It's a surprisingly effective mix of pretentious and pointless; a first-year journalism student trying to impress his professor, with overtones of "look at the cool people I've met". Not that I'm in any position to throw stones. I'm no more a professional writer than Bono is, and at least he can brag about being a millionaire superstar because of his writing (albeit of a completely different genre of writing). I guess we should just look at the bright side. If the Times is going to give away columns to every celebrity with delusions of depth and eloquence, Maureen Dowd is going to start to sound a lot more thoughtful and sophisticated by comparison.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.