In a recent article on washingtonpost.com, I came across the following passage (my emphasis):

On Friday […] an accusation that the New York Democrat [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] was employing her boyfriend as a member of her staff made its way around the Twitter pages of various conservative media magoos. Gleeful outrage ensued.

I've never encountered the word magoo before, and in the given context, it could mean anything, for example "pundit" if I want to go for a neutral reading, or e.g. "hypocrite" as a more loaded interpretation. The OED doesn't list the word, and a web search was also not very conclusive. I did come across the the cartoon character Mr. Magoo, but as I'm not familiar with that character, I don't know whether the present use is a reference to him.

So, what is the meaning of magoo?


The most defining characteristic of Mr Magoo was his eyesight. He had terrible eyesight and kept mistaking one thing for another.

The writer in this case is suggesting that conservatives in the media can't see the world for what it really is.


In Oxford Learner's Dictionaries 'Mr. Magoo' is defined as

a character in a series of US cartoon films (1949-65). He is old and cannot see very well, so he talks to objects and walks into dangerous situations. A Walt Disney film, Mr Magoo (1997), used real actors, with Leslie Nielsen as Magoo.

According to Wikipedia

In 2002, TV Guide ranked Mr. Magoo number 29 on its "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time" list.

So he's a famous character.

He is an old and rich man. Old and rich?! Like the owners of conservative media?

  • 4
    The reference to Mr Magoo is completely right, but the actual reference is to the lack of eyesight - in this case, metaphorical eyesight, the ability to see the world for what it is. – SamBC Mar 22 '19 at 19:56

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