Tories Take Out The Trash

Any West Wing fan will know what taking out the trash is all about. It’s that skill of dumping all the bad news stories where they’re least likely to get read.

The theory being, with newspapers at least, that they have X amount of column inches to fill and they can either fill that with one bad story or you can dump a bunch of stories and the same number of column inches will be split between all those stories, thereby getting less coverage per story. I guess the same goes for the minutes of airtime available to the broadcast news too.

The Nirvana of this activity is not just dumping these stories on a Friday (nobody reads the papers on Saturday), the real goal is to dump your bad news behind a really big positive story. There aren’t many positive stories about, so when they occur spinners are on them like white on rice.

And that’s exactly what happened yesterday. Cameron told the cabinet about the impending royal wedding at around 0930, and the spinners started dumping their announcements from about 1030 onwards.

I would write a big list of what those items were, but Tom Watson has already done the work for me, so I suggest you go here and take a look at them.



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