Category: President’s Message

The NSNC president’s newsletter column

From Rose Bowl to Rosebud

Walter Burns & Hildy Johnson are hot on a story.

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists Now that 2016 is here, and we have all recovered from New Year’s Eve, which means we are ready to repeat the conviviality in the hospitality suite at the NSNC conference in Los Angeles in June, I would like you to consider the year’s…

Another Visit From St. Nicholas

One of the first depictions of Santa Claus, by Thomas Nast, Jan. 3, 1863, cover of Harper's Weekly.

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists (With no apologies to Clement C. Moore, who is dead and can’t sue me.) • • • ‘Twas the time before conference for the NSNC, And members looked forward to the confab with glee. Yes, we would have it in sunny L.A., But what…

The Art of Giving Thanks

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists In this season of thanksgiving, so called because it’s the season in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, I would like to thank Art Buchwald for inspiring me to go into journalism and write a humor column, which has spared me the shame of getting a…

California Screamin’

Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists It’s October, the month that ends with Halloween, so I’ll begin this message with both a trick and a treat by saying that I have great news about the 2016 NSNC conference, which will be held June 23-26 in Los Angeles: We are not,…

Where There’s Will, There’s a Way

Will Rogers typing

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists There is a lot to like about Will Rogers, who was a lot more than the man who never met a man he didn’t like. Born in Indian Territory (now Oologah, Oklahoma) in 1879, Rogers — part Cherokee, part cowboy, all American — was…

L.A. Confidentially

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists I barged into Spielberg’s office at DreamWorks, blew past his secretary, who was sharpening a pencil, and plopped myself down in the plush chair in front of his desk. “You owe me a big one, Steven,” I blurted. “How so, Zez?” responded Spielberg, who…

Black and White and Great All Over

Logo for NSNC Conference Indy 2015

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists I had a beer with Miss Manners. Never did I think I would write that sentence. But now, with great pride and, finally, a clear head, I can say that I did, indeed, clink glasses with Judith Martin, the aforementioned empress of etiquette, even…

Hoosier Who’s Who

1948 comic book ad for Daisy air rifles

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists In A Christmas Story, the 1983 holiday film classic that was co-written and narrated by Indiana humorist Jean Shepherd, little Ralphie Parker wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. His efforts are initially thwarted by his mother, his teacher and…

The Greatest Generation of Columnists

Photo of Ernie Pyle courtesy Ernie Pyle Legacy Foundation

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists “You had the ability,” a U.S. Marine sergeant once told Pvt. Art Buchwald, “to screw up a two-car funeral. Anything you touched ceased to function.” No, Ernie Pyle wasn’t the only newspaper columnist to serve in World War II. Buchwald, whose drill instructor, Cpl.…

Mark Twain’s Hero

Artemus Ward, pen name of Charles Farrar Brown, 1834-67

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists Leave it to Mark Twain to have the best take on April Fools’ Day. In “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar,” he wrote, “This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are the other 364.” Before he became “the Lincoln of our literature,”…

March Forth for Froth

Exterior of The Alexander, Indianapolis hotel

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists Beware the Ides of March. We have all heard this old saying and have promptly ignored it, especially if we’ve heard it in, say, November, because it raises an important question: What the hell is an ide? It could be used to say, “Ide…

Short Takes

Pocket protector with pens

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists William Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Dorothy Parker did the Bard one better when she said, “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” Since it is February, the shortest month of the year, I am going with another old saying: “Thirty days…

Filling the Tipple Jar

Wall display of cuckoo clocks

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists My best New Year’s resolution was made many New Years ago, a year after my worst New Year’s resolution, which was to develop a taste for Scotch. Looking for a beverage that would mark me as smooth, suave and sophisticated in restaurants (which did…

The Season of Renewal

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists This month’s message is brought to you by the Jerry’s Kids College, Wedding and Adorable Granddaughter Fund, a nonprofit organization so disorganized that it doesn’t make a profit. I wouldn’t want to see other organizations that are close to my heart (and other vital…

‘Good Evening, Miss Manners, and All the Ships at Sea’

In September 2013, Judith Martin was joined by her children Nicholas Martin and Jacobina Martin, both of Chicago, as co-writers of the Miss Manners column.

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists Gentle Readers: I am writing from my manor in the manner of Miss Manners, using all manner of mannerly ways to say that Judith Martin (aka the aforementioned Miss Manners) has kindly and graciously accepted our invitation to attend the NSNC conference in Indianapolis…

Oh Cliché Can You See?

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists With apologies to Frank Sullivan, the late, little-known but wonderful humorist who created Mr. Arbuthnot, the cliché expert, I am happy to introduce Mr. Lingo, the NSNC’s new, unsalaried language guru. Q: Welcome, Mr. Lingo. You are an expert in the use of clichés that…

Role Models

Robert Benchley, circa 1935

President’s Message By Jerry Zezima President National Society of Newspaper Columnists I write an alleged humor column (I have to say “alleged” because I am not above suing even myself) for a simple reason: I am spectacularly unqualified to do anything else. I knew I wanted to be a writer in high school, not just…