Posted by ESC on February 12, 2005
In Reply to: bring in the stick of the 4th estate posted by Bruce Kahl on February 12, 2005
: : Does anyone know what this means?
: : "bring in the stick of the 4th estate"
: : It was used in the sentence, If I ever have to bring in the stick of the 4th estate I'll enlist some of your energy.
: : Thank you.
: The 4th Estate is the public press--tv, radio, blogs etc.
: The speaker is talking to a reporter or some member of the 4th estate.
: The speaker is saying that if he wants some publicity he will contact the reporter so the reporter can use the "stick" of the media to further a cause or idea.
FOURTH ESTATE - "the press, now outdated and used ironically. Books of quotations usually credit Edmund Burke with coinage, thanks to a citation by historian Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero-Worship' written in 1839: 'Burke said that there were three estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than them all.' When diligent research failed to turn up the phrase in anything Burke said or wrote, some quotation detectives assumed Carlyle was referring to Lord Macaulay, who said in 1828: 'The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm.' 'Fourth estate' had been used in both England and France, usually in reference to 'the mob' (the other estates being the king, the clergy and the commons, all powers whose agreement was necessary for legislation). The OED suggests that Lord Brougham used it in Commons in 1823 applied to the press, 'and at that time is was treated as original.' The vote of this lexicographer for the coiner of this phrase goes to English essayist William Hazlitt, who wrote on the character of William Cobbett in an 1821 'Table Talk'. 'He is a kind of 'fourth estate' in the politics of the country.'." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).