Wednesday, August 17, 2011
THE FRIDAY FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES
The Federal Government as well as most major corporations long ago discovered a wonderfully easy way to bury unpleasant news that they hope never comes to the attention of most people: the Friday evening press conference.
By three P.M. on Friday almost everyone is packing up to get out of the office and onto the pleasures of the week end. Rather than conceal the really bad news, the "Powers that Be" choose to send an underling to announce the bad news. After all, with the name reporters from both the print and electronic media gone, the briefing by the Fourth Under Secretary of The Treasury will only be attended by cub reporters and interns. The story is then buried under all the human interest stories and puff pieces that were prepared earlier in the week to fill in for the lack of hard news. By the following week the story is old news and will be forgotten in the hurly-burly of the ongoing circus.
If someone manages to dig out the story later and attempts to bring it into the spotlight, it will be dismissed as old news and not worthy of attention. It is truly amazing how many really important stories managed to get buried in the weekend follies.