whisper campaign

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

whisper campaign (plural whisper campaigns)

  1. (idiomatic) A method of persuasion in which damaging rumors or innuendo are deliberately spread concerning a person or other target, while the source of the rumors tries to avoid detection.
    • 1920, "Harding Ignores ‘’Whisper’ Campaign," New York Times, 1 Nov., p. 1 (retrieved 17 Aug. 2009):
      Senator Harding will not authorize his headquarters to take public notice of the “whispering campaign.” There has been a difference of opinion among his advisers as to whether to ignore the slanders or to produce evidence disproving them.
    • 1976, Donald Horne, "The campaign of the media," The Age (Australia), 12 Feb., p. 8 (retrieved 17 Aug. 2009):
      Both publicly and in a particularly unscrupulous whisper campaign the Liberals tried to change the aspect from one of folly to one of personal corruption and some of this got through to the voters.
    • 2008, Ana Marie Cox, "S.C. Takes a Chance on McCain," Time, 20 Jan.:
      McCain—who was famously burned in South Carolina in 2000 after his New Hampshire victory, when a whisper campaign and George Bush's dominance of the state's Republican party structure combined to deliver a crushing blow—was openly nervous.

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