Columnists Give ‘Sitting Duck’ to Themselves (Sort Of)

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By: Dave Astor

Usually, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists gives its annual Sitting Duck Award to a notorious celebrity who’s an easy target. Sunday morning, the NSNC presented the “honor” to … the media in general, and columnists in particular.

Not all columnists, but the ones — including Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press and Diana Griego Erwin, formerly of The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee — who got into embarrassing trouble this year.

These columnists made it easier for other columnists to write something on a slow news day, noted Mike Argento. “We didn’t have to make something up, because they already did it for us,” quipped the NSNC vice president and York (Pa.) Daily Record columnist.

Other candidates for this year’s award included Michael Jackson and Saddam Hussein.

The Sitting Duck was announced at the NSNC’s business meeting. During that Sunday morning session, NSNCers also voted to have a partnership with the University of Dayton-based Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop for such purposes as promoting each other’s events. Each organization will retain its separate identity.

This was the 29th annual conference for the 445-member NSNC, which had its largest attendance ever this weekend. A total of 169 people were at the conference.

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