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Whipping boy

Posted by James Briggs on June 01, 2003

In Reply to: Whipping boy posted by Henry on May 31, 2003

: : : Hi,

: : : I do not not quite understand the bracketed sentences. Could anyone do me a favor?

: : : For most commentators, the testimony of reputed gangster leader and 'big-time gambler' Frank Costello signalled the highpoint of the coverage. Due to his angry refusal to allwo his face to appear on screen, the cameras foucesd instead on his nervously twitching hands; in so doing, one of the most talked about television images to date was created. Many commentators were quick to observe that television had provided a revealing close-up of psychological tension that could only be described on radio. A Broadcasting magazine editorial published later that year declared that (this coverage of the hearings had promoted television in one big swoop from everybody's whipping boys - in the sports, amusement and even retail world- to benefactor, without reservations).

: : : Thanks a lot.

: : A whipping boy is something like a scapegoat. Originally, a boy who takes (receives) whippings; metaphorically, some person or entity that everybody loves to criticize.

: Previously, everyone considered television to be the cause of their problems. After this programme, they considered it a source of support.

A whipping boy is a way of describing someone who takes punishment rightly due to someone else. In the Middle Ages in was common practice for a boy of ordinary birth to be educated alongside a prince. If the prince did something wrong it was not he that was punished, but rather the commoner who received the lashes. The whipping boy paid heavily for his privileges.