"Bad apple"

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The phrase "bad apple" is used by corporate media in cases of blatant corruption. This generally avoids enquiry into the systemic causes of corruption.

The phrase "bad apple" is a useful explanation of corruption, since its focus is on individual rather than systemic shortcomings.

Official narrative

While even Western democracies may occasionally deceive people, it is unthinkable that this could be a systemic problem. Such occasional occurrences are instead due to a "bad apples", who must be rooted out and removed.

Etymology

If not removed, a single bad apple can cause a whole barrel to go rotten, hence suggesting the metaphor of the "bad apple" - a corrupt individual within an otherwise untainted organisation.

Purposes

The metaphor is used by commercially-controlled media when corruption is so blatant that it cannot be denied. Rather than investigate systemic problems, this label is used to focus blame on individuals -- in this sense, it is similar to the "lone nut" meme which is used to prevent deep investigation into deep political assassinations.


References