Snark: Hillary Hatred -56 "Hillary's goo got on Obama"
The slogans "Life is a bitch. Don't elect one" and "Lock her Up!" reflect a misogyny and conspiratorial paranoia within Hillary Hatred that has never been confined to Alt Right circles. The notion that Hillary is a *itch (with a "w" or "b"; take your pick), a liar, fraud, phony, criminal, and even murderer has been mainstreamed in American society since 1994. It is highly respectable. And some of its most persistent and well-rewarded promoters are (or promote themselves as) liberals; and not a few are women. No one in American political life has attacked Hillary more obsessively and with more virulent misogyny than the well-placed New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. Given the breadth and depth of Misogyny USA that may seem like a bold claim. Skeptical? See below.
- Take this, for example, from Dowd's July 10, 2016 column The Clinton Contamination. And that’s the corkscrew way things go with the Clintons, who are staying true to their reputation as the Tom and Daisy Buchanan of American politics.Their vast carelessness drags down everyone around them, but they persevere, and even thrive … But in the end, Hillary’s goo got on Obama anyhow. On Tuesday, after [FBI Director James] Comey managed to make both Democrats and Republicans angry by indicting Clinton politically but not legally, Barry [U.S. President Barack Obama] and Hillary flew to Charlotte, N.C., for their first joint campaign appearance. Tom and Daisy Buchanan are characters in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, as Dowd uses a high-tone literary allusion to herald her shift into what really matters for her, Hillary’s goo.
- In 1999 Dowd won the Pulitzer Prize. She was cited for: For her fresh and insightful columns on the impact of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Dowd’s columns on the affair ridiculed Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinski, and Ken Starr, but her most personalized venom on the affair of the “semen-stained” dress was directed toward Hillary and Monica. From that time on, Dowd has never let go of her dedication to tracking every trace of that goo, finding it everywhere and on everything, and always fixing the shame for it on the two woman.
- Hillary Hatred Axiom 2: Whatever Bill did wrong casts double shame on Hillary. Whatever Bill is alleged to have done wrong shames Hillary. Whatever Hillary was alleged to have done wrong, since Dowd's New York Times colleague Jeff Gerth discovered or invented the alleged scandal of Whitewater, the Mother of All Pseudo-Scandals, shames Hillary.
- Dowd began a 2014 column with a reminiscence about the recently deceased actor Robin Williams, recalling how Williams riffing on joke by her friend, the reporter Michael Kelly. Then: So when I think of Williams, I think of Kelly. And when I think of Kelly, I think of Hillary, because Michael was the first American reporter to die in the Iraq invasion, and Hillary Clinton was one of the 29 Democratic senators who voted to authorize that baloney war. For a discussion of this column, See Emily Kludt, Robin Williams’ Death Makes Maureen Dowd Think Of Hillary Clinton.
- Axiom 3: Whatever bad thing happens to anyone, Hillary is to blame. Michael Kelly is killed in Iraq. Hillary did it. Not Bush or Cheney or the 28 other Democratic and however many Republican senators or the 70% of the American population that approved or decades of American policy toward Iraq. Hillary, the Evil One.
- In a June 18, 2014 column, Oliver Willis & Hannah Groch-Begley presented the result of a study of Dowd’s columns: Dowd has repeatedly accused [Hillary] Clinton of being an enemy to or betraying feminism (35 columns, 18 percent of those studied), power-hungry (51 columns, 26 percent), unlikeable (9 columns, 5 percent), or phony (34 columns, 17 percent). She’s also attacked the Clintons as a couple in 43 columns (22 percent), many of which included Dowd’s ham-handed attempts at psychoanalysis.
- Matt Gertz offered some examples in a 2016 blog: [Dowd] Attacked [Clinton alternatively for being “Mommie Dearest,” “a manly girl,” the “senator from Stepford,” and a “debate dominatrix” [and] Compared Clinton to a variety of violent or mentally unstable fictional female characters, including Sybil (a movie character with multiple personality disorder) and the 50 Foot Woman.
- NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt rebuked Dowd in 2008 for her sexist portrayals of Hillary: Columns about Clinton’s campaign were so loaded with language painting her as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism.
- This same Maureen Dowd has vilified Hillary for betraying feminism: in thirty-five columns by 2014 and since then, others; such as her February 2016 When Hillary Killed Feminism. For a discussion of Dowd's "When Hillary Killed Feminism," a real work of art, see the recent article by Ramon Grigg.
- Dowd's credibility on feminism dates back to her writing on the semen-stained dress scandal, On February 8, 1998, she wrote the following in a piece on Presidential secretary Betty Currie [The Best Aunt: The best aunt stands out in this lousy cast of high-low-life and low-low-life — a woman who secretly tapes her girlfriend’s misery; a special prosecutor who sometimes resembles a stalker; a ditzy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon; a reactionary book agent with an addiction to dirt; a First Lady whose ambition extenuates her husband’s infidelities [see Hillary Hatred Axiom 2 above], and, of course, the Big He, a President who discards principle and people with frightening ease. (And still has time to shop for a dress.)
