NY Times' Perpetual Lunchroom

I’ve always said the NY Times primarily — note the qualifier — featured a bunch of developmentally-arrested 14-year olds who have never been able to find their way out of the lunch room or the schoolyard, and these two pathetic pieces, showcased in what is arguably the most coveted real-estate in journalism, make the case.

Gail Collins, the editor of the op-ed page, while writing about Michele Bachmann, takes time to affect a sneer because Bachmann can remember what she was wearing on a particular day which, I guess, reinforces the “moron airhead” narrative that is immediately erected around GOP women who don’t know their place:

Is Michele Bachmann the new Sarah Palin? And do we really need a new Sarah Palin? Shouldn’t the first one be made to go away before we start considering replacements?

Bachmann, the superconservative member of Congress from Minnesota, made a big splash on Tuesday night with her Tea Party response to the State of the Union address. True, the placement of the cameras made her look as if she was talking to an invisible friend, and her eye makeup had a peculiar zombie aspect to it. But the next day all the attention was on her and not the official Republican response by Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman.

Ah, you tipped your hand a little, there, Gail. Just as you and MSNBC would rather keep talking about Sarah Palin than this or this or this or this, you naturally wanted to see a brain-dead jeer at Bachmann kept alive, rather than any serious discussion of Ryan’s response entertained.

You also helped to perpetuate the gobsmackingly outdated and self-defeating notion that women in politics must still deal with the cattiness of other women, who should know better. Hillary had to hear about her hair, now Bachmann has to hear about her makeup. Meow. It’s so much fun to hate-on other girls, especially if they sit on the uncool side of the lunchroom!

I wonder if you will qualify for Maureen Dowd’s next “mean girls” column.

Speaking of mean girls, Ms. Dowd has returned from her recent sabbatical feeling all warm and fuzzy toward David Axelrod. More schoolyard stuff: goo-goo eyes and hero-worship!

Though Axe can wax endlessly about Washington’s wayward ways, he admitted to friends that it’s harder leaving than he thought, and he plunged into bon voyage parties and dinners. Asked about the cascade of “exclusive” exit interviews he was giving, he warned drolly: “Don’t turn on the Shopping Network!”

“The White House is like fantasy camp for him,” said his charming assistant, Eric Lesser. “He could go to an Afghan war council in the Situation Room, meet Sandy Koufax and have a baseball signed, and have lunch with Caroline Kennedy.”

It’s all so, “oh my God! He looked at me!” and “Oh my God! Her make-up! Ewww! As if!

All Collins and Dowd need is a house
with the parents away for the weekend, or a dance and a bucket of pigblood.

I just realized, I haven’t missed reading either of these women, at all.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Kathleen

    I see there’s a Chick-fil-a at NYU, no doubt that one will now be shut down in an NY minute. I guess I can drive to Woodbridge if I really want one.

  • Kathleen

    sorry, can’t think how this got here, not sure what I was replying to!

  • Rick


    Love it…

  • Rand Careaga

    The NYT’s roster of regular columnists has long mystified me—Kristol (now grazing elsewhere, thank goodness), Brooks and Douthat strike me as three of the dumbest characters ever to hold such prestigious gigs—but Maureen Dowd’s patented witch’s brew of the toxic and the trivial leaves me shaking my head. She is indeed a high school Queen Bee writ large.

  • francesca

    “Axe can wax…”? As it moves to a pay-per-view system one can just expect more of the feigned in-crowd gossipy fluff passing for real analysis. Because some will continue to consume/indulge does not necessarily mean that it will have much relevant to say.

  • Sal

    I wonder if you will qualify for Maureen Dowd’s next “mean girls” column.

    Oh, Anchoress, you know only Republicans can be mean girls.

  • Joseph Marshall

    Well, I just blew my long comment into hyperspace. But I think reading Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin is far more important than reading Dowd or Colliins. Since you haven’t missed either of the journalists, maybe you should try it.

    I just did, and I found her remarks of the State of the Union to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm of Buncombe, Humbug, and Hogwash. All the tired catchphrases that are the political equivalent of “Let’s all go out for ice cream, kids!’: Balanced Budget Amendment, “reduce dependence on foreign oil”, “allow Americans to buy what they like” [they are not going to "like" any of the choices].

    But Baskin and Robbins is closed, and Bachmann’s remarks have all the substance of a crushed paper cup.

    Now MSNBC does the country a great service by airing the remarks that politicians like Bachmann kite out on videotape. It would be just as interesting to see Bachmann talk about all those lovely things you would like MSNBC to cover. But since those grave things were based on real information, and real information was conspicuously absent from Bachmann’s State of the Union rebuttal, I won’t hold my breath.

