But less than a year later, a Newsday columnist cited "nattering nabobs
" as an attack on the press.
The authors also enter this topic with a wonderful line: "The nattering nabobs
of negativism arise to conduct a cantata of contrapuntal cacophony'.
Nixon had unleashed Vice President Spiro Agnew to attack the "nattering nabobs
of negativism" in the media.
But the skeptics are not being nattering nabobs
The medical and dieting communities are full of nattering nabobs
of negativism when it comes to doughnuts.
From Spiro Agnew's alliterative attack on reporters as "nattering nabobs
of negativism," to the bumper-sticker slogan "Annoy the Media, ReElect George Bush," to President Clinton's own spirited excoriations of the press's "insatiable desire...to build up and tear down," elected officials waste little time in attacking the self-styled adversarial media.
Yet none of this seems to discredit the nattering nabobs
of the American Enterprise Institute.
But then came Spiro Agnew mouthing Pat Buchanan condemnations of the "nattering nabobs
of negativism" in the Eastern Establishment press.
Just as the press had been under attack in 1923 when the Canons were written, so we "nattering nabobs
of negativism" were under attack from the Nixon administration 50 years later when SPJ added an enforcement clause to its own code, which was a copy of the Canons adopted in 1926.
Thus in 1972 Safire's book was given a useful updating and a far catchier title, "Safire's Political Dictionary." Among the numerous additions to that edition: "instant analysis," "benign neglect," and "nattering nabobs
of negavitism," an alliterative denunciation of pessimists in the media that was offered by Vice President Spiro Agnew in one of his speeches - but coined by ghostwriter Safire.
The Pulitzer-winning columnist and known Bigfoot--at the Houston convention a college journalist approached him and asked, "Excuse me, are you a media biggy?" Safire lowered his voice and said, "You bet you life I am"-- was also the foister, as a Nixon speechwriter, of the phrase, "nattering nabobs
of negativism" on an unsuspecting world.
If, however, risk managers become, to borrow a phrase from political columnist William Safire, "nattering nabobs
of negativism," they will be avoided and not sought out or supported within the company.