On "sleaze", the British media euphemism for political corruption there

Originally published at: On "sleaze", the British media euphemism for political corruption there | Boing Boing

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It’s weird that the American usage of “sleaze” seems like it is primarily directed at the news media itself for content that is excessively prurient or smearing or untruthful, or perhaps “corrupt”.

Is the relationship there still in the British usage? Are they saying, “We are accusing the PM of ‘sleaze’, which is to say, please disregard this, because it isn’t really even worth mentioning and a despicable character assassination attempt on our part, that we are only forced to print because it unfortunately happens to be the truth”?

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It may sound overly-simplistic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s because “Sleaze” takes up less space on a tabloid front-page headline than “Corruption”.

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Given the aggressive libel laws over there, ‘sleaze’ may just be safer to say than ‘corruption’.

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Is it sleaze because they might get sued if they say corruption?

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‘Corruption’ in the UK has a specific legal meaning involving illegal activities which benefit an individual.

‘Sleaze’ doesn’t require any laws to have been broken only that someone has been abusing loopholes or procedures for their benefit.

None of the activities the Tories are reported to be doing on the side appear to be illegal, so anyone calling them ‘corruption’ in the press is potentially exposed to legal action.

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Not actually accusing anyone of a crime, just a doubleplusungood.

Here “well-connected” is another euphemism. Garbage Island’s media class is its political class. They go to the same parties; they’re (ex-) spouses; in the case of Johnson, among many others, they are literally the same people. That unflushed turd only reluctantly gave up his media job to become alleged PM, and he didn’t give it up to be alleged mayor of London, which says a lot about where the real power is.

I’m sure downplaying corruption helps keep papers out of court, but that’s very much secondary. Defending the way the establishment does business is their primary job.

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So they don’t use the word sleaze to describe sex pests? British politics is not as interesting as I had assumed based on the sleaziness implied by all of the headlines…

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…yet. Although if they are, Boris will try to change the rules so that they’re legal.

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As a Brit I find this highly offensive.

It should be Rubbish Island.

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The updated term is Terf Island.

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A snapshot of what ‘sleaze’ meant in 1981:

The reasons the media uses the euphemism are:
It covers all activities from all-out corruption to not illegal, but immoral or anything which they can disapprove of, is historically established since at least Thatcher.
And MPs sleaze rhymes, which is a beloved form of subs working for tabloids.

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