a hatchet job

hatchet job

A very critical attack on someone or something, especially through media outlets. The movie critic did a real hatchet job on the new film in last week's paper.
See also: hatchet, job

a hatchet job

INFORMAL
A hatchet job is strong, unfair, often public criticism which harms someone's reputation. Note: A hatchet is a small axe. The reporter set out to do a hatchet job on him and succeeded. The rest of the article is basically a hatchet job on the minister. Note: This expression may relate to violent gang warfare in the United States during the early part of the 20th century. See explanation at `a hatchet man'.
See also: hatchet, job

a ˈhatchet job (on somebody/something)

(informal) strong criticism that is unfair or intended to harm somebody/something: The press did a very effective hatchet job on her last movie.In the past in the US, a hatchet man was a person who was paid to kill somebody, often using a hatchet (= a small axe). A hatchet job was originally therefore a murder.
See also: hatchet, job
References in periodicals archive ?
Gillen was responding to comments made by Haughey's daughter Eimear, who described RTE's three-part series as a hatchet job last month.
JEB BRADLEY: He'd probably prefer a hatchet job than the snub he received at the hands of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Metal Trades Council, which endorsed his increasingly pesky opponent, Carol Shea-Porter.
The Story of Martha Stewart'' isn't a hatchet job - more one done with a Wusthof-Trident filleting knife.
Channel 4, though, blatantly tried to do a hatchet job on the 35-year-old - and failed miserably.
In last month's issue, the publication reprinted a hatchet job on the Girl Scouts that originally appeared in the National Review.
In each case, the videotape will be stored in a safe-deposit box or vault for use in court should the dentist do a hatchet job on the lower molars, the mechanic lie about replacing the clutch, the dry cleaner spill beer all over the mink stole, the tofu saag with chulcha paratha on the side cause hepatitis, or the hotel in Antigua turn out to be rat-infested.
David Garfinkle, executive producer, disavows the nonsense the show traded in, saying: ``It could have been a hatchet job.
IT'S great news that Lord Simpson has been kicked out of Marconi and can no longer do a hatchet job on the company.
Deposed Ireland team boss, Murray Kidd, who was involved at the initial stages of the tour's planning, refused to do a hatchet job on his successor, Ashton.
John McCain, Ted Koppell tried his best to do a hatchet job on McCain.