New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has had an illustrious career — and also attracted her fair share of criticism over the years. Sometimes the two have gone hand in hand. For instance, she wrote extensively on the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair in the late 1990s and won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for commentary “for her fresh and insightful columns on the impact of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.” It’s that very writing, however, that has drawn harsh criticism from some feminists. In 2014, then-Slate columnist Amanda Hess, wrote that “Dowd painted Monica Lewinsky as a crazy bimbo — and won a Pulitzer for it.” Hess went on to deconstruct how Dowd at first wrote about Lewinsky, who was just 21 years old at the time, in favorable terms when the story shocked America in January of 1998, but within a month had turned on Lewinsky and described her as “a ditsy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon” and “the girl who was too tubby to be in the high school ‘in’ crowd.” Hess accused Dowd of joining the Clinton cabal and piling on Lewinsky with a litany nasty insults in her columns over the ensuing year.
Dowd is now promoting her new book, The Year of Voting Dangerously, and told Business Insider in an interview that she has no regrets about her commentary on the Clinton-Lewinsky saga. She defended her work and dismissed Hess’s criticism. “Amanda Hess was wrong,” Dowd said. “I was the one who found out and pointed out that it was the White House that was bullying Monica Lewinsky, as Hillary Clinton later called her, a narcissistic looney-tune.”
Despite the criticism she’s faced at times, Dowd says she regrets writing only one column in all her years of commentary. “I think I wrote a negative column once about the Seinfeld writers making too much money, and I regret that.” In a 1997 column titled “Yada Yada Yuppies,” Dowd actually bemoaned “the breathtaking $600,000-a-week salaries that the show’s three subsidiary stars got (after demanding $1 million a week) to come back for two more seasons.” Apparently, she had a change of heart at some point over the last two decades. She told Business Insider, “Seinfeld has kept me company on many a lonely evening, and they deserve all the money they got.”
Read the full story at Business Insider.