shoot the messenger

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Related to shoot the messenger: Don't shoot the messenger

don't shoot the messenger

Don't get angry at or punish someone who is simply delivering bad or undesirable news as they are not responsible for it. A: "What do you mean I'm being sued by my ex-wife? I'll knock your lights out!" B: "Hey man, I'm just doing my job. Don't shoot the messenger!"
See also: messenger, shoot

shoot the messenger

If someone shoots the messenger, they blame a person who has told them bad news or information instead of blaming the person who is responsible for the situation. In blaming the polling organisation for his party's failure, Sir Malcolm is shooting the messenger.
See also: messenger, shoot

shoot (or kill) the messenger

treat the bearer of bad news as if they were to blame for it.
Being the bearer of bad tidings has been a traditionally thankless task, as indicated in Sophocles' Antigone, ‘No man loves the messenger of ill’ and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, ‘The nature of bad news infects the teller’.
See also: messenger, shoot

shoot the ˈmessenger

blame the person who gives the news that something bad has happened, instead of the person who is really responsible: ‘You look awesome! But...’‘But what?’‘Well, don’t shoot the messenger here but those pants make you look a little... large.’
See also: messenger, shoot
References in periodicals archive ?
readers who are primarily employees often shoot the messenger when hearing such announcements.
Connell reminds those who are offended, "Don't shoot the messenger.
In a journalistic effort to shoot the messenger, a disparaging front-page story in the January 19, 1994, issue of The New York Times suggested that of all the people associated with the scandal, the independent counsel "himself may turn out to be the most widely scorned figure in the whole affair.
Many in Congress and the public seem inclined to shoot the messenger that brings complexity and perceived high taxes, rather than change the message.
Once again, he has decided to shoot the messenger, just like the demonstrations we saw outside the BBC in the final days of the referendum campaign.
I think that when people don't like the message they shoot the messenger," she said in reaction to Erekat's comments.
There are supposed to be rules in place protecting whistleblowers but they seem worthless as they are either being ignored or bypassed by managers intent on making up allegations to shoot the messenger.
Pardon the expression but they do shoot the messenger so I didn't know whether to tell his other half.
It was a classic case of shoot the messenger as Jenkins absurdly refused to answer any questions from Western Mail rugby writers towards the end of his reign.
A furore has erupted around the head of Sharon Foster, the young black woman who wrote Shoot the Messenger, a play for BBC2 which displayed the black community, warts and all.
We won't shoot the messenger but we can certainly send him back with a flea in his ear.
But it is typical of the No 10 spin machine to shoot the messenger when they do not like the message.
Don't shoot the messenger," was his message, a breath of fresh air compared to the normal response from the GAA top brass to any sort of criticism.