No Sarah Palin news for a whole month.? Ahhhh. Sounds sort of heavenly, doesn't it?
No videos from her Alaskan home television studio. No reports of her playing the victim. No stories of the obscene sums of money her PAC has raised. No mentions of her reality show reruns. Sort of like a tropical vacation where the cable TV news doesn't work and you don't care that it doesn't!
Could it be that February 2011 will be the month of radio silence for "She Who Must Not Be Named?" That's what Washington Post pundit Dana Milbank says we should all do to remedy our collective mama grizzly fatigue.
Admittedly February is the shortest month of the year, but initially the idea of a Palin-free February sounded almost as good to me as the idea of Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow on February 2nd! But on further reflection, in light of the fact that it was Milbank and not another journo who issued this call for a Palin vacation, two things struck me -- (1) why limit the boycott of possibly irrelevant politicians to Palin, and (2) is this another sexist move on the part of Milbank, whose track record on that sort of thing isn't so fine?
Milbank was notorious for his running sexist commentary of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign. And it didn't stop then. Even after Hillary had been named Secretary of State, Milbank and his partner in not-so-funny-comedy Chris Cillizza pondered what kind of beer Hillary would have served at the Beer Summit, concluding that her brew obviously would have been " Mad Bitch Beer."
So the call for a Palin moratorium made me wonder -- if we're going to call for a respite from "news" coverage about politicians who are all about their own aggrandizement rather than the public good, why call for a boycott only on Palin? Seems sort of sexist to me. Milbank says that writing about Palin time and time again makes him feel "cheap and demeaned." But doesn't the coverage of certain male politicians make us feel the same way? John McCain? John Edwards? The politician formerly known as George W. Bush? I definitely feel like a shower is in order after certain news accounts of some of those guys.
So on February 1, when Milbank starts his alleged Palin black-out, maybe we should consider our own month of ignoring those who invoke sexism as news coverage to boost their readership and ratings. I know a "Boycott Dana Milbank Month" isn't nearly as sexy as a call for ignoring Palin, but we've got to start somewhere. And if Palin makes news over the next 28 days, I'm going to write about it -- whether Milbank likes it or not.
Joanne Bamberger is the founder of the political blog PunditMom and is a regular contributor to Politics Daily. Her book Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America will be published this spring (Bright Sky Press).
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