don't shoot the messenger(redirected from do not shoot the messenger)
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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!"
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.
shoot (or kill) the messengertreat 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’.