“Whitewash”: journalist-speak for “I’m lazy”

OK, own up. Who started calling Australia’s 5-0 cricket victory over England an Ashes “whitewash”? And why couldn’t anyone, anywhere, come up with another description?

Sure, my trusty Macquarie Dictionary says “whitewash” can refer to “a defeat in which the loser fails to score”.

But even though there’s still some editors employed in this country, virtually every news outlet parroted “whitewash”: SBS (where I first heard it, but I doubt they were first), ABC, Murdoch, NineMSN, The Sydney Morning Herald and virtually every news outlet from Kenya to Korea.

Would you like me to buy you a thesaurus, you lazy bastards? Because if it were my job to write the news, I’d be embarrassed to be so unimaginative!

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