July 3, 2009

Columnists name Palin ‘Sitting Duck’

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been selected as winner of the 2009 Sitting Duck Award, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists announced Friday.

The award is given annually to the person who provides the best material for columnists facing deadlines. Palin, who became a national political figure overnight last year when Sen. John McCain selected her as his running mate, beat out former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Being a prominent jerk or cretin is often a thankless job, said the society's current president, Samantha Bennett of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is our way of saying thanks for the low-hanging fruit.

Last year's winner was former President Bill Clinton, while the most recent woman to receive the honor was right-wing pundit Ann Coulter in 2006. The award has even gone to a family pet, Millie, the White House dog during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and to an advertising logo, Joe Camel.

Other notable winners include Kato Kaelin, who became the world's best-known house guest during the O.J. Simpson trial, Joe Klein, the reporter and columnist who fessed up to being the Anonymous author of Primary Colors, a novel about a Clinton-like presidential candidate, and, in 2005, columnists everywhere for their ethical lapses.