It was another Manic Monday. I was reeling from the Mooch’s unceremonious departure, having gorged myself on the sordid details, and was recovering nicely. Then another news flash came across the screen …
Once again, breaking news in the evening. Over the past 6 months plus, I have noticed that this has been occurring with alarming regularity. At least some of this is a product of print news deadlines, as described by Adrienne Lafrance of The Atlantic ( https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/03/why-do-the-big-stories-keep-breaking-at-night/518409/ ).“’It is true that print deadlines create a publishing target because if a story isn’t done in time for print, it obviously doesn’t get into the paper,’ (Tom) Jolly, the (associate masthead editor at The New York Times), said. So, instead of individual news organizations putting out their own evening editions, print deadlines across the industry mean different newspapers all put out their big stories for the next day’s print paper around the same time the night before.”
“At the Times, there are three major targets between the national and city editions of the paper: 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 11 p.m. ‘In pre-Internet days, those stories often broke when the newspaper came out in the morning, but now we’re breaking them when we can on our digital sites,’ Jolly told me. ‘And, when one publication breaks a big story, others tweet it out and try to match it, which means news blows up in the moment in a much bigger way than it did in the days of print only.’”
But it’s more than just print story deadlines. I mean, why did the “Trump dictation” story not break last week? Was it because the news outlets were riding the “Mooch Train”?!? In recent times, I have noticed that major Russian collusion/obstruction news — the heartbeat story of the political media this year —- rarely breaks during one of Trump’s international trips, or when another narrative has hooked the hearts-and-minds of the public. And weekend news flashes are dictated by the Sunday political talk shows, or Trumps’ tweets, for which there is no rhyme -or-reason. Breakout stories almost always appear from Monday through Thursday.
Is that an accident?
I think not.
On one hand, I get it. Media outlets don’t want to blow their proverbial wad all at once. On the other hand, I wondered how much the general public is being “managed” by the media instead of “informed.” With this administration leaking like a sieve, how is it that:
- We haven’t seen any of Trump’s tax returns yet?
- Transcripts of cell phone conversations of between Russian contacts and Trump surrogates have not reached the press?
- There are scant details as to exactly how the Russians influenced our election process?
I hate to be just another “paranoiac,” but I can’t help but wonder if the media is dealing these cards out slowly, for their own benefit.