Chronicle of a Palin-free month

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

In late January, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank took to these pages to make a confession, offer a promise and issue a call to arms. He was unduly obsessed with Sarah Palin, he admitted, and to break his fixation he would not mention the former Alaska governor - in print, on television or online - for the entire month of February. He also called on his fellow political columnists to follow his lead. "We are up against a powerful compulsion," he wrote, "and we must take this struggle day by day."

The "Milbank moratorium," as some have called it, inspired much serious discussion among media types, who pondered whether to join Milbank, questioned the righteousness of his cause and fought over which of them had first written about how they all wrote about Palin way too much. It also became a bit of an Internet meme, worked its way into a Jay Leno monologue and even inspired performance art by Gina Gershon.

But amid all this, we must ask: What about Dana? How did he endure the pain, self-denial and reduced Web traffic that come with not writing about Palin? We'll found out soon enough. On Tuesday, March 1, when the Palin embargo is officially lifted, Milbank will chronicle his Palin-free February and let us know whether he attained enlightenment, irrelevance or both. Did he miss Sarah? Will he write about her again? Go to - as well as next Sunday's newspaper - to find out.

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