Parsing Maureen Dowd

0211modowd.jpgOver at Gawker, Alex Pareene channelled his old Wonkette gig with an extended discussion of Maureen Dowd‘s influence in 2008. Pareene’s thesis? The creation of TimesSelect and the subsequent MoDowd paywall killed her influence — and now she’s just one commentator among many. As Pareene puts it:

She used to be inescapable—on the Times home page, on Sunday morning politics shows, in every political blog on Earth—but now it’s hard to gin up outrage about her scrubbing negative quotes from columns or mistaking black women for other black women. In 2004, those stories would’ve been all Atrios talked about for days. (Maybe they still are, does anyone read Atrios anymore either?) In 2000, they wouldn’t have been outrages at all, because everything she said was immediate conventional wisdom. So what happened?

We don’t know about that… To us, it seems that Dowd’s recent lack of high-profile goodness is due to the 2008 election and her divided stance when it comes to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. Her election columns have been missing the usual zing… But that’s just us.