midnight massacre

Quantz

Senior Member
French
Context is Trump administration compared to Nixon.

In 1973, several advisors of president Richard Nixon resigned. The press called it the “Saturday Night Massacre.” Apparently, halfway into the Trump administration, some cabinet officials thought of a so-called midnight self-massacre.

What gives me pause is the "midnight" here. Am I right to suppose the author is relating this choice of word to the halway into the administration, meaning mid-term / mid-night. Or is there something else to it ? I know that Midnight Massacre is also a not so well-known episode in Marvel superheroes comics, which seems to a stretch here.

Otherwise it seems that a midnight massacre is a catchphrase for some sporting events one night only.
 
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  • Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    Also a film, 'Midnight Massacre (2018): "An outlaw terrorist organization led by Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and Julius Caesar plot to create a new government after WWIII. Only three men will stand in their way at all costs with the fate of the future of humanity depending on them."

    I don't know if it helps at all... :(
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I haven't heard "midnight" used to describe this before, so I'm taking a guess, but I suppose the author means that the conspirators were planning the events for the middle of the night -> in secrecy. It all happened in the evening, as far as I know.
    (and secrecy is hard to maintain when firing public officials, anyway)
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    That's the Saturday Night Massacre phrase, yes, which is used earlier in Quantz's context sentence, but the midnight bit later in the sentence is unusual.
     
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