shoot the messenger

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
"I used to say that all we need is a plug socket and an audience, but having spent this year on allotments, with our show about their history, we're down to just the audience!" Don't Shoot the Messenger!' goes out on tour in late April and the company is keen to hear from any post office club, union or working men's club that is interested in having Mikron Theatre perform.
Second, VP Binay, one cardinal rule, don't shoot the messenger, Lacierda said.
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.
DS: I think it is a predictable "shoot the messenger" type of misreading.
"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.
The saying "shoot the messenger" has never been better suited to the situation our man found himself in when he was ejected from the Social Club on Friday.
"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.
"Blue Bloods" starring Tom Selleck (Francis "Frank" Reagan) and Donnie Wahlberg (Daniel "Danny" Reagan) aired "Shoot The Messenger" (Season 5, episode 7) on Friday, Nov.
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. This is what is happening to Coventry heart specialist Dr Raj Mattu and it will continue to happen until managers are held personally accountable for their conduct.
I think this is a case of shoot the messenger. If you don't like the message, then shoot the messenger."
"DON'T shoot the messenger," is my response to Tony Newton of Hale Village who takes issue with my configuration of Roman numerals (ECHO Short Points, Jan 12).