character assassination

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character assassination

A deliberate attempt to destroy the reputation of a public figure by releasing, revealing, or creating defamatory or damaging information about them. The so-called expose on the senator is character assassination, pure and simple. Releasing those decades-old photos this late in the campaign amounts to character assassination—and it will probably work.
See also: character
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

character assassination

Fig. seriously harming someone's reputation. The review was more than a negative appraisal of his performance. It was total character assassination.
See also: character
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
This tirade bears all the hallmarks of the O'Reilly Factor host's current act: demonized opponents, over-the-top rhetoric, and an intensely personal preoccupation with alleged character assassins.
That's clearly not a universal point of view, however, because David Beckham received at best grudging praise when he stood down as England captain following England's World Cup elimination - and many of Fleet Street's character assassins pounced upon the tone of the resignation statement as confirmation that he was never cut out to follow in the footsteps of Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Tony Adams et al.
JONATHAN ROSS (born November 17, 1960) may have to use the sting in his Scorpio tail when he finds himself cornered by professional character assassins...
I and many others from all walks of life will miss Ron Davies, and the character assassins in the tabloid media will have to look elsewhere for someone to hound and des t roy.
Smith draws on the perceptions of some of England's most eloquent literary gossips and character assassins, among them Frances Cornford, who fancied she saw a saintly light in Mirsky's 'ugly black-bearded face' after his conversion to Communism; Roger Fry, to whom Mirsky confided his impatience to see a new Dark Ages emanating from Russia; and Virginia Woolf, who said to herself as she hosted 'this trapp'd cabin'd man', 'soon there'll be a bullet through your head'.
Helms and his hired character assassins (Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas) attempt to block the nomination of a gay philanthropist as U.S.
I have visions of these online character assassins today lolling in the lap of luxury, enjoying an exotic vacation on some romantic island while their victims reel from the assault on their integrity, still wondering what hit them.
There are a few full-time character assassins out there, embittered old pros who clearly resent the millionaire salaries commanded by today's stars and will put their name to any ghost-written hatchet job for pounds 500.