Releasing bad news or documents on a Friday afternoon in an attempt to avoid media scrutiny is often called a “Friday news dump” by members of the media.
NPR: “Often, the White House sets the release of bad news and unflattering documents to late Friday afternoon. The Pentagon and other agencies also use the practice, a legacy of earlier administrations.”
The television show The West Wing had an episode on the technique called, “Take out the trash day.”
Donna: What’s take out the trash day?
Donna: I mean, what is it?
Josh: Any stories we have to give the press that we’re not wild about, we give all in a lump on Friday.
Donna: Why do you do it in a lump?
Josh: Instead of one at a time?
Donna: I’d think you’d want to spread them out.
Josh: They’ve got X column inches to fill, right? They’re going to fill them no matter what.
Josh: So if we give them one story, that story’s X column inches.
Donna: And if we give them five stories …
Josh: They’re a fifth the size.
Donna: Why do you do it on Friday?
Josh: Because no one reads the paper on Saturday.
Donna: You guys are real populists, aren’t you?