take an axe to it
By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 07, 2009
Controversy sells newspapers.
When one prominent Catholic prelate criticizes another-- however politely he goes about it-- you've got yourself a controversy. That's especially true in Italy, where Vatican-watching is a popular pastime.
So when Archbishop Chaput took exception to the published remarks of Cardinal Cottier, it's no surprise that Il Foglio played up the controversy with a provocative headline. What's surprising-- to American sensibilities, anyway-- is the way Il Foglio shamelessly played on the American archbishop's ethnic background. (He is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe.) The headline read:
L'ascia del vescovo pellerossa
Which can be translated:
The axe of the Indian (literally "redskin") bishop
In this case "tomahawk" would probably be more exact than "axe," and certainly more in keeping with the delicacy shown by the Italian headline-writer.
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