hatchet job

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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. © 2015 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 ?
The Hatchet Job award was established in 2011 by literary website The Omnivore to honor "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant" review published in a newspaper or magazine.
Let's hope that the likes of Panorama aren't just about novelty value for the sake of their own viewing figures and can actually continue to do a hatchet job on this appalling organisation over the coming years.
Business groups lined up to welcome the changes as "long overdue", but the TUC complained that the report did not contain a single proposal which will reduce the high levels of workplace death, injuries and illness, while one union leader described it as a "hatchet job".
It is suspected that Ali, along with suspects Younus and Nassar, planned the attack, and that Ali recruited the gang that carried out the hatchet job. He is also believed to have bought the van in which the gang travelled to commit the crime.
Parent-governor Dr David Simones-Jones said that the council had carried out a "hatchet job" on the board of Moseley School.
And the SEA and its members are pretty ticked off about what they view as a PR hatchet job that made them seem like the perpetrators of a senseless crime when all along they may actually have been the victims.
Gibson told Leno that he'd done "a pretty good hatchet job" on his marriage and that he and his wife split up three years ago, shortly after he was arrested in Malibu for drunken driving.
At a time when she is the front-runner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, this is an obvious hatchet job. Over the many years I have read NCR you have seemed to be fair and balanced in your political offerings.
In today's links, the McClatchy stock trades at its lowest price in a year, speculation that Tribune's sale is timed to undervalue its television properties, and an Irish newspaper is fined after a restaurant review is described as a "hatchet job."
Hoyt Zia (in his publisher's nota bene, "Rich Son, Poor Son," April 2006) does a hatchet job on me because he wants to edify his father-in-law Dr.
Appearing on the newspaper's editorial page (hardly an inconsequential bit of space), Cohen's hatchet job insists that the Guide is "historically wrong," "full of dubious assertions," and replete with "ideologically loaded" arguments.
In the same column he also draws attention to New York Times writer Jonathan Kandell's "revoltingly stupid hatchet job" on Jacques Derrida's obituary.
Residents today blasted a television report on their Teesside community as a "hatchet job".
Though the men Kerry commanded swear high and low about his courage and leadership, some Republican vets are running an ad that says Kerry "betrayed the men he served with." Financing the ad is none other than a Houston developer and major Republican contributor named Bob Perry, who coughed up a hundred grand for this hatchet job.
I just slogged through Jacob Sullum's lengthy hatchet job on the CSPI, and I must say I am disappointed.