Monday, August 5, 2013

The Howler Howls at Maureen Dowd for Puff Piece on Quinn

The Daily Howler does quite a number on Maureen over her Sunday Review column on Quinn (Who’s That Candidate in the Teal Toenail Polish?), which I found rather strange in a number of ways given what Dowd often writes about: Weiner's weiner. Or Clinton's weiner.

I officially call on all mayoral candidates to reveal the color of their toenail polish (mine is purple in case your wondering.)

Some highlights:
Yesterday morning, Maureen Dowd profiled Christine Quinn, the current front-runner in the race for mayor of New York City. This wasn’t the normal piece by Dowd. Nor was this ridiculous profile Quinn’s fault. It started on the front page of yesterday’s Sunday Review, an extremely high-profile placement. Inside, on the actual op-ed page, it ran beneath a large color photo of Quinn.

As she started, out on page one, Dowd told us something Quinn supposedly wants us to know. We include Dowd’s pitiful headline, which appeared on the front page of the Sunday Review:
DOWD (8/4/13): Who’s That Candidate in the Teal Toenail Polish?
According to Dowd, Christine Callaghan Quinn “wants to be seen as a member of the fighting Irish.” Dowd didn’t explain how she knows that, though it could be an electoral advantage in Irish-inflected New York.

For what it’s worth, Dowd seems to want us to see Quinn that way too! She played Quinn’s ethnicity early and often. In the middle of the column, she referred to Quinn’s “Irish temper.”

Dowd’s piece about Quinn was so inane that even Times readers complained. This sardonic commenter offered a nice summary of Dowd’s latest paralyzed effort:

COMMENTER FROM CONNECTICUT: Dear Ms. Dowd, I am to assume you’re endorsing Ms. Quinn for the job? I live in Connecticut and am interested in the mayoral race only as a spectator. The main points I come away with are:

a. Ms. Quinn apparently has a temper and uses it
b. Her favorite movie is "Dirty Dancing"
c. She has a weight problem
d. She used her influence to have an ambulance help an aide
e. She wears teal nail polish
f. Most importantly, she's NOT Mr. Weiner

She's obviously qualified to be mayor of NYC. Bring on the voting!
The sardonic reader captured the contents of Dowd’s vacuous profile. Around the continent, other readers filed complaints about the latest garbage from Dowd, which ended with the headline-worthy “get” concerning toe polish:
COMMENT FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Toenail polish color? Is this going to be the election season of "too much information" for every candidate?

COMMENT FROM JARAMA VALLEY: This is a puff piece worthy of People Magazine.

COMMENT FROM NEW YORK: Toe nail polish? Bubble baths? What's your favorite TV program? When did the Times editorial page become Tiger Beat?...At some point someone needs to talk about the issues and not useless nonsense. This was a missed opportunity and actually almost sexist in its tone.

COMMENT FROM CONNECTICUT: Boy, am I glad I moved out of NYC! Toenail color is important? How about a piece on what each of these folks proposes to do?

COMMENT FROM ATLANTA: An entire column, and no issues...Will she spend 4 years working on toe nail polish?

COMMENT FROM NEW JERSEY: After reading this column, I know even less about the mayoral race than before I started.

COMMENT FROM EDMONTON, CANADA: What did we learn about the woman, beside her "coppery" something, I guess her hair? What positions? What problems? What solutions, other than keeping [Weiner] out of office? What does she believe in? What does she fear?

Why did I read this cotton candy? Why was it written? And what did I learn?

COMMENT FROM NEW YORK: I have zero interest in what color toe nail polish a politician wears. I have zero interest in if they take bubble baths or not (I can't imagine asking LaGuardia that question). I only care about how they are going to keep the streets clean and safe and the city moving forward. Anything else is not my business and definitely not my interest.

This column reduced Ms. Quinn into a political Kardashian. That was probably what her team wanted but I learned nothing about her plans from it.

COMMENT FROM HOUSTON: Annice Parker has thrived as Houston's mayor. The fact she is gay doesn't have any bearing on her ability to lead. Aside from that, this piece is pure fluff, Ms. Dowd.
Just for the (truly pitiful) record: In the hard-copy Times, a sub-headline appeared on Dowd's piece: “Can Christine Quinn vanquish Carlos Danger?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Before she got her column, Maureen Dowd covered the White House during the Reagan era, and was more than capable of producing fawning, sycophantic coverage. This is nothing new for her, despite her reputation for snark.