Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Afternoon: Critical Time In News Cycle

I'm convinced one of two things will happen this afternoon between 3 and 630ish (Central Time). First, let me explain the timeframe.

This is the critical time when Friday evening newscasts are being planned, polished and aired. It's also when supplemental programming for time critical broadcast stories are determined. If it's big enough, the broadcast news may make a decision as late as the time the evening news airs to follow up with an additional half hour of programming and pre-empt, you know, more important, really good Friday evening crap that is poured through the old broadband.

In the print world, magazines are being knocked off for massive, decentralized press runs and mail operations. And Newspaper Sunday editions are being planned in afternoon doping sessions all over the country.

While many give this White House lots of credit for being sharp with the Friday news cycle, burying embarrassing announcements and resignations, many of us give the press a big fat F for their followup on news that breaks on Fridays. It's not as if they don't care, it's just that they have fundraisers and Washington parties to attend. Some have shuttles to catch to get home to honeybun or the future ex.

Hey, don't screw with a "newsman's" family time: It's more important than the government bending you over a barrel.

So I am going on record with two possibilities for this afternoon's news cycle.
    Bush will name the O'Connor replacement;
    Dick Cheney will drop dead.
OK. That may sound harsh to some, but think about it: Rove Inc. has so many reasons to stop the story from exploding this weekend. And without some patented Rovian Dog-Wagging™, it's sure to simply explode beyond control after today.

Oh, yes, the Cheney thing. That is the masterstroke (no pun intended) that is Dick Cheney. He could pull that one off, rescue his sorry political career and be worshipped on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Rotunda by Monday morning.

Of course, one can't rule out the possibility that Bush will appoint Cheney to the Court, and he'll drop dead at some other politically convenient point in time.

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