Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Hack Race

Salon's Alex Pareese has written a series of posts on political hackery, or a list of the worst political opinion writers. I haven't read most of the posts on the list yet but did glance through the one on Maureen Dowd.

Before I comment on it, let me state that I was once called an erudite political hack and I put that in my brag file right away.

The post on Maureen Dowd includes aspects of her writing that I have criticized on this blog, such as:

Oh, MoDo. Maybe there are still people who thrill to her dated pop culture references and tiresome "wicked" nicknames for politicians. Maybe somewhere there's a reader who still finds it illuminating to examine elections as battles between effeminate girly Democrats and straight-shooting Republican cavemen. Maybe someone's glad that the most prominent female political columnist in the nation tends to consider every powerful female politician a castrating bitch.
Dowd does write like that or at least did write like that in the past. But some of her newer columns are much better on gender and I hope she pursues that line in the future. On the other hand:

Called on her sexism by the Times public editor, Dowd said, "I have always played with gender stereotypes," by which she means that she has always strongly reinforced them.
Pretty much. Still, Maureen can write. And many of the boys in that list are more sexist than she is. It's just harder to spot because we expect that of men.