Dubious honors were heaped upon the collective heads of The City Desk this week with the announcement of nominees for the seventeenth-annual SirSirSir Awards, hosted by the Journalists’ Smoking Club.
The “Sirries” are a lampoon award granted annually since 1991 by the JSC – an unofficial subset of The Typesetters Club, the city’s professional organization for members of the press- and developed “to honor those members of the fourth estate who boldly hold forth the principles of cowardice, ineptitude, laziness, meekness, collusion, self-righteous crusading, shoddy reporting, functioning livers,pink lungs and all other things anathemic to the field of journalism.” The ceremony will be held this Sunday at the Typesetters’ two-story clubhouse on Landon Avenue (between the Kwik-Park and 24-Hr-Park garages).
The City Desk finds itself nominated for three awards in the “Blogs” category established last year by long-serving Journalists’ Smoking Club President Orville “Otter” Oliver, columnist for The Evening Press. These include the “Bloag” award – short for “bloated blogs” – for “blogs laboring under an inflated sense of importance,” another award for sloppy fact-checking (certain of Ron Paul’s internet supporters would no doubt vote for the site) and the “Any Monkey Can Access The Internet” award for one of our frequent contributors (whose name we’ll leave unwritten, as reports have it that he is taking the nomination pretty hard).
The SirSirSir Awards are named after the infamous on-air performance of local reporter Tom Harley at a 1987 mayoral press conference, when the ten-year veteran of the Journal-Clarion vainly attempted to gain recognition from then-mayor Walter Jackson by repeating “Sir. Sir. Sir” in a staccato monotone for well over twenty-five minutes, and several tens of thousands of iterations, while never being acknowledged by Jackson.
Still, heads are held high at The City Desk this week. The consensus among the contributors is that morning show weatherperson and professional party planning consultant Patricia Casey’s mid-2007 series of entries on the Channel 18 morning program – wherein she argued the unusual premise that adopted children inevitably became overt and violent racists later in life – is bound to sweep the awards.
It pays to remember that the SirSirSir Awards are intended as gentle ribbing from a society of hard-nosed professionals, and that President Orville Oliver himself holds a record 47 “Sirries.” Oliver has also twice been decked by offended past winners and nominees.
- Jon Morris