panic merchants

panic merchants
(PAN.ik mur.chunts)
Media, special-interest groups, and businesses that exploit common fears and anxieties for profit, power, or other gains.
Example Citation:
Now, some — not all — basement waterproofing companies are bonafide panic merchants who are marketing fear along with fix. Beware of them.
— Jim Rooney, "Monsoon-like rains seep into basement," The Capital, June 29, 1996
Earliest Citation:
The untrue stories of a disaster that briefly circulated during the hour and a half that ALC's screens were down showed just how jittery the market has become about the threat of more job losses.
— Peter Rodgers, "Panic merchants have got it wrong again," The Guardian, December 10, 1988
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New words. 2013.

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