Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Jan. 21 2011 4:13 PM

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!


The Washington Post’s fine political columnist Dana Milbank has pledged not to write or utter the name "Sarah Palin" for the month of February, an interesting and worthy experiment in which I suspect he will be joined by…no one. Milbank’s self-described "obsession" with Palin-42 columns thus far-"cheapens and demeans me," he writes, occupying brain space that might be taken up by loftier subjects. And yet, she is almost irresistible, he writes: "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."


He calls on peers like Maureen Dowd and Ross Douthat of the New York Times to join him, along with Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity, and even the Huffington Post. Good luck with that. (For what it’s worth, beneath Milbank’s column are links to three articles from the Post’ s Outlook section, all of them about Sarah Palin.)

This seems like a particularly difficult stunt for Milbank to pull off, if only because when he inevitably shows up on the Sunday talk shows, he will be asked about his self-imposed ban. (Perhaps he can thread the needle by talking about his stand without saying her name, which would safeguard the letter, if not the spirit, of what he’s doing.) I suspect there will be some interest in the idea of a media prohibition of the former veep candidate, if only because it affords an opportunity to discuss how fascinating we all her, despite ourselves, as well as to excoriate the press for paying too much attention to her-in the context of the press paying too much attention to her. Can a discussion about how we’re all sick of hearing Sarah Palin’s name get as many eyeballs as every other article/TV roundtable/blog post related to her? No doubt.

Libby Copeland is a writer in New York and a regular Slate contributor. She was previously a Washington Post reporter and editor for 11 years. She can be reached at



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.