“In the wake of” is how journalists avoid the post hoc fallacy: instead of saying that it happened because of something — which they either cannot or are disinclined to prove — they say that it happened “in the wake of” something, or words to that effect. They’re implying a connection, but they can’t come right out and attribute causality. (For example, this CNet article says that Apple increased its online storage limits for its .Mac customers “as other e-mail providers … have been increasing limits” — as, not because.) Sad to say, I used this expression a lot during my brief journalism career: clearly I’d picked it up through news-junkie osmosis. And because it was so very useful.
The local-paper-I-used-to-work-for published a major jawdropper of a story last week but, for whatever reason, telegraphed it.
Five local politicians and one bureaucrat have been charged — and, since the article says they were fined, presumably convicted — under provincial electoral law. Their offence? Having their municipalities or organizations reimburse them for attending a $200-a-plate fundraiser for the provincial Liberal riding association. For the record, the people charged are as follows: