Maureen Dowd's Empty Calorie Attack On The Clintons

Blog ››› ››› ARI RABIN-HAVT

Maureen Dowd launched a snide and hollow attack on the Clinton family that is lacking in substantive criticism but filled with sneering invective and attempts at witty analogies.

Dowd's animus for the Clintons goes back decades and in that time, she's never shied away from peddling conservative lies about Hillary. In 2008, Clark Hoyt, then the public editor of the Times, noted the volume of Dowd's "gender-laden assault on Clinton" which was the focus of "28 of 44 columns" written before June of that year.

The absurd premise of Dowd's latest effort in her anti-Clinton campaign is that "if Americans are worried about money in politics, there is no larger concern than the Clintons." Dowd's claim jumps off a flawed New York Times article earlier this week that unearthed nothing.

Forget the Koch brothers and the hundreds of millions they spend directly influencing in the political process. Never mind the revolving door from K Street to government and back again. Erase the ramifications of the Citizens United decision and the avalanche of corporate money it unleashed on our electoral process from your mind. In Dowd's telling, Bill Clinton and his foundation's work around the world should be the focus of those who care about money in politics.  

Like much of Dowd's work, her latest effort is calorically empty, filled with fun analogies, snarky shots, and titillating gossip, but leaving the reader no more enlightened for having read it.

Dowd devotes four full paragraphs to establishing the unremarkable fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton make money giving speeches around the world.

She invokes the "grotesque spectacle" of Anthony Weiner, but offers no explanation of how the travails of the New York Mayoral candidate and his wife connect to Dowd's central thesis of money in politics.  But Dowd has never been above taking the cheap shot.

In this week's episode of Maureen hates Hillary and Bill she compares the former first family Wile E. Coyote because "something is always blowing up."

Former administration official and current Clinton Foundation executive Ira Magaziner "continues to be a Gyro Gearloose, the inept inventor of Donald Duck's Duckburg."

Dowd dismisses the work of the Clinton Foundation entirely, writing "we are supposed to believe that every dollar given to a Clinton is a dollar that improves the world. But is it?"

Yet nowhere does she mention the product of the Clinton Foundation's efforts, like the fact that "5 million people" and "500,000 children" around the world now "have access to low cost, high quality AIDS treatments." That is insignificant compared to Dowd's disgust for having to "read the words Ira Magaziner again."

She attacks Magaziner for gathering ideas for a proposal to fight climate change that "never got off the ground" but neglects to mention the annual reduction of "248 million tons" Clinton's C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is expected to achieve by 2020.

Dowd's New York Times column is the rhetorical equivalent of a Cinnabon - it has an alluring smell that draws you in, yet leaves a sick feeling in your stomach when you stare down at the greasy cardboard container and recognize the sheer amount of crap you just consumed.

And that's just the type of analogy Maureen Dowd would love to use.

It's clear in Dowd's mind the 2016 race has begun. With the majority of her recent columns mentioning the Clintons, we can expect her to repeat this pace again - yet all of her columns are united in the absence of a single critical ingredient - substance.

The New York Times
Maureen Dowd
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