Thursday, January 22, 2015

The "Gates" of Hell

The time has come for us to stop tagging every scandal with the word "gate".  I say that as the media starts to label the under-inflation of game balls by the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship as "Deflate-Gate". 

The term dates back to the Watergate Scandal of the '70's--and refers to an actual place: the Watergate Hotel and office building--which is where the Democratic National Party headquarters was located, and where G Gordon Liddy and his band of burglars went to steal documents to help the Nixon Re-election Campaign.  Nobody had to add "gate" to the end of the controversy--that was already in the name.

Since then, reporters and commentators think they are being clever by adding "Gate" to every other "scandal".  We've had "Monica-Gate", "Travel-Gate" "Iran-Contra-Gate" two "Trooper-Gates", "Bounty-Gate", "Gamer-Gate" and now "Deflate-Gate".  It's common use has become cliche, unoriginal and really just plain lazy.

Some people are trying to be creative in labeling this scandal.  Keith Olbermann on ESPN is calling is "Ball-ghazi"--a jab at the continuing Congressional probes into Hillary Clinton and the State Department having absolutely no idea what was going on during the attacks against the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  Of course, "what difference does it make" if the balls were under-inflated or if the Patriots were "just out running around and decided to kill the Colts"?

Personally, I like the term "Deflatriots Scandal" which is gaining some traction on Twitter.  That actually combines the two elements of the scandal--deflation and Patriots--into a single name and shows some actual creativity.  Of course that would come from the social media realm--not the "traditional media".

So let's close this whole "gate" thing (see what I did there?) and start giving each scandal and controversy its own unique status.  Especially before kids today start referring to the 1972 break in as "Watergate-gate".

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