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Tuesday, June 1, 1999

Vindictive Op-Ed Victim
Maureen Dowd's Pain

by Clinton Fein

Within a day of the publication of this image and accompanying Op Ed parody, The New York Times, at the behest of Maureen Dowd, attempted to get Annoy.com to pull it, calling it -- among other things -- pornographic, obscene and illegal. Maureenís assistant was somewhat less articulate. Reminding the New York Times that their very own victory in New York Times vs. Sullivan was among the precedents affording us the right to parody public figures, they backed off. Our own Supreme Court victory against the Attorney General also ensured that communications intended to annoy are constitutionally protected. While we agree that this is not the most flattering image of Maureen nor the most graphically sophisticated image we could muster, we have left it here for its historical (and her hysterical) value.

By Maureen Dowd,
New York City

I know this will peel the layers of mystery I've worked so hard to construct, but Steven Brill's Content has already blown my cover.

I'm not a victim. Hillary, Monica... the subject material of my Pulitzer are victims, but not I.

Up until now, I've been doing the victimizing. I've been raining punishment on New York Times readers and beyond. I'm very proud to be the only columnist of our time who owes my success entirely to my reputation as a victimizer of Monica Lewinsky. And it's not as if I was alone in my field!

I may have to spend a little more time in New York what with the Hillary/Rudy senate race and people's expectations of how I will cover it. Things were so much easier when Hillary, Bill and Monica were all in D.C.

But I'm not a victim. That bitch, the other Maureen who writes for Vanity Fair and has to sleep with Tim Russert is. Anyone who has to get into bed with Tim Russert is a victim. Even Monica fared better. I tried to be the victim once - remember how sad I felt at the death of the Capitol cops. Yes, I revealed how proud I was of daddy then - a rare glimpse of the personal Maureen Dowd. Damn Steven Brill and Gay Jervey! Damn them, I say!

Bill's romp with Monica transformed MSNBC into the most popular cable network. And even that right winged blonde bimbo Laura Ingraham has turned into a media star. She'll never win a Pulitzer though. She's Our Lady of Perpetual Anti-Feminist Misogyny, the patron saint of every woman who's ever flashed her breasts or acted like a giggly little schoolgirl to move up the corporate ladder. Although at MSNBC, just being white is enough. Why didn't Andy Lack offer me the job?

But I'm not a victim. Arianna Huffington is. It really annoys me that she is given as much credence as I am.

So maybe Michael Douglas has a flabby ass, but so do I. I enjoy the company of older men. I'm not Monica Lewinsky, but I bet if I would have dropped to my knees, Bill would have lowered that zipper for me. At least my sex partners don't come out as gay to David Brock, of all people. Poor Arianna.

All I need to do is make myself the perfect Maureen Dowd victim. It's Dowd time for Dowd. After years of giving pain to New York Times readers, now I need New York Times readers to feel my pain.

How can I show vulnerability? How can I soften, even feminize, myself? How can I become a figure of pathos?

It's not enough that I have sharp features, a Madeleine Albright mouth and a scary smile. It will take a lot more than that to make people feel sorry for me.

I need to be punished. I need to be dealt a blow by fate. I need to be ennobled by suffering. I need to cry a little bit and sigh a little bit.

I could ask Don Imus to pitch in. I could prevail upon him to stop idolizing me on his show. I could get him to do a Monica Lewinsky on me and trash my writing for The New York Times, maybe even throw his support to Laura or Mona Charen. That would humanize me!

I'll start plagiarizing all the time. I'll start being moralistic and holier-than-thou like Mike Barnicle. Maybe some unfeeling cop will give me a ticket, or better still, insert a plunger up my ass.

I'll hail a cab, but all the cabbies will pass me by. When one finally picks me up, the Cindy Adams tape will keep reminding me who is really Queen of Gossip!

I'll resign from the New York Times and get a job with Rupert Murdoch. I could maybe do a gig with Matt Drudge. We could copy Equal Time like they did Crossfire. And, not to play the race card, I'm white and what we really need right now are more white talking heads doing confrontational talk shows!

I'll loosen up by squeeling at the top of my voice, like Kelly Anne Fitzpatrick. I'll do the talk show circuit like Susan Carpenter McMillan. What a pathetic sad sack I will be.

I'll beat Arianna and Cindy to the Liz Smith punch and publish the alliterate "Maureen's Magnificent Guide to Giggly Girlish Gossip."

I'll do an interview with Barbara Walters; everybody feels sorry for her guests. Maybe she can make me cry!

I'll go on morning television and moan about the declining state of media, from Imus to Geraldo.

I'll be conspicuously nestled in the Washington D.C. Starbucks reading Monica's Story.

I'll shop at The Gap.

I'll sit in for Paul Begala and powwow with Oliver North on journalistic integrity.

I'll summon gossip columnists to my office and dramatically confess that I've caused bouts of depression.

I'll go to the MSNBC studios, and wonder out loud why despite being as white and fresh-faced as the rest of the group I still can't land a job.

I'll get caught reading Maureen Orth's Cunanan book.

And if the new Maureen doesn't carry the day, I'll write the column myself.


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