Dowd, gender, and a horrible Guardian article

With the recent news that Maureen Dowd of the New York Times plagiarized Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo there have understandably been a slew of article about the topic. Unfortunately, a columnist at the usually stellar Guardian writes this:

Dowd, with her valley-girl accent, was always going to stand out from that pool, and the fact that she is one of the few women swimming in it is her least attention-grabbing quality. [emphasis added]

What may I ask is the point of that emphasized portion? Does Dowd’s gender and status as one of the few truly high profile national columnists really have anything to do with the fact that she 1) apparently plagiarized a well-known blogger and 2) made a pretty flimsy excuse as to how it happened?

No, it doesn’t and because of the irrelevancy of Dowd’s gender a serious columnists at a major media outlet should not try and draw a connection where none exists. This seems to be a shameless way to attempt to stoke even more controversy into an already controversial subject.

The reality is that this issue has not risen to controversial popularity because of some twisted national gender bias. Dowd is not under the microscope because she is a woman. Instead, this is an issue because it shows that some national columnists (irrespective of gender) believe that they can get away with anything, including treating bloggers and those outside the halls of midtown Manhattan like crap.

Shame on you Guardian for bringing gender controversy into a issue that is devoid of gender! Sorry, end rant.