Tom Merritt of APR’s Marketplace on NPR Morning Edition, Daily Tech News uttered this one. One of the criteria for a malaphor is that it is unintentionally said; a mental mishap so to speak. However, I have made an exception with this one as it is very clever. It appears Mr. Merritt was saying this intentionally, as he was talking about Facebook policing its advertising, and whether the latest transparency move was significant. They don’t want to talk about it; they’re being forced to talk about it. We don’t have a clear way of knowing whether our privacy is being protected..
It is a mashup of “canary in a coal mine” (early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger), “the 800 pound gorilla” (a person or group so powerful it does not need to heed to the rules) and “the elephant in the room” (a problem that everyone is aware but choose to ignore and not mention). Elephants, gorillas, and canaries all in one phrase! A huge thanks to Sally Adler for hearing this one and passing it on!