Journalese du Jour

Our dictionary has a section titled “Plat du journalese,” introduced as “a menu of essential ingredients found in spicing up or watering down restaurant reviews or food features.” Du jour itself is journalese, and a beautiful example was in a short commentary in STAT — the excellent life sciences, biotech, and pharma blog published independently by owners of The Boston Globe. Here’s the Mar. 28, 2018, item:

“Mark Zuckerberg is expected to become the latest corporate villain-du-jour to head to Capitol Hill to be subjected to the ritualized flogging that is testifying before Congress. Which raises the question: Amid persistent concern over drug prices, why aren’t pharma executives being dragged in, too?

“Not a single pharma CEO has testified on Capitol Hill since President Trump famously declared shortly before his inauguration that drug companies are ‘getting away with murder.’ STAT’s Erin Mershon maps out three main reasons why: The drug industry trade group PhRMA works hard behind the scenes to keep its CEOs out of the spotlight. Republicans who control the congressional agenda tend to be allies to pharma. And then there’s the nihilistic hesitation: What’s the point of hauling CEOs in anyway?

“After all, one patient advocate quipped, CEOs on the hot seat mostly reiterate talking points that amount to ‘warmed-over garbage that can be debunked by a middle schooler with Google’.”

File under: Everything and everyone can be du jour, at least for a day.

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