What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

May. 18 2009 - 10:39 am | 91 views | 3 recommendations | 3 comments

What Maureen Dowd is trying to teach us

Maureen Dowd signs an autograph in New York City in April 2006 (Amy Sussnamn/Getty)

Maureen Dowd signs an autograph in New York City in April 2006 (Amy Sussnamn/Getty)

Poor Maureen Dowd is in a little bit of trouble. I don’t know if you’ve already heard the news around the blogosphere, but she plagiarized her latest column from the work of Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall. Dowd claims this was an accident, and that she got the idea for the material in question while chatting with a friend. Yes, it’s odd that her “friend” recalled Marshall’s article verbatim, but that’s Dowd’s story and she’s sticking to it. No one ever accused the gal of lacking moxie.

And no one can blame Dowd for being drawn to Marshall’s idea. He’s one smart guy, and winner of the prestigious Polk Award for excellence in journalism. Talking Points Memo has been hailed for “(leading) the news media in coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country.” While Dowd missed the attorneys-firing thing, she did come up with clever puns for Sarah Palin (emphasis mine):

I don’t agree with those muttering darkly that the picture of Gov. Sarah Palin with a perky smile and shapely gams posing with a pleased Henry Kissinger, famous for calling power the ultimate aphrodisiac, is a sign of the apocalypse.

It isn’t even a sign of the apocalipstick.

How did you ingrates expect her to maintain this level of excellence all these years without occasionally plagiarizing from a “parasitic blogger?” And yet I see this latest scandal as a cry for help from Dowd. She’s trying to tell us, and her bosses at The New York Times, something very important.

Maureen Dowd wants to retire her column to Josh Marshall. Think about it! He’s a smart, insightful journalist, who runs one of the most respected blogs on the internet, and has published other works in other respected forums such as (see, this is how you credit other sources, Maureen): The American Prospect, The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Post, Salon, Slate, and even The New York Times.  And just to soothe the nerves of any snobs out there, yes, Josh Marshall went to Princeton, so he already knows how to speak the language of the privledged.

Such a silly, blatant violation of basic journalistic values is beneath Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. Sure, she won for essentially gossiping about a blow job during Lewinskygate, but those fellatio euphemisms weren’t going to write themselves, damnit! Now, Dowd is telling us, her loyal readers, that she wants to step aside and let a new voice take her place. She siphoned Marshall’s excellent idea because she has no excellent ideas of her own. Dowd is an empty vessel, filled with nothing except gossip and bad puns.

The old girl is asking to be put down. When she’s not plagiarizing, she’s writing about Star Trek or trying to figure out how Twitter works. I mean, how long are we going to watch her suffer? Well, I for one, am going to try and put a stop to this. I have already written the editors at The New York Times with the following request:

Dearest editors-

First time writer; long-time reader here. At first, I was quite distressed to learn about Maureen Dowd’s plagiarism of Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall’s excellent article. But then, I realize Maureen was trying to tell us all something.

Maureen Dowd…wants to retire! I think this is great news, and I propose that Mr. Marshall take her place at the Times. He’s more than qualified as a Polk Award winner, and he’s already been published in numerous, nationally distributed newspapers. Oh! And he went to Princeton. I know it’s not Harvard or Yale, but seriously guys, loosen up.

You already know Marshall has good ideas because Maureen stole one from him, so we’re halfway there!

Requesting Josh Marshall replace Maureen Dowd,

Allison Kilkenny

I suggest you do the same. Email a letter to letters@nytimes.com.


3 Total Comments
Post your comment »
  1. collapse expand

    Dear New York Times,

    Why did you hire the skidmark of the Pilitzer Prize?

    - – -
    Hurrah ;-)

  2. collapse expand

    Typo: “Pulitzer”, not “Pilitzer”.
    :-p My bad, and that Ms. Maureen is taking ownership of your mistakes.

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I co-host Citizen Radio, the alternative political radio show. I am a contributing reporter to Huffington Post, Alternet.org, and The Nation.

    My essay "Youth Surviving Subprime" appears in The Nation's new book, Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover beside esssays by Ralph Nader, Joseph Stiglitz, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Naomi Klein, who I'm told are all important people.

    G. Gordon Liddy once told me my writing makes him want to vomit, which is the greatest compliment I've ever been paid ever.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 453
    Contributor Since: May 2009
    Location:New York, New York

    What I'm Up To

    • In The Nation’s New Book


      Check out my article “Youth Surviving Subprime” in The Nation’s new book beside essays by Ralph Nader, Joseph Stiglitz, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Naomi Klein.

    • Citizen Radio

      I co-host the biweekly political-comedy show, Citizen Radio. It’s like CNN, but with more swearing. Citizen Radio covers the stories that the mainstream, corporate media ignores. Past guests include: Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Matt Taibbi, Jeremy Scahill, Ralph Nader, Tariq Ali,  Janeane Garofalo, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and more…

      Go to wearecitizenradio.com and click on the iTunes logo to subscribe to our podcast for FREE. Also, join us on Facebook

    • +O
    • +O