Magazine article Editor & Publisher

At the NSNC Meeting

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

At the NSNC Meeting

Article excerpt

Columnist: American politics has deteriorated

So says Jack Germond, who plans to move to the Web

If this is Washington, the topic must be politics. And so it was, as the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) kicked off its annual convention with a day full of political insights and quips from pundits and pollsters.

Columnists gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here, across the Potomac River from the nation's capital. They heard from longtime Baltimore Sun/Tribune Media Services (TMS) political writer Jack Germond, pollsters Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi and Frank Luntz, and Creators Syndicate columnist/TV host Tony Snow.

Germond, 72, told the group that he had tired of the political scene and would quit his five-times-a-week column. But he will not be idle. Beginning in July, Germond will write a biweekly column for Voter.com, a Web site that aims to present comprehensive political information to a general audience.

Germond said the column he has co- authored with Jules Witcover since 1977 would continue until around the end of the year, and in the meantime he would also produce the Voter.com pieces. Witcover, interviewed later, said he would continue writing the column.

Germond said he will continue to write for The Sun, the newspaper that has long been his professional home. News of his plans apparently came as a surprise to TMS, which syndicates the column. "Jack's statement to us is that he will re-evaluate after the presidential campaign," said Marketing Manager Jan Guszynski.

In his appearance at the 24th annual NSNC gathering, Germond talked briefly about the circumstances surrounding his recent book, "Fat Man in the Middle Seat: Forty Years of Covering Politics," a work abounding in ancedotes from the campaign trail.

"My agent wants me to say I wrote it because I want to contribute to public debate," Germond said. …

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