It’s Friday — What Bad News Will Be Released Late Tonight?

President Obama promised to change the way things are done in Washington, but his administration has mastered one old Washington trick: releasing bad news late on Friday, or even on Saturday night of a long weekend, in the hope that journalists won’t have much chance to ask questions or get into the next day’s papers. Consider:

  • The nation would be forced to borrow more than $9 trillion over the next decade under President Obama’s policies, the White House acknowledged late Friday.
    Washington Post, Saturday, August 22
  • White House environmental adviser Van Jones resigned late Saturday after weeks of pressure from the right over his past activism. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement announcing his resignation just after midnight Saturday.
    Washington Post, Sunday, September 6, 2009
  • The White House late Friday announced it would impose high tariffs on imports of Chinese tires in a case seen as the first test of trade policy under President Barack Obama… The announcement was made in a release sent out by the White House press office at about 9:30 p.m. Friday night, a time when news is sometimes “dumped” in the hope it will attract less attention.
    TheHill.com, 10:56 p.m., Friday, September 11, 2009

So what will it be tonight? A late-night tax increase? The resignation of another administration appointee who didn’t pay his own taxes? More troops for Iraq?