The Washington Post

NYT’s Dowd pounds football-politics nexus

(Cliff Owen/AP)

Maureen Dowd in Sunday’s New York Times drove home a rule that big-time columnists everywhere should heed. When you have no material, no news to bounce off of, and no time/inclination to do some reporting, it’s best just to take the week off.

Instead of writing something that contains these paragraphs, for example:

While Obama has developed an unnerving and enervating pattern of going into a prewin slump — as in New Hampshire and Texas in the 2008 primaries or the first debate with Mitt Romney — [Robert Griffin III] never allows his batteries to run down while he’s playing. His parents were Army sergeants — he was born in Okinawa, Japan, and his father served in Iraq — who imbued their son with the ethos of hard work and discipline. The only time Griffin drooped was when he got a concussion in the game against Atlanta.

While Obama prefers to preen as the man alone in the arena — keeping other pols at a distance on stage, parsimoniously handing out thanks and failing to mention his party or top surrogate Bill Clinton in his last victory speech — RGIII never passes up a chance to share credit.

Call it a blowout for tired and invalid analogies over sound columnizing. That said, Dowd may have done Washington a service here. By placing her what-Obama-can-learn-from-RGIII column in such a prominent spot — the Sunday NYT, that is — perhaps she ensures that we’ll never see the likes of this logic again.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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