The influence of Maureen Dowd, formerly important New York Times opinion columnist, is dead, at the age of 13. The Pulitzer-winning columnist is still blamed, in some circles, for killing Al Gore's shot at the presidency with her relentless, belittling, emasculating, and most importantly media consensus-shaping columns. She used to be inescapable—on the Times home page, on Sunday morning politics shows, in every political blog on Earth—but now it's hard to gin up outrage about her scrubbing negative quotes from columns or mistaking black women for other black women. In 2004, those stories would've been all Atrios talked about for days. (Maybe they still are, does anyone read Atrios anymore either?) In 2000, they wouldn't have been outrages at all, because everything she said was immediate conventional wisdom. So what happened?