The Dowd-Miller catfight is not to be

Maureen Dowd and Judy Miller quietly agree to disagree.

By Farhad Manjoo

Published December 2, 2005 5:06PM (EST)

Maureen Dowd. Judith Miller. Catfight. Talk about the perfect Broadsheet item, rolling together all of this section's (and this Salon staffer's) obsessions into a single, neatly packaged interview!

For this gift we've got to thank the Texas Monthly, one of the dozens of outlets Dowd has recently peppered with canned bon mots as part of her book tour. On its Web site, the Monthly has posted a transcript of the interview its editor Evan Smith conducted with Dowd -- a fairly run-of-the-mill interview (Cheney jokes, men jokes, etc; you heard it on "Fresh Air," or "Jon Stewart," or "Charlie Rose" ...) but for some juicy nuggets about the one Timeswoman even more notorious than Dowd:

Smith: Anything about Judith Miller or about her reporting or that incident that you hadn't already written? Because you have been quite open about your feelings about that.

Dowd: Judith who?

Dowd goes on to explain that after she penned an anti-Miller column in October -- "Woman of Mass Destruction," in which, among other things, Dowd backhandedly complimented Miller for being an "operatic type" -- the disgraced Times reporter e-mailed back with a defense (similar, one presumes, to the defense Miller posted on her own site). The two then e-mailed each other back-and-forth, but no burgeoning friendship ensued.

"Don't start a catfight, Evan," Dowd cautions Smith when he asks about the correspondence. "As Seinfeld said, men love catfights because they always think that somebody's going to end up kissing at the end. But that's not going to happen."

This is too bad for the bottom line of the New York Times -- such a scene, properly and tastefully captured on digital video, might have prompted millions to pony up the $50 for access to TimeSelect.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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