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Maureen Dowd: "Barry"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'm not a big fan of Maureen Dowd, but when she's on, she's on. And, in this passage from this weekend, she was on:


    There is no moral high ground that (Barack Obama) does not seek to occupy. As with drones and gay marriage, he seems peeved that we were insufficiently patient with his own private study of (NSA surveillance). Why won’t the country agree to entrust itself to his fine mind?

    I think that's a pretty accurate assessment of President Obama's high-falutin' vibe, at times.

    My problem is with the following sentence:

    Yet while Barry is in the thick of it, the air is thick with Hillary.

    Should a national columnist, a Pulitzer Prize winner, resort to calling the sitting president of the United States "Barry"? I guess she's being irreverent. I guess she's knocking him down a peg. But what if a conservative, say Rich Lowry, kept calling Hillary "Hills"? Would Dowd take kindly to that?

    It just seems childish and undignified to me, and seems to undermine any salient point she makes. In a way, that kind of snark reminds me of how Matt Taibbi in "Rolling Stone" frequently sacrifices his credibility by calling politicians "cocksuckers" and "motherfuckers."

    Thoughts? Unnecessary snark? Or delightful irreverance?
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Yeah, it's not necessary. Obviously, I'm not a fan of the president, but calling him Barry is kind of a cheap move.

    I agree about Taibbi sacrificing his credibility as well. He's such a brilliant writer and he should rely more on that than resorting to name-calling.

    During the 2008 election, a conservative columnist (Jonah Goldberg, I think...) was criticized for only referring to Hilllary as "Mrs. Clinton" on every reference. People pointed out that it would read similarly in the NYT, but I think most agree that it was a subtle reminder that Hillary is best known for being the First Lady, or at least that was the case at the time.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Some of the people Taibbi uses those pejoratives on deserve the titles.

    I would much rather worry if Taibbi was factually wrong.

    Is it really any different than some of the ways Pierce calls out the cocksuckers and motherfuckers? And that's no knock on Charlie. It is what it is: brute honesty.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Dowd has been consistently irreverent when it comes to President's and
    2nd terms. Many of her columns refer to Bush as "W".

    Would love to discuss further but want to respect the no politics edict.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Then his arguments and facts should illustrate that clearly enough without resort to name-calling. Same with Dowd.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    From the thread title, I thought she was going to write about Barry Manilow. Or Barry Switzer.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    You'll be pleased to know Taibbi refrained from name-calling in this one: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/new-bank-investigations-real-action-or-more-of-the-same-20130808
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    On the other hand ...

    "Did (Sorkin) also "veer into" a long career as a shameless, ball-gargling prostitute for Wall Street?"

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/hey-msm-all-journalism-is-advocacy-journalism-20130627#ixzz2blnkJmf1
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Whether they deserve to be called that or not, Taibbi is certainly talented enough as a writer to paint that picture rather than resorting to name-calling.
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    The sainted Charles P. Pierce -- at least according to so many who frequent this board -- hemorrhages credibility IMO when he continually refers to Mitt Romney as "Willard."

    Yeah, Charlie, we get it. Only it's not funny, it ought to be beneath the level of analysis Pierce purports to conduct and, even more so, it reveals how immature and half-baked a lot of Pierce's perspectives and vantage points truly are. All springs from the same mind, after all.

    Taibbi, Pierce, Dowd, Goldberg and any other writers who trade in this diminish themselves. It's really a variation on the Riley Cooper theme -- says way more about the person spewing such drivel than about the target of such (cough) clever wit.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I honestly didn't think anybody who follows politics and news to any serious degree even read Maureen Dowd anymore. She's such a parody.
  12. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty darn sure a whole lot of columnists have referred to a whole lot of presidents as far worse than "Barry."
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