Tuesday, March 01, 2011

NYT Op-Ed Contributor Richard Dooling Likens Rachel Maddow to Rush Limbaugh

There was one Richard Dooling, with an op-ed this morning in the NYT trying to be funny about civility. In the satiric piece, Dooling has this:
Later, reporters were allowed inside the institute to tour the facilities, which include padded quiet rooms and soundproof time-out cubicles where the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow were sequestered between shock treatments and remedial civility lessons.
Get it? There are crazy wild extremists on both sides! There's Rush Limbaugh on the right, and Rachel Maddow on the left, and they're both extreme and uncivil!

Of course, some commentators do this stuff all the time -- the "Rachel Maddow is the left's extremist!" thing. But usually the NYT op-ed page is better about not letting this kind of trope through.

There's a name for this kind of writing, and it's Lazy.

(Quick note: I'm no advocate of "civility" -- I'm just an advocate of fair comparisons. I don't dislike O'Reilly or Limbaugh because they are uncivil; I dislike them because of what they are for.)

Today several commenters on Dooling's blog wrote of how the comparison was nonsense. As n lamb wrote,
The editorial was silly enough to begin with, but to class Rachel Maddow, or even Olbermann for that matter, with the likes of Limbaugh and O’Reilley, ruined whatever satire you had attempted. The art of satire means you have to look for real equivalencies to make it funny...
I baited Dooling into responding on the matter. His defense was only to claim that she is "snarky."


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