Monday, November 14, 2005

Dowd vs. Gore

I read a great post linked from Crooks and Liars from "Lawyers, Guns and Lawyers" called Dowd and the Kneecapping of Gore. I've written about Maureen Dowd twice on my nascent blog, one in which I was fully behind her regarding her op-ed on Judith Miller, and then more ambiguously when her book, "Are Men Necessary: When Sexes Collide" was excerpted in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. So it's probably a good time to remember just what role she played in helping to demonize Al Gore during the 2000 election. She's one of the reasons, among others, that we now have President George W. Bush. And that just makes me cringe.

Scott Lemieux writes:

But when he was busy being elected, Dowd was lying about Gore's fundraising, peddling the "invented the internet" and "summer chores" lies, accusing Gore of flip-flopping with no evidence, writing idiotic pop-psych nonsense including the "earth tones" crap, discussing Hillary Clinton's haircuts, spreading the "Alpha Male" meme, attacking Gore for having the temerity to discuss actual issues in a Presidential campaign, and on and on and on. (And any feminist defense of Dowd should explain her attacks of Gore in re Naomi Wolf's salary. Anybody think she would comment on the salary of a political consultant if said consultant had a penis?) And she didn't just repeat the empty cliches and lies of others. She actually created some: Dowd invented the bullshit Love Story smear.
Yes, it's certainly good to look back and remember what Dowd hath helped wrought the next time I'm leading a cheer when she slams someone I don't like, like Judith Miller.

I had the opportunity to see Al Gore speak twice last year, once for Move On's environmental conference and then his explosive speech at New York University regarding the Bush administration. I must say that I wish he had shown the fire in those speeches that he lacked somewhat during the 2000 election. I think most of that had to do with the hullabaloo during the last of the Clinton years, and Gore wasn't able to find his feet, trying to distance himself from the scandal and stepping out on his own.

But Dowd didn't help Gore with her columns, and her Love Story smear. And that, I should never forget.

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