowd's appraisal of President Clinton and his feminist supporters during the Lewinsky scandal led to her being criticized by some liberals, and more recently her strong criticism of President Bush and the war in Iraq have prompted conservatives to criticize her.[citation needed]

Shortly after she won her Pulitzer, a New York Press article analyzed Dowd's columns and concluded that Dowd appears to do little reporting and tends to "dumb down" her subject matter by viewing it through the lens of pop culture.[15] A 2002 Weekly Standard article explored Dowd's alleged narcissism and tendency to reduce "political phenomena ... to caricatures of the personalities involved."

In 2003, Dowd was accused by James Taranto of inserting ellipses to change a quotation's intended meaning.[16]

She has repeatedly been criticized by Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler for trivializing and making baseless accusations about Democratic politicians. For example, on January 31, 2007, the Howler criticized her for trivializing the campaigns of female politicians, and in particular that of Hillary Clinton.[17] In 2007, Dowd was accused by National Journal writer Jonathan Rauch as being a "villain of journalism" in an interview with Reason Magazine. However, Rauch made it clear that the criticism was not personal and that he considered Dowd "very good at what she does." [18] Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The New York Times, admitted: "I think, by assailing Clinton in gender-heavy terms in column after column, [Dowd] went over the top this election season." [19] Fellow Times op-ed columnist and former editorial page editor Gail Collins came to Dowd's defense in a subsequent public letter to Hoyt.[20]

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Columnist Biography: Maureen Dowd". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "1999 Pulitzer Prizes - COMMENTARY, Biography". Columbia University. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  3. ^ "1999 Pulitzer Prize Winners - COMMENTARY, Citation". Columbia University. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  4. ^ a b McDermott, Peter (2007-08-08). "Echo Profile: A necessary woman - Times' Dowd endeavors to keep W, Vice, and Rummy in check". The Irish Echo. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  5. ^ "Matrix Hall of Fame". New York Women in Communications. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  6. ^ "Meet Newsweek - Anna Quindlen, Contributing Editor". Newsweek. 2006-01-11. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  7. ^ "Maureen Dowd - The Damon Runyon Award, 1999-2000". The Denver Press Club. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Columnist Maureen Dowd Kicks Off New Lecture Series". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  9. ^ Dowd, Maureen (2000-10-08). "Liberties; West Wing Chaperone". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  10. ^ Kurtzman, Daniel. "George W. Bush's Nicknames". Political Humor. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  11. ^ Kurtz, Howard (2005-10-05). "Sex & the Single Stiletto". The Washington Post. C01. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  12. ^ MotherJones Blog: Maureen Dowd Rehashes the "Presidential Candidate X is a Wuss" Construct
  13. ^ Why do journalists suddenly love Al Gore? | Salon
  14. ^ Media Matters - Dowd now believes Gore "prescient" on several issues, despite previously belittling him
  15. ^ Kosar, Kevin R. (1999-07-14). "Mad About Maureen: A Content Analysis of Mauren Dowd's "Liberties"" (PDF). New York Press. Retrieved on 2007-10-12. 
  16. ^ James Taranto (May 28, 2003). "Best of the Web Today". The Wall Street Journal. 
  17. ^ Somerby, Bob (2007-01-31). "WE IRISH! Matthews and Dowd keep trashing women.". The Daily Howler. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  18. ^ Gillespie, Nick (2007-04-20). "The Radical Incrementalist". Reason. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  19. ^ Pantsuits and the Presidency by Clark Hoyt, The New York Times, June 22, 2008.
  20. ^ Other Voices: Edgy Opinion, or Over the Edge? by Clark Hoyt, The New York Times, June 29, 2008.

[edit] External links

Personal tools