The Scamgate Connection

As the Reagan Administration copes with its burgeoning scandal, pundits are + facing a minor but nonetheless sticky problem of their own: what to call it. Ever since Watergate, the suffix -gate has been used to label virtually any hint of governmental wrongdoing (from the Koreagate bribery scandal to Lancegate, the flap over President Carter's former Budget Director). News of secret U.S. arms shipments to Iran was initially dubbed, unsurprisingly, Irangate. But as the scandal has broadened, the nicknames have multiplied: Armsgate, Contragate, Budgate (for McFarlane), Northgate (for Oliver).

Everyone's second favorite suffix, -scam, as in Abscam, has also had a...

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