- In 2014, Monica Lewinsky wrote an article for Vanity Fair in which she discussed her efforts to overcome the shaming she received in the 1998. She had mentioned her dismay over the meanness toward her by Dowd, and how upset she was in 1998 when Dowd approached her in a restaurant at that time. But now, in 2014, she was ready to reach out to Dowd and offered to “have a drink with her.” Before discussing Dowd’s response, just to give a small sense of what might have upset Lewinsky in 1998, here are three quotes from Dowd's November 15, 1998 column, Liberties; The Pink-Poodle Blues.
- The New York Daily News, which featured a photo of Ms. Lewinsky looking like an upscale bag lady and a detailed map of her shopping and eating tour, chronicled her tantrums with restaurant workers, other diners and photographers, and her zesty feasts on leg of lamb and polenta with chocolate sauce.
- Poor girl. No wonder she’s in a bad humor. Her commercial window of opportunity is slamming shut. The nation, once glued to the soap opera of Monica and Bill, has canceled the show. Paula Jones has settled. The Republicans have been afflicted with a sudden case of realism. And the other ‘’high heel,’’ as commentators dubbed former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey, apparently won’t be dropping.
- Monica must be in a panic to squeeze the last drop of profit from this sordid tale. After Ken Starr wrote up her story so voluminously and with such bodice-ripping fervor, Monica and her mother realized with alarm that they had been scooped.
- The Jury that awarded Dowd the Pulitzer Prize dishing up this brew of gossip, misogyny, character assassination, and venom (snark) consisted of the following luminaries: Frank Sutherland (chair), editor and senior vice president/news, The Tennessean, Nashville; Phil Bronstein, executive editor, San Francisco Examiner; William Hilliard, former editor, The Oregonian; Robert Hodierne, national editor Newhouse News Service; Manuela Hoelterhoff, former member, editorial board, The Wall Street Journal; Edward C. Pease, professor, department head/vice president, media relations, Utah State University; and Howard A. Tyner, editor, Chicago Tribune.
- Lewinsky’s overture to Dowd was met with a new Dowd New York Times column of distilled vitriol: a powerful woman with all the right society friends and a perch at the most influential medium outside of Fox News slamming a vulnerable woman back into her place for presuming to emerge from her shame. Here are some examples. I begin with Dowd's conclusion which, predictably finds a way of ripping into Hillary while addressing any other subject.
- As Hillary gave a campaign-style speech in Maryland Tuesday, warning that economic inequality could lead to “social collapse,” That Woman [a reference to Bill Clinton saying he [did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky] started her own campaign, keening about her own social collapse. It was like a Golden Oldie tour of a band you didn’t want to hear in the first place.
- Here Dowd scalds Lewinsky for wanting a “Golden Oldie tour of a band you didn’t want to hear in the first place."During her pursuit of the Clinton-Lewinsky story in 1998, Dowd had written a column bubbling over with Alt High-Society versions late-night talk show jokes about semen stains and DNA. At the end, she wrote Despite what the public thinks, most journalists I know are not panting after this story. Like the public, most of us find it disgusting and wish it would go away.
- It's dirty, filthy, disgusting trash! I'm only watching it and dedicating my writing to exploring it, in instant replay and slow motion, because, because, because it's my journalistic duty.
- In her 2014 effort to put Lewinsky back into shamed-woman hell, Dowd complains about Lewinsky’s reference Dowd's "mean" treatment of her at in 1998. Dowd writes that she was felt sorry for Lewinsky at the time and had focused her criticisms on Bill Clinton and Ken Starr [see the samples of Dowd’s columns from that time, above, for the chutzpah of her assertion]. Dowd follows with one of her pop-psychoanalyses to portray Lewinsky as wanting to bring the story back and cash in on it; while all it has been Dowd who has been dishing and cashing in on that story — for sixteen years and counting. Dowd also of course finds a way to make every refer back to Hillary:
- But she [Lewinsky] must feel that her reticence over the last 10 years of “self-searching and therapy” has led the public to hunger for her thoughts on the eve of Hillary’s book rollout in June and at a moment when President Obama is struggling to pull focus back from the Clintons, whose past and future are more dominant than Obama’s present. Monica is in danger of exploiting her own exploitation as she dishes about a couple whose erotic lives are of waning interest to the country.
- Maureen Dowd likes to give nicknames to the characters in her columns: Aunt Betty, the Big He, W., Barry, etc. Let’s just called her “Twisted Sister.”
- For other takes on Twisted Sister, who has defended feminism in some forty columns to day from the threat of Hillary Clinton while "slut-shaming" Lewinsky, see the articles by Amanda Hess, by Jessica Bennett, and by Jenny Kutner.
- Of course, not everyone reads Twisted Sister in the same way. Ariel Levy wrote that she has retold the last three presidencies as long-running sitcoms, where the joke is always on the man in charge. Perhaps Levy may wish to revise that claim.
- *Bulletin: For twenty-two years of high-class vilification of Hillary Clinton while posing as a defender of feminism, Twisted Sister is hereby inducted into the Hillary Hatred Hall of Fame.
For Election Day -57 of Hillary Hatred, click here.