"Shooting the messenger" or "killing the messenger" is a metaphoric phrase used to describe the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news.
Until the advent of modern telecommunications, messages were usually delivered by a human envoy. For example, in a war, the messenger was sent from the enemy camp. An easily provoked combatant receiving such an overture could more easily vent anger (or otherwise retaliate) on the deliverer of the unpopular message than on its author.
"Attacking the messenger" is a subdivision of the ad hominem logical fallacy.
"A modern version of attacking the messenger can be perceived when someone blames the media for presenting bad news about a favored cause, person, organization, etc. The fact remains that "shooting the messenger may be a time-honored emotional response to unwelcome news, but it is not a very effective method of remaining well-informed."
Getting rid of the messenger may be a tactical move, but danger found in nondisclosure may result in either hostile responses or negative feedback from others. "People learn very quickly where this is the case, and will studiously avoid giving any negative feedback; thus the 'Emperor" continues with the self-delusion....Obviously this is not a recipe for success."
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