Culture

Aging Columnist Lashes Out at Free Beacon

Modo's future?

Another aging feminist has attacked the Washington Free Beacon in a column published in a major publication, the Free Beacon has learned.

On Tuesday, New York Times columnist and amateur pothead Maureen Dowd lashed out at the anti-Clinton website for its "nasty cracks" about Hillary Clinton’s advanced age. (Context: Dowd, 62, is four years younger than Clinton.)

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In a refreshing display of solidarity, Times readers rushed to the Free Beacon‘s defense, and completely EVISCERATED Dowd's column on Twitter:

A Free Beacon analysis concurs with these assessments. Dowd's column was terrible. In addition to her gratuitous attack on our reporting, the piece includes a tasteless, self-aggrandizing anecdote about the recently deceased comic legend Robin Williams. A well-argued critique of Hillary Clinton's "old-think" mindset towards the end of the column is not enough to redeem the otherwise incoherent abomination. She also implicitly blames Clinton for the death of editor Michael Kelly.

The left-wing website Wonkette was particularly agitated over Dowd's criticism of Clinton's vote for the Iraq war, and, in a surprise move, defended the invasion in a snarky blog post. Better late than never, we say.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, 56, has yet to weigh in. Marcus recently revealed herself to be a clueless and/or illiterate person when she attacked the Free Beacon in a June 6 column that we can only assume was edited by no one. Bizarrely, the Post has yet to respond to the Free Beacon‘s call for Marcus's resignation.

As the editors wrote at the time:

When the bizarre move toward lifetime appointments for op-ed columnists began, we cannot say. But no one, no matter how "experienced," is entitled to mislead their readers because they are unable to comprehend the material they cite. The Washington Post op-ed page should be treated as precious journalistic real-estate—not as a retirement community. Ruth Marcus should do the right thing—the decent thing—and make way for new, female, liberal blood.

One could, and should, draw the same conclusion with respect to Dowd, and there is reason to believe that the Times already done so. (Though, in her defense, Dowd at least seems to grasp the difference between "nasty cracks" and being serious.)

As Free Beacon reader Eric Boehlert has observed, there is probably a good reason that The Paper of Record is limiting Dowd's column to once a week and gave her an honorary position as a "narrative journalist" for the New York Times Magazine. This is basically the Manhattan publishing equivalent of a Wal-Mart greeter.