Maureen Dowd appears to have been reading–and lifting from–one of my favorite political bloggers, Billmon. Today’s column (subscription required alas):
It’s a hilarious spectacle of a whole party re-enacting the classic scene in Mel Brooks’s “Blazing Saddles,” in which the sheriff holds the gun to his own head to take himself hostage.
Compare this to Billmon (October 22nd):
The appropriate metaphor here is the scene from Blazing Saddles in which the new black sheriff, confronted by an angry mob of racially insensitive townfolk, grabs himself around the neck, points a pistol at his own head and yells: “Don’t make a move or the nigger gets it.” But, unlike the extras in Mel Brooks’s script, I don’t think the Maliki government is stupid enough to fall for it.
There’s a reason why they say the an original (Billmon) is always better than a copy. Yes, you might argue it was a total coincidence. But, while I loved Blazing Saddles and that scene in particular (in fact, I laughed uproariously when I read Billmon’s reference), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reference to this scene in any newspaper or blog. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. Could very well be. But this strikes me as too much of a coincidence. Shall we just say that Dowd’s lifting of cultural references is the sincerest form of flattery?