「蠶蟲」師爺

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21/10/2013

「蠶蟲」師爺 毛孟靜

政治化妝師一詞, 源自英文的spin doctor,直譯是「編織醫生」,職責似我們口中的「師爺」,再加點貶意,就是「蠶蟲師爺」。今亦有叫spinmaster,晉升至「大師」級。

Spin doctor 是美國近代語,但spin,就像說「編織」故事、謊言, 「作故仔」等,有spiders spin webs,蜘蛛織網;及silkworms spin cocoons,蠶蟲織繭的景象,在英文中一直可解做把人、事、物搞作搞作,做好門面工夫,以令之對己方有利。

The report is not favourable? Never mind. Spin it! 報告對我們不利?不要緊。將之化一化妝!

The boss wants the press release spindoctored. 老闆要新聞稿化一化妝。The Chief Executive is hiring a new Information Coordinator, or a spin doctor.特首要請一個新的新聞統籌專員,或叫政治化妝師。

Spin 亦解扭轉、旋轉。就上述官職的新聞,《英文虎報》有一條出色的玩字標題:Democrats in spin over job claim.(就有人聲稱)已得職位,民主派中人只覺暈(而作嘔)。

也就看到spin 及做spin 工夫的人,通常與政治及新聞掛鈎。美國歷史上,給水門事件醜聞拉下馬的尼克遜總統,就話說曾吐這句話:

“You want the spin, or the truth?” 「你要修飾過的一套,還是真相?」這款spin,政治人一樣可掉過頭來指摘傳媒。尼克遜肯定講過以下這句:”I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow.” 「我等不及看《華盛頓郵報》明天就這個怎樣作嘢。」

1980 年代是美國電視新聞的黃金歲月, 熒幕上渴求政治人的sound bites(精警、吸引之語),就出現了a newclass of publicist,新一種發放信息公關專家。1984 年10 月,spin doctor 一詞正式在《紐約時報》誕生:

“A dozen men in good suits and women in silk dresses will circulate smoothly among the reporters, spouting confident opinions. They won’t be just press agents trying to impart a favourable spin to a routine release. They’ll be the Spin Doctors…” 「十多個衣著光鮮的男女,在記者群中周旋講好話。他們並非淨為新聞稿化個好妝,他們是政治化妝/整容醫生……」

傳統英文說spin a yarn,指胡吹、「作大」的故事, 現代英文就有spin thetruth,為真相化妝。也即是說,spin 這字給人的感覺,負面居多。

How do we find truth in a sea of lies,bias and spin? 在一片謊言、偏見及虛陳故事中,我們怎樣找到真相?

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