Tuesday, June 24, 2008
There's an article in Salon.com this morning that asks "Did Maureen Dowd Go Too Far?"
First of all, and for the record, News Writing 101: Want people to read? Title your headline in the form of a question. It's literally the lowest-hanging fruit on the tree of cheap journalism tricks.
About the piece itself though, columnist Sarah Hepola lambastes the media's half-assed -- and by this point, wholly predictable -- attempt at ex post facto soul-searching in the wake of its allegedly unfair and sexist treatment of Hillary Clinton. Hepola argues that Maureen Dowd, in particular, is getting off too easy; she says that the New York Times columnist's occasionally scathing pieces targeting Clinton during her divisive run for the White House amounted to a form of crass sexism. (Don't try to figure it out; I gave it a shot and it only made my brain hurt.) But the author makes special note of Dowd's notorious wordplay.
"Over the top? Maureen Dowd? Tell me when she has ever been anything but. (And we haven't even discussed her truly offensive use of puns!)" she writes.
The column appears in Salon.com's new blog section aimed at female readers.
It's called "The Broadsheet."
(For a couple of really hilarious puns, by the way, a little further down on the Broadsheet you'll find a story about a 5'8", 300 pound model named Velvet D'Amour. The piece is called, appropriately, "Girl Crush," and at one point in it, D'Amour unleashes this unintentional zinger: "I've been called a whale at a swimming pool. I'm very confident in my body and I know that I'm not going to stop myself from getting exercise by virtue of someone putting me down. But I know that there are tons of women who would never go back to that swimming pool.")