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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Throw the Bums Out": Might The New York Times Trade Dowd for The Washington Post's Zakaria?

Fantasy journalism, anyone?

What if The New York Times were to trade Maureen Dowd to The Washington Post in exchange for Fareed Zakaria? They both hit from the left-hand side of the plate, and both are known for past base stealing. WaPo would maintain its balance between lefties and righties and could increase crowd attendance, given that Dowd was born in Washington. Sure, Dowd, who is feisty and glamorous, is more popular with the fans than Zakaria, but if WaPo was to throw a little money into the deal? The Times is desperate for the cash and could use the funds to replace its tired, aging roster of Tom ("I have an answer for everything")  Friedman, David ("character, spirit and pontification") Brooks, and Paul ("Spend! Spend! Spend!") Krugman. As an added bonus, Zakaria is unswervingly obeisant to Obama, and this is certain to please the op-ed manager of the Times, Andrew Rosenthal, and its owner, the Ochs-Sulzberger family.

If only.

Meanwhile, in her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Throw the Bums Out," subtitled "Roger Goodell, Ray Rice and the N.F.L.’s Culture," Dowd correctly takes the NFL to task for its lenience toward familial violence involving players. Angrily referring to the elevator incident in which Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked his then-fiancée unconscious, Dowd pointedly observes:

"[N.F.L. Commissioner Roger] Goodell only suspended [Rice] for two games, two less than if he’d been caught taking Adderall.

. . . .

The last sports commissioner who didn’t kowtow to owners may have been Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who banned Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox players from baseball for life even though they were acquitted in 1921 and went out with the jury to eat to celebrate. 'Regardless of the verdict of juries,' Landis said, 'baseball is competent to protect itself against crooks, both inside and outside the game.'

If only."

But hold your horses, Maureen. Didn't you travel to Saudi Arabia in 2010 and write in a Times opinion piece entitled "Loosey Goosey Saudi":

"The word progressive, of course, is highly relative when it comes to Saudi Arabia. (Wahhabism, anyone?) But after spending 10 days here, I can confirm that, at their own galactically glacial pace, they are chipping away at gender apartheid and cultural repression."

No mention at the time by Dowd of of a young Saudi woman who was gang-raped and consequently awarded one year in prison plus 100 lashes. As reported by the Saudi Gazette :

"A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.

The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.

The girl claimed that she became pregnant soon after and went to King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces in an attempt to carry out an abortion. She was eight weeks’ pregnant then, the hospital confirmed."

Also no mention by Dowd of twin honor killings that occurred not long before her visit:

"A Saudi women's group on Friday blamed the country's religious police in the 'honour' killing of two sisters shot dead by their own brother after they were arrested for mixing with unrelated men.

The Society for Defending Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia said the religious police had placed the sisters' lives in danger when they arrested them and then placed them in a Riyadh women's shelter.

The two women, identified as Reem, 21, and Nouf, 19, were murdered after they left the shelter on July 5.

The brother shot them in the presence of their father who, according to newspaper reports, quickly forgave the son for defending the family's honour."

You see, if Dowd had reported these stories, she would have been thrown out of the Desert Kingdom in the blink of a camel's eye. But she didn't.

If only.

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