This week has seen an extraordinary backlash to Sarah Palin. I’m not talking about her sinking poll numbers—I’m talking about the number of journalists who’ve declared that they’re sick of covering her, some even pledging to no longer mention her name. Palin’s every tweet and video are not news, the beef goes; she’s no longer a public official, and treating her like one just encourages her to spout off more. "Go write about something else instead," New York Times columnist Ross Douthat advised other journos on Sunday. In today’s Washington Post, Dana Milbank called on others in the news media to repeat after him: "I hereby pledge that, beginning on Feb 1, 2011, I will not mention Sarah Palin—in print, online or on television—for one month."
The movement to de-Palinize the news has, not surprisingly, created its own backlash. When Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski complained earlier this week, "At what point do we just ignore [Palin]?" staunch supporter of the former half-term Alaskan governor Stephen Colbert told her to buck up:
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Too late, Stephen—the urge to ignore Palin has spread far beyond journalists who publicly sip Starbucks coffee. Excessive Palin posting is an industry-wide addiction that needs its own 12-step program, writes Milbank, who admits to penning forty-two columns on Palin since 2008 (O’Reilly, he figures, has mentioned her on 664 shows; Olbermann, on 345, and so on.)