Ancient history, I know. But the Daily Howler offers an extended take on a new book by New Yorker film critic David Denby, “Snark.” It has some tough things to say about snarky commentators, notably the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, and how their cartoonish and dishonest portrayals of Al Gore cost him the presidency. (Yes, he won the election.) Since I agree with Denby, he is, of course, brilliant. The Howler quotes Denby on a Diane Rehm appearance about the book:
And I will now—I’m going to use a word that I don’t think I’ve ever used about any other writer: I think she’s completely irresponsible… I mean, what she did to Al Gore in 2000, I think, was really awful. I mean, it was a guy who had a lot of interesting and serious ideas, who presented himself to the public stiffly, like a high school principal, you know, and she would not let up on him. And it really created a kind of atmosphere of open warfare against his personal style rather than what he was politically. In other words, I don’t—I’ve been reading her for twenty years and I don’t see a single political idea there…It’s all about personality, style, affect, and she sexualizes everything and genderizes everything. You know, Barack Obama was effeminate, she said, and Hillary Clinton was masculine—all this nonsense.