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throw (someone) under the bus

throw (someone) under the bus v. phr. to reject or betray (someone); to treat as a scapegoat; to put out of favor or at a disadvantage. Editorial Note: Thanks to Sam Clements for bringing this expression to light. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • Have seen this used several times this weekend in coverage of the Foley mess, notably in the Washington Post:
    after the page jump:

    “A House GOP leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, said that Reynolds realizes he has taken a shot at his leader but that it is understandable.

    ‘This is what happens when one member tries to throw another member under a bus,’ the aide said.”

  • Please re-read my comment—‘Obvious’ referred to the difference between the two, apparently different “under the bus” sayings. I.e. For a Rocker, performing in a buffet bar is analogous to riding under the tour bus instead of in it. The word ‘seemed’ was used in regards to the Top Chef (2.6 million Nielsen viewers) observation.

    No implication was intended re the validity of the origin or use of either saying, in any genre. I would, however, postulate that, much like a child’s game of Telephone, popular sayings spread exponentially; so that the origins of their impetuses can be, and often are, exceptionally obscure (Hence, the forum for these discussions). It was actually in the spirit of that irony that I shared the observation. My apologies if I offended.

  • The insurgence of its use seemed to originate from Josie Smith-Malave’s animated utterance on Bravo’s Top Chef, Season 2.

    It may not have ‘originated’ from that incident, but it seems obvious that “being” under the bus is not even remotely comparable to “throwing someone” under the bus. One might even argue that the former is an analogy, while the latter is a metaphor.

  • SCohen, I wouldn’t say it’s “obvious.” For example, fewer people watch that show than, say, read the Sports Illustrated articles quoted above. For that matter, fewer people watch an episode of that show than visit this web site every month.

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