Guest post by Anna Shane, PhD
I am known for defending working women who compete with men and survive, even when I don’t agree with them. I’ve even on occasion defended Maureen Dowd, despite our disagreements, because she’s proudly acerbic and catches it from right, left and center. Dowd forged her own place at the New York Times by inventing ‘no prisoners naughty.’ The powers that be rightly fear talking to her. As George Bush and Dick Cheney found out the hard way, she doesn’t keep secrets. (Ya think she’s your friend until you find out in print...)
Case in point, her story on Biden’s son’s deathbed wish did arguably more than anything to stop Joe from challenging Hillary in the primary. Stung by Dowd, who obviously thought she’d meant to help him, Joe tried to deny it. Still, Dowd told the truth on Joe.
But I have never liked the way she hunts Hillary Clinton, which I see as ‘un-Dowd,’ because when it comes to Hillary, Dowd is no different from any of the other garden-variety Hillary hunters who won’t let facts get in their way.
I could only suppose that when it comes to Hillary, Dowd has a blind spot. Dowd weirdly agrees with the NYT anti-Hillary culture her friend Jill wrote about, which is essentially that Clinton is ‘too damn uppity’ and needs to be brought down a peg or two, even though that requires playing fast and loose. It's as if for Dowd, Hillary isn’t like the rest of us working women, facing the same old tactics to knock us out of competition for the top jobs.
Dowd has faced sexism herself, she has to know, so she must really believe that Hillary alone (out of all other women trying to win the promotions to demonstrate what we could do if we got the chance, and who, like Hillary, are hunted) brings that sexist-style hunting on herself.
Dowd can admit (albeit not write a column about it) that her friend Jill at the NYT was also hunted, losing her top editor job for wanting equal pay and for not deferring to the ‘superiority’ of her phallic assistant’s ideas.
Yet Dowd can’t see that Hillary faces more ‘knocking’ than many because she gained real power when her husband became president and put her in charge of getting some stuff done, and thus brought out the ire of establishment sexists on all sides.
Dowd somehow can’t see that Hillary has gotten so close to the highest glass ceiling because she’s brilliant and wonky and tenacious enough to have made herself best qualified, straight-arrow enough to have never been bagged, and tough enough to have not been knocked out.
Blindly, Dowd has been trying to acerbically bring down Hillary Clinton ever since those early days. And today, when the stakes could not be higher, when the only way that great male hope duh Trump could take ‘his rightful place’ as commander and chief would be if Hillary were bagged, Dowd contributes yet another fact-challenged sexist-opinion-laden hit piece, to help him spin it his way.
Dowd’s tired old point is contained in the title this time. ‘The Clinton Contamination’ is Dowd’s essential claim that Hillary gets her cooties all over everybody, this time Comey, and Obama, and she even added Loretta Lynch. That’s been Dowd’s ‘cootie girl’ sexist theme, but it only means that when Hillary is hunted sometimes others get bagged. And that’s true, usually if you investigate forever you can find something, only Hillary is so square there is never anything on her, and in frustration her hunters have sometimes bagged anyone they could. It is factually courageous to associate with someone who is hunted.
I’ll start fact-checking Dowd with her false assertion on Lynch. Dowd wrote, “The Times reported that Hillary might let Lynch stay on in a new Clinton administration.”
False: The Times did not report that.
Dowd said she got her cooties all over “Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan,” too, “who were also deemed extremely careless by Comey for their handling of classified information.” But she forgot to add all the career diplomats Clinton was corresponding with over email, and the likely reason that the State Department announced they’d reopen their own investigation, because State had already said they do not agree with the FBI Comey assertion that they run an “extremely careless” operation.
Dowd said Obama got Hillary’s cooties on him when he “undermined” the FBI investigation by saying, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”
False: The State Department had already made that determination. Obama is fact based.
And it’s rather obvious that Comey has his own cooties and needs no more.
He didn’t communicate with State, or he would have found out for himself that two out of three of the emails he’d claimed had “classified markings” were clerical errors, and that the “classified marking” did not make them “marked classified.” So he wrongly claimed he had found evidence that contradicted Hillary’s assertion that she didn’t send or receive emails that were marked classified; earth to Comey - they are not the same thing. That was pointed out to him during the hearing; there are specific rules for marking documents classified, and he found no emails she sent or received that had been marked classified.
Comey has obvious problems understanding the terminology used in the State Department, but at least once he asked before announcing his own conclusions. He’d first assumed that Hillary had once requested that the designation of "classified" be removed from a document so that she could get it over email, when she had factually asked that the classified information be removed, because she needed to read only the unclassified parts.
Comey showed an ordinary English comprehension deficit when he agreed that her assertion that she only wanted to use one device was false, because over the years she’d changed devices several times. But she’d factually said she didn’t want to have to juggle two at one time, one for personal and one for work, not that she’d never upgraded to a newer model.
So we have Maureen Dowd using Comey’s false reasoning to come to Donald’s conclusions. Dowd gives herself a pass for fast and loose, ‘no harm’ because she added that Donald could beat Hillary only if she were indicted (bagged and waiting to be mounted), but it’s still ‘foul.’