The PJ Tatler

A Zen story for Dana Milbank

The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation before Zen entered Japan.

Four of them who were intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence.

On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun auspiciously, but when night came and the oil lamps were growing dim one of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant: “Fix those lamps.”

The second pupil was surprised to hear the first one talk. “We are not supposed to say a word,” he remarked.

“You two are stupid. Why did you talk?” asked the third.

“I am the only one who has not talked,” concluded the fourth pupil.

Dana: pay attention.


The thick plottens.  The Milbank piece now has this update:

Update, 12:35, Feb. 2: The sentence as written above was posted by an editor, not Dana. So Dana’s moratorium remains intact.

So now we know two things: someone wasn’t paying attention, and Dana Milbank posts, even written in the first person, aren’t necessarily by Dana Milbank.

I wonder if the WaPo ombudsman, er, –person knows about this?

An Answer

Well, actually, there is no WaPo Ombuds- entity: the last one left and a new one hasn’t been named.  I’ve asked the national Desk for comment.