Dog Whistle

Journalism, 1988

Secret Hitler signal — only given by people who are not left-wing — to assemble and bring on the apocalypse to fight Progress towards the utopia. You couldn’t hear it, but it was there.

Supposedly an analogy for an ultrasonic tone of which is heard by dogs (yet is inaudible to humans), Richard Morin, director of polling for The Washington Post, notes in 1988 an invisible and untestable polling term the “Dog Whistle Effect”: politicians using subjective “coded language” to appeal to voters which only politically-opposed journalists seem to be able to detect.