Things that vex me… Gate being added to every scandal

Welcome back to another edition of things that vex me, the place where we rant, rave, moan, groan, and complain about all the things, big or small, that vex us in life.

Last time it was drilling, this time it is the suffix of “gate” being added to every scandal or controversy. It’s not needed, it’s cheap, and it’s tacky.

Ever since the Watergate scandal back in 1974 that led to US President Richard Nixon stepping down from office, the media have taken to adding the suffix “gate” to every scandal regardless of whether or not there is a gate involved.

In the UK in the last few years there has been “piggate”, the one about Prime Minister David Cameron dipping his gentleman parts into the mouth of a dead pigs head. I don’t know why. I don’t even want to think about it but each to their own I guess. It’s weird thing to do and a bit sick but politicians have done far worse, at least he wasn’t doing anything illegal or corrupt.

Before that there was “plebgate” where MP Andrew Mitchell called a police officer a pleb during a row between the two. There was a whole did he didn’t he thing and it just seemed to drag on for months. It’s not a nice thing to call someone so you wouldn’t really thing it was a big deal, I should imagine police officers are called worse on a daily basis, although I suppose it fit the stereotypical image of the Tories, looking down on the lower classes, thinking everyone is common or a pleb which made it a story.

And it’s not just politics that get the “gate” treatment, there’s things like “FIFA-Gate” about the corruption of football’s governing body FIFA and “Gamergate” about the lack of ethics in gamers journalism.

Oh let’s not forget about “Hackgate” either. The now defunct newspaper the News of the World was hacking into the phones of celebrities, politicians, the British Royal Family, and the victims of crime. Yes that’s right the victims of crime had their phones and messages hacked by a newspaper. What sick bastard came up with that idea? “Damn this victim of crime doesn’t want to talk to us, I know let’s hack their phone and get all the details that way”.

Some of the victims included the relatives of deceased British soldiers, victims of the 7/7 bombings in London, and murdered schoolgirl Milly Dower. The Milly Dower hacking gets worse because there are allegations that they deleted voicemails of her phone which gave the family and police false hope.

Worthy stories, important stories (to varying degrees), but none of them have anything to do with gates! It’s lazy and cheap journalism. Can’t you come up with a better name than relying on the “gate” suffix? Not every scandal or controversy needs a bloody gate putting at the end of it.

The whole trend started because of Watergate but the gate in that story made sense. The name of the hotel was called Watergate.

You know what I want to see. A scandal involving a gate so we get “gate-gate” the ultimate gate story.

Let it go already!


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