Enough already with every scandal being a 'gate'!

American Journalism Review

Five years ago I posted Pat Craig's complaint about -gate being attached to every scandal. "There are some tin-eared people in this business, who find it hugely funny to attach ‘gate to anything that even hints of scandal,” he wrote. “This gives you things like Shoplifter-gate and Income Tax Return Cheating-gate.” Of course, gate is still being used -- and now it's Rem Rieder who's irked.

This has been an annoying practice for years. It's knee-jerk. It's easy. It's boring. Worst of all, it suggests a false equivalency.

Watergate was serious business. It involved a pernicious and far-reaching abuse of power by the president of the United States and his minions.

Our most recent gate, the endlessly entertaining Weinergate, featuring Twitter-happy Rep. Anthony Weiner – not so much.

Discussing the nation's financial crisis in 2008, Jonathan Wald said that the propensity to name every potential scandal a gate "tends to cheapen it."

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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