The what? The Shammies! They are a new type of award, along the lines of the Oscars, the Tonys, etc. etc. which John Pilger - veteran commentator, author, journalist and film maker - explains in a piece in "Welcome to the Shammies, the Media Awards that Recognise Truly Unsung Talent" on Information Clearing House.
"There are awards for everyone. There are the Logies, the Commies, the Tonys, the Theas, the Millies (“They cried with pride”) and now the Shammies.
The Shammies celebrate the finest sham media. “Competition for the 2013 Gold Shammy,” said the panel of judges, “has been cutthroat.” The Shammies are not for the tabloid lower orders. Rupert Murdoch has been honoured enough. Shammies distinguish respectable journalism that guards the limits of what the best and brightest like to call the “national conversation”.
But one example Pilger cites:
"The Shammy judges were especially impressed by a spirited campaign to rehabilitate Tony Blair. The winner will receive the coveted Jeremy Paxman Hoodwink Prize, in honour of the famous BBC broadcaster who says he was “hoodwinked” over Iraq – regardless of the multiple opportunities he had to challenge Blair and expose the truth and carnage of the illegal invasion.
Short-listed for Hoodwink is Michael White, the Guardian’s political editor, whose lament for Blair’s “wasted talent” is distinguished by his defence of Blair as the victim of a “very unholy alliance between a familiar chorus of America-bashers and Blair bait[ers]”. (I am included).
On 19 December, another contender, White’s colleague, Jane Martinson, was granted a “rare” interview with Cherie Blair in her “stately private office” with its “gorgeous views over Hyde Park” and “imposing mahogany furniture”. In such splendour does Mrs. Blair (she prefers her married name for its “profile”) run her “foundation for women” in Africa, India and the Middle East. Her political collusion in her husband’s career and support for adventures that destroyed the lives of countless women was not mentioned. A PR triumph and odds-on for a Shammy."