Maureen Dowd

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Maureen Dowd (born January 14, 1952) is a columnist for The New York Times who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for her series of columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

She was born in Washington D.C. the youngest of five children in a Catholic family where her father worked as a police officer.

After graduating in 1973 with a B.A. in English Literature from Catholic University in Washington, DC she began working as a secretary at the Washington Star, and was later promoted to reporter. In 1981 when the newspaper went out of business she took a job at Time magazine. After two years there she left and began working at The New York Times initially as a metropolitan reporter.

In 1995 she took the place of Anna Quindlen who went to work at Newsweek, and both sometimes write on feminist issues. She is generally considered a liberal and an opponent of President George W. Bush, although she has also been critical of Bill Clinton. Her columns often display a marked irreverence (criticized as a lack of seriousness), for example referring to Donald Rumsfeld as "Rummy". An arch-nemesis to conservatives, her work has been described (http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200411081212.asp) as "hit(ting) your desk like a bucket of vomit with some Body Shop potpourri sprinkled across the surface". Nonetheless, she seems quite close to former NY Times opinion writer, and conservative icon, William Safire.

Dowd's critics, especially James Taranto, have often accused her of editing quotes and adding ellipses so as to change the quotes' intended meanings; the word dowdify has been coined to describe this habit. The word has become common parlance among journalists and bloggers, regardless of political persuasion, to describe any wilful misinterpretation of a quote. Conservative pundit Isaiah Z. Sterrett has compared her to Norma Desmond.

Dowd is the author of the 2004 book Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk.

Dowd has recently criticized the ascension of Benedict XVI to the papacy, citing his opposition to legalized abortion and his other conservative policies.


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