Tag Archives: Regularity

Is The Friday News Dump A Pernicious Falsehood?

Member of the press are so cute. They evolve so slowly. They are like monotremes or something.

It is said again and again that a) government agencies and other entities, especially things like the White House, dump their news late on Fridays because this avoids the normal five-day news cycle and allows hot stories to cool off, and possibly be ignored by Monday and, b) that doesn’t really work any more because of social media and cable news, but still c) we will repeat meme one endlessly anyway so that we can look very smart by then repeating memes b) which brings us to d) rinse and repeat.

Got that?

If not, just turn on any news show and watch it happening every few minutes before your very eyes.

This last Friday, during the encroachment by Harvey on Texas, there seemed to be a lager and stinkier than average Trump Dump in which a white supremacist mysteriously left the white house, Trump signed the official order to totally screw over transsexual people in (or planning to join) the military, and he issued the most controversial presidential pardon ever issued, even more controversial than the pardoning of Nixon (because at least Ford had an excuse for doing that, however lame).

Dear The Press: No. Three major (or at least one important and two major) news stories at once do not in fact get buried under a hurricane, or ignore because friday. Rather, the dump itself becomes a facilitating story. This compels all the news story to the proverbial front page, and it makes the front page as big as it needs to be to hold them. There is no diminution of the individual stories, but rather, they grow even bigger than they ever were.

So what is going on? Something that is right in front of the press but that the press has not yet noticed, amazingly.

I won’t say that Trump is a mater of media. He is a master of nothing. He lacks the qualities people have to become a master of something, and he lacks the intelligence to retain mastery even if he gets close by practicing something a lot for half an afternoon.

But, he does have a lot of experience in media, and he knows how a media cycle works. It works like this: You work all week on a show, then the show goes on as scheduled, then you go on vacation for a couple of days (golfing), then you go back to work. For some reason, that he does not understand, the cycle in the White House has him working on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So, show time is on Friday late PM, and you go golfing on Saturday and Sunday.

That’s it. No strategic dumping, no planning, no outsmarting. Just a simple pretty close to Pavlovian process. Reminder: Almost all the Friday Trump Dumps are his, not from his staff or any group of thoughtful media managers. Even the description I give above is more planned out than that. Trump just builds up some material, and over time the urge to dispense with it comes and goes a little, then comes and goes a bit more urgency, then gets to a kind of point of no return and ….

Trump Dump.

And, it usually happens on Friday, and after he dumps, he feels like going golfing.

That’s it. Nothing less simple. No mind at work here. Please stop assuming there is a mind at work here. There is not one.