spin
v. To convey information or cast another person‘s remarks or actions in a biased or slanted way so as to favorably influence public opinion.
n. Information provided in such a fashion.

Example Citations:
Spin is the perspective that newsmakers and their minions put on a story to minimize any damage it might cause. As defined by political columnist and word maven William Safire in his New Political Dictionary, spin is ”deliberate shading of news perception; attempted control of political reaction.”
—Jill Lawrence, “Spin: Behind the walkout that wasn’t,” USA Today, September 23, 1998

he Tories, led by David McLetchie, are charging their 18 MSPs pounds 3,500, giving them pounds 63,000 to spin the party line.
—Ron Mackenna, “They’ve spun us a yarn,” The Mirror, July 9, 1999

Earliest Citation:
What Pertschuk is accused of is being too ardent a consumer advocate, of “lobbying” members of the committee on behalf of things he thinks are good, of putting his own philosophical “spin” on options, of having excessive influence on Magnuson; in short of acting like the “101st senator.”
—Spencer Rich, “An Invisible Network of Hill Power,” The Washington Post, March 20, 1977

Notes:
This stalwart member of the political lexicon probably came from phrases such as "putting a positive (or negative) spin on" something. In turn, this notion of influencing direction almost certainly came from sports such as baseball and billiards where players impart spin on a ball to change its course.

Related Words:

Category: