Sunday, September 21, 2008


Maureen Dowd's latest column is an imagined dialogue between Barack Obama and Jed Bartlet, the fictional president on The West Wing. Dowd says it was written for her by Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing's creator, though the unbridled disgust directed at Obama -- specifically, the feeling that Obama is more contemptible for not being 8000 points ahead of McCain in the polls than McCain is for being a sleazebag and liar and Palin is for being an ill-informed creationist and mountebank -- makes the column seem like at least partly her work.

Well, it's a free country, and Dowd and Sorkin have a right to their own opinions --but not their own facts. Consider this exchange:

BARTLET ... you're losing a ton of white women.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET I mean tons.

OBAMA I understand.

BARTLET I didn't even think there
were that many white women.

OBAMA I see the numbers, sir....

What's wrong with this? Just the fact that Dowd and her editor apparently don't even read their own damn newspaper:

So far, white women are evenly divided between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, and Ms. Palin has had no effect in expanding the Republican ticket's appeal among women and independents.

If Obama is merely breaking even among white women, he's doing a hell of a lot better than John Kerry, who, according to CNN's 2004 exit poll, lost white women by 11 points.

That poll appeared on Wednesday. Dowd didn't have time to tweak the column so it bore at least a glancing resemblance to the truth? Or did she and her editor simply not want to bother, because "women love Palin and hate Obama" is a story they like, even though it's not true?

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