Or, as I like to call it, “Blogger Totally Out Of Content Month.”
As with any addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
I have written about her in 42 columns since Sen. John McCain picked her as his presidential running mate in 2008. I’ve mentioned her in dozens more blog posts, Web chats, and TV and radio appearances. I feel powerless to control my obsession, even though it cheapens and demeans me.
But today is the first day of the rest of my life. And so, I hereby pledge that, beginning on Feb 1, 2011, I will not mention Sarah Palin – in print, online or on television – for one month. Furthermore, I call on others in the news media to join me in this pledge of a Palin-free February. With enough support, I believe we may even be able to extend the moratorium beyond one month, but we are up against a powerful compulsion, and we must take this struggle day by day…
It’s impossible, I figured, because Palin is a huge source of cheap Web clicks, television ratings and media buzz. If any of us refused to partake of her Facebook candy or declined to use her as blog bait, we would be sending millions of Web surfers, readers, viewers and listeners to our less scrupulous competitors…
We need help.
Milbank actually did a Lexis/Nexis count of how many times various celebrity pundits have mentioned Palin since ’08 — and incredibly, Keith Olbermann and Kathleen Parker are not the leaders in their respective media. Which is not to say that I’m being judgmental; on the contrary, we’re in, er, no position. A quick crunch of our own internal numbers reveals an average of slightly more than two mentions of Palin per day … every day since she joined the ticket. Blogging without her as a subject would be like writing a novel without using the letter “e”: It’s technically possible, but who the hell would want to try?
Good work by Milbank, though, to hatch this idea during a month when there was plenty of gravely important news to write about that was totally unconnected to Palin — until the left and its media enablers gratuitously inserted her into it. Instead of swearing off all Sarah stories for a month, how about simply swearing off stories that really aren’t about Palin at all? That ought to cut the mentions of her by 50 percent, at least.
Via Ben Smith, here’s a sneak preview of tonight’s Parker/Spitzer, in which the panel wonders if the media is spending too much time talking about Sarah Palin by talking about Sarah Palin.