  • Joseph Marshall

    Oh, yes, and as far as Mr. Ryan and real information goes, I can’t improve on CNN Fact Check:

    “Rep. Paul Ryan, a rising GOP star, delivered the official rebuttal to the State of the Union speech. He warned that the United States faced “catastrophic levels” of red ink unless it reined in spending — which he said had ballooned under the Obama administration.

    ‘The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies, an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus,” Ryan said. “All of this new government spending was sold as ‘investment.’ Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9%, and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.’

    Fact Check: Has U.S. domestic government spending nearly doubled under Obama?

    – Ryan doesn’t cite any specific figures for his claim, but a quick look at figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office figures suggests the new chairman of the House Budget Committee is a bit off the mark. Nondefense outlays grew by 11.3% from 2008 to 2009, and 17.3% between 2009 and 2010, according to the CBO.

    – The 2010 total of $682 billion in nondefense outlays includes $95 billion from the stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, while 2009′s $581 billion included $31 billion in funding from the stimulus, according to the CBO. Without those figures, the CBO put the increase in domestic discretionary spending at 5.3% in 2009 and 6.7% in 2010.

    – It’s true that the stimulus didn’t deliver the results promised by the Obama administration in terms of lowering the unemployment rate. The administration predicted it would bring the jobless figure down to 7% by the end of 2010; instead, the current rate is 9.4%. But the CBO estimated that the spending programs funded by the Recovery Act had created or saved nearly 4.8 million jobs by the middle of the year.

    Bottom line:

    Ryan’s numbers don’t square with the projections of the nonpartisan CBO. It was not immediately clear where they originated.”

    But at least he has some numbers, even if they’re not the real ones.

  • SKAY

    Maxine Waters is more their style.

  • http://www.thecafeallegro.com/randomthoughts RandomThoughts

    Gail and Maureen prove that when it comes to liberals, you can take the girl out of the junior high lunchroom, but you can’t take the junior high lunchroom out of the girl.

  • http://theatleeappeal.com/ David Atlee

    I’m pretty sure liberals absolutely hate it when good looking women are conservative and vocal. How dare they compete with those beloved Hollywood celebrities that people just fawn over!


  • Anonymous

    I guess my questions would be this… Do you not in essence, do the same thing, but turn it back on them, when you write this? Does this post lift up life or continue to participate in bringing it down?

    And while I have no use whatsoever for Maureen Dowd and am ambivalent at best about Gail Collins, however, it would be helpful to the cause Palin and Bachmann and Palin did not have their own little mean girl streaks. We see far too much of that, served up with a side of poor me victim-hood.

    The whole mess of this – on both sides – is depressing and severs, not restore the integrity of the Body of Christ.

  • francesca

    If you talk to a lot of folks who are liberal Democrats of a certain age they will tell you privately that the state of things at the Times is really sad given history. Do we best address the situation by pretending it is not happening? No, the Times is not the Church and to analyze the trends that are happening, that are obvious not just to the despised “conservatives” but to plenty of others as well, does not equate to attacking the Church and the Body by any means. Though the Times would like to promote, as a commercial, money-making entity (see, the ads for 20,000 jewels and up, furs etc in the print sections) that it is the voice of Truth and some sort of magisterium, um, no, it is not the voice of a moral humanity, not at this particular moment of history, nor does it lay a claim on what constitutes social justice. It like so much of mainstream media seems on its own to accept its place as just another option in entertainment. I wouldn’t say that the Anchoress pulls out all these different examples to merely attack. She is not saying that Maureen Dowd is stupid, a la Palin. She is saying, I think, that given the serious issues which face us all, it is stunning, the use of time and editorial position and, deliberate, planned, executed silence on matters of basic human dignity, upon which all other issues of social justice are established. As consumers, do we really have to just accept this from our pundits or talking heads, (as Anchoress labels, ‘The Fourth Estate’) or can we expect better?

    You know, at least with Palin, she was accountable to voters and has been made to be accountable through ethics regulations. Now since she is a private citizen, in a free society we can debate whatever issues she raises.

    But with the Times’ columnists, it’s pretty much their way or the highway. You pay your money, this is what you get. Do they care what the likes of us have to say about their editorial trend? Apparently not. They are accountable to their advertisers, not to the moral consensus of the day which at this point is a pro life majority, I might add. They are not running for office. At least elected leaders still go on such things as “listening tours” and attend town halls.

    I don’t think any educated woman reading or writing on this blog claims “victimhood”. Far from it. We don’t need the media to do our thinking for us at this stage of the game. As an educated woman, the disdain shown for women’s health generally by the omission of analysis on the Gosnell story is appalling. I voice this opinion as an entirely empowered, nonvictim, educated and professional, woman.