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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a hatchet job

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

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Milking his cash cow until its udders shrivel, Hong Kong king of kitsch Wong Jing delivers a hatchet job with "From Vegas to Macau II" a casino caper that fails to re-create the dynamic action and zany fun of the original hit.
Gillen was responding to comments made by Haughey's daughter Eimear, who described RTE's three-part series as a hatchet job last month.
I don't think it's a hatchet job. Tommy thinks it is.
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.
And when Charlotte's mum Maria complained about "a hatchet job" was she talking about the documentary as a whole
Channel 4, though, blatantly tried to do a hatchet job on the 35-year-old - and failed miserably.
To them, "reform of the House of Lords" looks very much like the professional politicians doing a hatchet job on one of the last remaining independent checks on their power over us.
I admire La Follette enormously, so much that I wanted to provide not a hatchet job (as Rothschild implies) or an uncritical tribute but a biography worthy of its subject.
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.
BROADCHURCH itv 9pm After journalists Karen and Ollie collaborate on an article about Jack Marshall, the editors turn it into a hatchet job. Before long, the locals are circling round Jack's place with pitchforks.
Well, in the middle of his huge hissy fit, he claimed I had done "a hatchet job" on one of his company's other restaurants.
MILLIONS of Ryanair passengers will tune into a controversial TV documentary on the low-budget carrier tonight which the airline has already branded "rubbishfilled" and "a hatchet job".
Sean Brown shocked colleagues when he said on RTE that Bertie Ahern's successor would do a hatchet job on his party leader.