Sex and the Single Stiletto

Howard Kurtz turned his lens on New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd this weekend, adding yet one more clip to a growing portfolio of Dowd articles of late that surely will result in a raise for MoDo’s media relations person. Here are the good parts:

  • “….in her stately Georgetown home, where the decor ranges from a pink jukebox to an expensively restored Hungarian portrait of a partially disrobed woman.”
  • MoDo is “resigned to hearing that she has some kind of castration complex. When a photographer for Elle magazine showed up for a shoot, he brought a Ken-type doll and a pair of scissors — and asked Dowd to pose either cutting off its head or stabbing the figurine in the groin. She declined.”
  • “‘I got a column entirely because I was a woman,’ she says bluntly.”
  • “In 1981, when the folding of the Washington Star left Dowd unemployed, a Time magazine editor interviewed her over a hotel dinner — and then asked her to spend the night. She said she had to meet her boyfriend.

    ‘I literally screamed in the middle of the street,’ she says. ‘I was desperate for a job. I didn’t know after that if I would still have the job Monday morning.’

    Why, then, did she make up with the brute? ‘If you left a job or didn’t take a job every time someone made a pass at you,’ she says, ‘your resume would be so checkered with short-term jobs you could never get a job anywhere.'”

  • Kurtz sums up the World According to MoDo perfectly:”Does Dowd try to have it both ways? Serving up sneak peeks of her romantic life but crying foul when it’s invoked by others? Cataloguing the myriad flaws of men without examining her own neuroses? Or is there, as she says, a double standard for hotshot women?”
  • Dowd “once spent $195 for a seaweed concoction favored by Sharon Stone — purely for research purposes, she says.”
  • “On the rare occasions she has mustered the courage to appear with Tim Russert, she says, ‘It’s so terrifying. When you hear that ‘Meet the Press’ music, I want to faint. Sometimes I’m scared I won’t have anything original to say.'”
  • Monica Lewinsky once confronted her at a restaurant and demanded to know why Dowd was writing such scathing articles about her. The columnist ‘wimped out’ and said she didn’t know.”
  • “Are men necessary? Dowd never answers the question, but they sure occupy a central place in her world: ‘I’m not one of these people who put my professional life first and suddenly look up and don’t have a personal life. I always put my personal life first. I just don’t always have a personal life to put first.'”