Tuesday, May 10, 2011


No one can replace Frank Rich as the greatest op-ed columnist of the recent past, (though Paul Krugman is still going strong and as I mentioned in a previous post was found to be the most reliable predictor of the future among all pundits on either the left or right or in the center).

But two other regular NY Times op-ed writers have been picking up the slack (along with Krugman and others) in ways that are usually amusing, though not so much for Maureen Dowd (who in that same study was high on the list of best predictors behind Krugman—and just to note again conservatives came out at the bottom on their predictions being accurate) in her Sunday column, here.

The other is Gail Collins, who isn't quite as sharp or always as amusing as Dowd at her best, but still knows how to score some points as she did in this piece from last week.

[PS: I don't entirely agree with Dowd's reasoning, but I hear it and part of me agrees. I do believe though that we can become like what he oppose if we adopt the opposition's tactics to defeat them, a danger too often realized in the history I've been alive for.]


JIm said...
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JIm said...
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-K- said...

I'm probably in the minority about this but my theory is that Maureen Dowd has been planted in the NYT by Republicans.

Seeming without a minute's worth of real-world experience, her writing and her tv work seems smug, condescending and unfunny. She's the embodiement of what every Repbulican must think of when he or she hears the word "liberal"

Plus, there's always too much of this, "But within days, Naval Seal-gazing shifted to navel-gazing."

Gail Collins, on the other hand is a great example of Krugman's observation that "Reality has a liberal bias" (or words to that effect. Lucid and straightforward, she, unlike Dowd, can write in full paragraphs. She sees Obama's shortcomings but hasn't turned cynical, staying focused on solutions or the possibilties thereof. And I always enjoy her discussions with David Brooks.

Lally said...

K, I used to love Dowd and found her sharp and funny and on target. But in recent months and maybe years she seemed to be off her game. And yes there was always a little smugness and maybe she could be condescending, but when she used to appear on the Bill Maher show or wherever it was I'd catch her on TV I thought she was usually pretty funny and knew what she was talking about. But I admit she's been less funny over the last year or two. But I never found her to be anywhere near as smug or condescending or unfunny as many of the rightwingers who are touted by their own as funny, like Ann Coulter or Rush et. al. And like that study showed, Dowd is right more often than most pundits except for Krugman.

AlamedaTom said...

Because you mentioned Rush, I am inferring that you are not limiting comparisons to only print-media pundits. Accordingly, don't forget Lawrence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow on TV and Stephanie Miller on radio. Also, Thom Hartman deserves a shout-out too.

~ Willy