Separated at birth

You have to be kidding me! Only a few weeks after Maureen Dowd discovers that men don’t like bitter, controlling women, Michelle Malkin discovers that some teenagers think it’s cool to harm themselves. Were both these women locked in time warps for the last TWENTY years? Seriously, I’ve been in regular attendance at CGDC and I’ve been a syndicated columnist, and there’s absolutely no doubt that the op/ed writers, regardless of ideology, are far more clueless and socio-culturally out-of-it than the computer game developers.

Which brings up an interesting idea. Upon reflection, one realizes that Michelle Malkin is the conservative media’s Maureen Dowd. Both women leap from today’s hot item to tomorrow’s without pause, both are considered more attractive than they are, both are drama queens, and both often indulge in a breathless, Fox News Break writing style. True, Dowd is snarkier and less substantive, but then, she’s a left-liberal Democrat, so allowances must be made. So, if Malkin = Dowd, what other trans-ideological pairs fit together nicely?

I think Paul Krugman and Thomas Sowell are a good match, as both are economists, both are engaging writers whose text flows freely, and both are untroubled when their assertions prove unfounded. I’m far more sympathetic to Sowell, of course, and he’s far less hysterical than the Bearded Dwarf of Princeton, but the similarities are there beyond their chosen profession.

Molly Ivins and Doug Giles both abuse the language more than anyone on their respective sides, Ivins with her dreadful Texas cornponisms and Giles with his inability to resist a metaphor, no matter how cringe-inducing. I had to quit reading his most recent column because his “Taco Bell Grande-size rewards” stopped me in my tracks in the very first sentence. Giles writes like a dominatrix with a short-term memory lapse; he lays on the strokes without mercy until the reader suddenly realizes with horror that the whip-wielding maniac has forgotten the safe word again.

Ann Coulter and Eric Alterman are both successful without operating entirely within their respective media infrastructures. Alterman, for all that his premises are fatally flawed, at least attempts to build his case in a reasonable manner. Both are Hedgehogs in Berlin’s famous formulatio and both are focused on media influence, but the tragedy of Alterman is that his One Big Idea – the media being conservative – is completely wrong.

It took me a while to figure out with whom Jonah Goldberg matched up, until I realized that Frank Rich is a clown prince too, just an inadvertant one. Both men have no trouble whatsoever leaping in and opining on subjects of which they know nothing; the difference is that Goldberg knows this and sticks to a light-hearted approach that is entertaining even when there is no real substance there. Frank Rich, on the other hand, amuses by his very failure to realize his own cluelessness.

Ben Shapiro = Bob Herbert. Neither ever writes anything that one can remember five minutes later, yet both men’s work inexplicably appears all over the place. And Thomas Friedman, of course, is the Left’s George Will. The vast depth of experience and seemingly-effortless erudition revealed in their columns always promise to be informative so long as one’s eyes don’t glaze over before the 750-word mark.

Anyone else have any suggestions worthy of note?