7 December 2006
Ellipsis sweet as candy

Dawn Eden talks to the Washington Times, and there are ... rather a lot of ... apparent ... gaps.

Since she isn't disowning the Times interview, I assume that the points she made were not affected by the nefarious practice of Dowdification.

Permalink to this item (posted at 1:59 PM)
7 January 2007
The Grey Lady and the children

Byron (his friends call him Barney) Calame is the "public editor" of The New York Times, the second such since the position was established in 2003, and he may be the last:

"Over the next couple of months, as Barney's term enters the home stretch, I'll be taking soundings from the staff, talking it over with the masthead, and consulting with Arthur," meaning publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., wrote Bill Keller, The Times’ executive editor, in an e-mail to The Observer.

Mr. Keller wrote in his e-mail that "some of my colleagues believe the greater accessibility afforded by features like 'Talk to the Newsroom' has diminished the need for an autonomous ombudsman, or at least has opened the way for a somewhat different definition of the job."

Daniel Okrent, first Times public editor, said he "would be disappointed to see [the position] eliminated."

This detail in the Observer piece caught Brendan Nyhan's eye:

Mr. Okrent was a sharp critic who raised hackles and then won respect during his 18-month term. In contrast, Mr. Calame has been a bit more like that other Barney, the friendly purple dinosaur — and not entirely unlike Snuffleupagus, the once-invisible creature of Sesame Street. The readers were Big Bird, and we could see and hear him — but did he exist to anyone inside The Times?

To which Nyhan responds:

[T]his is a whole new style of media criticism. Coming next week: Is Maureen Dowd more like Miss Piggy or Dora the Explorer?

Short answer: yes.

Actually, I think Maureen Dowd is the secret child of Disney's Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, and whatever Type A personality traits she may have inherited from Kim are offset by Ron's intractable B-ness. Besides, Ron is sweet and goofy, and God forbid Maureen should ever show such a side.

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:38 AM)
26 February 2007
This is not the origin of the word "dowdy"

Maureen Dowd with Tim Russert

Then again, if glam doesn't work, what's the fallback position? Right.

(Via Gawker, where the following comment was posted: "MoDo — the high school librarian called ... she wants her outfit back ..." I don't remember seeing anything like this, but then I went to a Catholic school.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:23 AM)
24 March 2007
Holding up the Speaker

Around the first of the year, someone put in a search-engine query for "nancy pelosi leg photos," to which I responded with a comment to the effect that nobody ever asked for anything like that from Dennis Hastert. What the searcher was led to was Vent #398, "Dressed for the party," in which I scanned some photos from Harper's Bazaar that accompanied a goofy piece by Maureen Dowd (who else?) on the dodgy subject of whether Democrats or Republicans dress "better," in the Bazaar sense of course. On the basis of evidence presented, I declared a draw.

In the "competition," Pelosi was matched up against then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and I said this:

Two cases of, if not wardrobe malfunction, certainly misjudgment. Condi's white blouse, black jacket and belted trousers qualify as conservative, perhaps even self-effacing. Nancy's in a summery red California two-piece suit that pushes her waistline higher than it should and ends far enough below the knee to make her look more bottom-heavy than she might like.

Had Rice sho