Time magazine (May 27) reported that Mrs. Obama accused House Republicans of their weakening school nutritional standards at White House meeting with school leaders and experts.
I was drawn to the difference of headlines of the same article in Time homepage, where it reads:
“Michelle Obama eats health critics for lunch,”
and the text page where it reads:
“Michelle Obama bites back at critics of her healthy school lunch standards,” followed by the lead copy;
"In one of the most political speeches she’s given, Michelle Obama accused House Republicans of “playing politics” with “our children’s future”,
then goes on;
The First Lady slammed Republicans on Tuesday for trying to weaken school nutritional standards, one of her key policy achievements. She called it "unacceptable to me not just as First Lady but also as a mother" http://time.com/120611/michelle-obama-school-lunches/
I was also intrigued to know that “eat” and “bite back” are used to mean “slam,” “accuse,” or “counterattack,” then questions arose:
Is it normal to use “eat” and “bite” as a metaphoric alternative to “slam / accuse/ criticize”? Is it a cute figure of speech?
Why did Time change the wording of the headline from “Michelle Obama eats health critics” in its home page to “Michelle Obama bites back at critics” in the text page? – though this could be answered only by the article writer.
Could you provide me an answer?
By posting this question, I was alert to the usage of “eat / bite” and found the following examples this week.
“What eats at me the most is the 80 dead people I had in my command over my three tours, that eats at me a hell of a lot. –Daniel Bolger, ex-Army lieutenant general.” - Time magazine. - May 22, 2014
“Capitalism Eating Its Children”－NYT Op-ed columnist, Roger Cohen. NYT May 29 2014.
Though these may sound quite commonplace to native English speakers as indicated by low view on this question, it's amusing for me to find a variety of the usage of ‘eat / bite.”