Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the right single word for an intellectual (often a journalist) who is not a member of a political party, but justifies the party's causes to the general public and secretly takes benefit from them in return?

share|improve this question
1  
Related: There's the word lobbyist, referring to those who "attempt to influence legislators on behalf of a particular interest." However, a lobbyist isn't generally a journalist, and not all of them take secret benefits, either. –  J.R. Mar 3 '13 at 0:04

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

A shill is a tout or promoter, with the connotation of figure who endorses a product or service— or candidate or party— on a supposedly independent basis, when in fact he or she is in the service of the person or organization benefiting from the endorsement.

share|improve this answer
    
+1. I think this is the only answer so far which captures the dishonest aspect requested by the OP. "secretly takes benefit". –  Avner Shahar-Kashtan Mar 3 '13 at 6:52

A related phrase is fellow traveller,“One who sympathizes with the aims or beliefs of an organization, without belonging to it; most often applied to a Communist sympathizer”. Technically, the phrase applies fairly well in the current context, except that people are unlikely to automatically suppose a fellow traveller is an intellectual or a journalist or secretly receives benefits.

Depending on context, also consider nouns collaborator and quisling, and phrase tame journalist.

share|improve this answer
1  
So why note use sympathiser –  The Frog Mar 2 '13 at 23:50

partisan (noun) an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, especially a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance. (Dictionary.com)

share|improve this answer

Two words not previously suggested are hack and hireling. According to R. L. Chapman and B.A. Kipfer, Dictionary of American Slang, Third Edition (1995):

hack 8 n (also ) by 1810 A professional, usu freelance, writer who works to order[.] This sense belongs to hack [definition 1, meaning "A taxicab"], reflecting the notion that such a writer was for hire like a horse, ...

Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) offers this definition:

hack n. [short for *hack*ney] 3 a : a person who works solely for mercenary reasons : hireling

As for hireling, the Eleventh Collegiate says this:

hireling n : a person who serves for hire esp. for purely mercenary motives

Other options that might suit the situation are apologist, mouthpiece, mercenary, and hired gun.

share|improve this answer
    
I like the word apologist. But the word shill serves my present purpose best. –  f.nasim Mar 4 '13 at 3:54

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.