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

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
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 ?
Hardly a hatchet job. Sorry, but it's just not my style.
Then we had Thierry Henry, a man who carries himself with good grace despite the attempted hatchet jobs that come his way in the Premiership, play acting against Spain.
I LOVE sleaze, especially a sensational unauthorised biography, and after her hatchet jobs on Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra, Kitty Kelley has to be the best in the business.
It does not need hatchet jobs by precocious producers.
firm for trial lawyers has been sending out press kits attacking her, and several hatchet jobs have resulted in publications such as the Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, and Brill's Content.
The newspapers that printed vicious hatchet jobs on Alex Best over the weekend.