Is “Maureen Dowd” Deemed a “Progressive” by Media Matters For America To Alienate Feminists?

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From this MMFA page:

I sure don’t read Maureen Dowd as “progressive” but that is how she is categorized in this study of political bias in syndicated Op-Ed columns. Do the Supposedly Liberal Doods (44 out of 59 staff/advisors are male) at Media Matters want to count her in this group because of her misogyny and raging anti-feminism? MMFA Senior Fellow Duncan Black sure enjoys writing about how “catty” women are (see also) so I can see why he would find Dowd a handy compatriot. He needs to read Rosa Brook’s awesome Op-Ed from July of 2005:

    Catty? No. Liberal? Yes.

Here is an excerpt:

As the right’s mythmakers continue their assault on the so-called “left-wing media” — the attack on public broadcasting being only the most recent example — many media outlets have caved in to the pressure and redoubled their efforts to avoid that liberal taint. Consider this: On CNN and MSNBC, presumably the most liberal cable news channels, conservative commentators outnumbered liberals 10 to 1 (CNN) and 13 to 2 (MSNBC) during the Jan. 20 coverage of President Bush’s inauguration.

And if adopting protective conservative coloring is the media’s goal, then women might as well toss their keyboards out the window. That’s because women aren’t necessarily nicer, or less interested in science, or more interested in recipes than men, but we are more liberal. Study after study has documented a persistent “gender gap” in American politics. If only women’s votes had been counted in the last two elections, Al Gore and John Kerry would have won hands down.

On issues from domestic policy to foreign policy, any cross-section of American women will prove significantly more liberal than a similar cross-section of American men. As a result, short of looking under every rock for another Ann Coulter, it could be hard for the male-dominated media to showcase more women columnists without — eek! — showcasing more liberals.

So if you’re wondering why women columnists are thin on the ground, save a little condemnation for the media’s craven fear of looking too liberal. …

As Brooks notes, gender matters, but was pretty much ignored by the MMFA study, as was race. Instead, to make the gender imbalance less severe and stick it to progressive feminists, we get accorded Dowd. I know to some feminism seems like an impediment to that Great Supposedly Liberal Dood Ascension To Power that women voters are supposed to engineer for them, but in actuality this is a fairly overt signal about how unaligned the interests of “progressive” men and progressive women can be. More women = more liberals, it isn’t brain surgery, but apparently the Supposedly Liberal Doods find the idea pretty terrifying.

–Ann Bartow

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