In January 2010 I wrote about a new-to-me word, buckraker, that I’d spotted in a Frank Rich column about the Tea Party movement. A portmanteau of buck (dollar) and muckraker (someone, usually a journalist, who digs into allegations of corruption), buckraker means “someone who uses fame or connections to earn a significant amount of money outside his or her regular job.”
Another form of the word, buckraking, is back in the news this week as President-elect Joe Biden reveals his choices for Cabinet positions. Some of them, it seems, have committed the sin of making piles of dough in unworthy ways such as consulting for defense companies. Case in point: Antony Blinken, in line to become Secretary of State.