Earlier this month, former Senator Chris Dodd became the new CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, making him, in essence, Hollywood's chief lobbyist. This was notable, since Dodd—a onetime favorite of populists—had repeatedly promised not to become a lobbyist when he left the Senate. Glenn Greenwald reflected on the depressing statement that Dodd's hypocrisy made about the entire American political system:

How can ordinary Americans possibly compete with corporations that can purchase the Chris Dodds of the world from both parties, who then dutifully use their decades of influence to foster the legislative and executive outcomes their owners want? Obviously, they can't and don't, which is another way of saying that democracy exists in name only; to say that "only the very wealthy businesses can afford senators and congressmen" is another way of describing oligarchy.

Yesterday, in the biggest daily edition of the most influential newspaper in America, highly-paid and closely watched New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd decided to weigh in on Chris Dodd. Would she use Dodd's hypocrisy as an opportunity to excoriate him? Would she, like Greenwald, point out the larger, revolting meaning of the revolving door between Congress and K Street? Or would she take an opposite tack, perhaps by teasing out an unseen thread in this web of connections in the corporate-political-cultural-entertainment-propaganda complex?

No. Instead, she just plopped out some quotes from her Chris Dodd interview about how much he loves Hollywood. We learn the following things from Maureen Dowd's column:

  • Chris Dodd has "gleaming white hair and laughs with gleaming white teeth."
  • Chris Dodd is "not into the glitz."
  • Chris Dodd is but a humble family man—"His life now revolves around his wife, Jackie, and his two lovely young daughters, Grace and Christina."
  • Even though he's Hollywood's top guy, he won't give his daughters and early copy of the next Harry Potter movie!
  • Chris Dodd has known lots of celebrities, for decades.
  • "Like his vibrant predecessor Jack Valenti, Dodd thinks movies can have 'a profound influence.'"
  • Chris Dodd liked Raging Bull. Chris Dodd liked Bulworth. Chris Dodd like The King's Speech and The Social Network.
  • Chris Dodd thinks Hollywood is "fine."

And that's why Maureen Dowd is not a good columnist: because she doesn't have a single fucking useful thing to say. The New York Times should go ahead and fire this lady. She can always find a job at the MPAA.


The New York Times' Columnist Problem

[Photo: Getty]