Maureen Dowd has been an embarrassment for a long time. Today, though, she raised her personal bar even further. Here’s a quote in today’s column from an interview she conducted with Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. McCray is talking about one of de Blasio’s rivals, Christine Quinn:
She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave.
Since Quinn is openly gay, this seemed like an obviously insensitive slam, an interpretation that Dowd encouraged by spending the next several paragraphs talking about McCray’s and Quinn’s sexual orientation. But here’s what McCray actually said after being specifically asked why Quinn wasn’t catching on among women:
Well, I am a woman, and she is not speaking to the issues I care about, and I think a lot of women feel the same way. I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, workplace; she is not speaking to any of those issues. What can I say? And she’s not accessible, she’s not the kind of person that, I feel, that you can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things. And I suspect that other women feel the same thing I’m feeling.
Dowd seems to think she’s the cleverest writer on the planet, but this doesn’t give her a license to twist quotes and elide context to serve her own purposes. Enough is enough. This isn’t the first time Dowd has done this, and the Times needs to put a stop to it.