Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Column Survey: Peers Prefer the Prose of Maureen Dowd Other Writers Finishing High in E&P Poll Include Dave Barry, Molly Ivins, and Leonard Pitts

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Column Survey: Peers Prefer the Prose of Maureen Dowd Other Writers Finishing High in E&P Poll Include Dave Barry, Molly Ivins, and Leonard Pitts

Article excerpt

* Pulitzer Prize winner Maureen Dowd has received another 1999 honor: She's the favorite columnist among columnists polled by E&P.

Dowd, who won the Pulitzer in April, was closely followed by Dave Barry in popularity.

A total of 50 columnists were asked, via e-mail, to name their three favorite columnists in rank order. Twenty-two responded. First picks were assigned 5 points; second picks, 3 points; and third picks, 1 point.

The top finishers are:

1. Maureen Dowd, The New York Times and New York Times News Service (NYTNS), 16 points. She was named by six survey respondents.

2. Dave Barry, The Miami Herald and Tribune Media Services (TMS), 14 points.

3. (Tie) Molly Ivins, Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram and Creators Syndicate, 11 points.

3. (Tie) Leonard Pitts, The Miami Herald and TMS, 11 points.

5. Jimmy Breslin, Long Island, N.Y., Newsday, 10 points.

6. (Tie) Thomas Friedman, The New York Times and NYTNS, 8 points.

6. (Tie) William Safire, The New York Times and NYTNS, 8 points.

One of the voters, Portland Oregonian columnist Jonathan Nicholas, says of the winner: "Sure, now it's fashionable. But I've loved Maureen Dowd from the start. Forget reporting. That stuff is for the professionals in the newsroom. Dowd's output is exactly what a column should be: all attitude. With a dash of venom and a side of salt. She writes to you the way your best friend talks to you if you're lucky enough to have a best friend who is smart, nosy, and always gets her calls returned the same day."

Dowd could not be reached for comment about her survey victory.

Why did humorist Barry also do well? "I think you just develop a special relationship with a writer who leaves you rolling on the ground with laughter-related muscle spasms," says TMS travel columnist Doug Lansky. …

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