muckrake

verb muck·rake \ ˈmək-ˌrāk \

Definition of muckrake

intransitive verb
:to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business

muckraker

noun

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Recent Examples of muckrake from the Web

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muckrake and John Bunyan

The noun muckrake (literally, a rake for muck, i.e., manure) rose out of the dung heap and into the realm of literary metaphor in 1684. That's when John Bunyan used it in Pilgrim's Progress to represent man's preoccupation with earthly things. "The Man with the Muckrake," he wrote, "could look no way but downward." In a 1906 speech, President Teddy Roosevelt recalled Bunyan's words while railing against journalists he thought focused too much on exposing corruption in business and government. Roosevelt called them "the men with the muck-rakes" and implied that they needed to learn "when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward." Investigative reporters weren't insulted; they adopted the term muckraker as a badge of honor. And soon English speakers were using the verb muckrake for the practice of exposing misconduct.

Origin and Etymology of muckrake

obsolete muckrake, noun, rake for dung



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