fifth columnist

(redirected from columnist)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to columnist: fifth columnist, Advice columnist

fifth columnist

A member of a clandestine group of people who work subversively within a group, organization, or country in order to betray it to an allied outside force. In the US during the Cold War, there was constant fear and suspicion of people supposedly working as fifth columnists to spread the influence of communism from within.
See also: fifth
References in periodicals archive ?
Columnists exist to dig up the dirt in government and the abuse or excesses of politicians and other officials (including bureaucrats).
That's because what makes a columnist important is authority, the perception among readers that the person who penned this missive is someone whose opinions are worth listening to.
The newspaper maintains that Smith was then "reassigned" from a columnist to a general assignment reporter, a step the paper maintained was not a demotion.
Why do you think the two Times columnists can look at the same institution and come to such different conclusions?
Original essays on race and other issues by the high-profile, syndicated columnist for The Chicago Tribune.
When the professor writes a second column using the character, the editor asks who the person is, and the columnist explains.
sports columnist, on how the old American Football League used to inflate the attendance figures: "They used to count fingers instead of behinds.
Write your local paper to express your appreciation for the pro-life columnist it features: let the editors know that you look forward to reading this columnist's writing.
After all, as a columnist for New York Newsday in the 1990s, I was accused of gay "neocon"-ing and movement bashing myself, especially when I called for the closing of sex clubs that didn't strictly enforce safer sex.
Capitalism is falling apart," emotes the Los Angeles Times' left-wing columnist Robert Scheer, who references California's power problems as exhibit A.
Andy Rooney, syndicated columnist and "60 Minutes" commentator, Feb.
Training: While an English or journalism background is helpful, no specific training is required to be a columnist.
For instance, is a sporting event more important as a source because it allows the columnist to spin an idea from the field's play-action?
On January 1, The Washington Post fired its most liberal columnist, Colman McCarthy, who had written his quirky, loving, humanitarian commentaries for the Post for the past eighteen years.
Imagine a conversation between a feisty columnist who writes about press law issues, and a lawyer who specializes in press law.