‘Take Out the Trash Day’ for Boy Scouts?

In a memorable episode of “The West Wing,” Press Secretary C.J. Cregg is advised to save a few embarrassing stories for release on Friday.

Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman and his assistant, Donna Moss, engage in a somewhat humorous discussion of the strategy involved:

DONNA
What’s “Take Out the Trash Day?”

JOSH
Friday.

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 gonna fill them no matter what.

DONNA
Yes.

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?

Speaking of “Friday news dumps”

The Boy Scouts of America made a major policy statement this past Friday concerning admittance of gay members. Of course, most Americans’ attention was focused solely on Boston that day. Intentionally or not, the Boy Scouts’ announcement came at the worst possible time for actually conveying the news.

If you missed the headline, here’s how the Los Angeles Times summarized the news:

Top officials of the Boy Scouts of America have unanimously recommended allowing gay boys into the ranks of one of the nation’s oldest and most traditional youth groups while continuing to exclude homosexual adults as leaders.

Scouting’s executive committee described the proposal as an effort to acknowledge changes in society while respecting the religious organizations that sponsor many Scout troops across the country. It also aims to move the organization beyond a controversy that has rocked its foundation in the last several months.

“We believe the BSA can no longer sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, controversial, and unresolved societal issue,” National President Wayne Perry said in a statement.

The recommendation is set for a vote at the Scouts’ 1,400-member national council meeting in May.

Though a dramatic shift from the Scouts’ outright ban on gays, the proposal left many on both sides of the debate unsatisfied. It comes after months of intense pressure inside and outside the organization, whose leadership has sent mixed signals on the issue. On Friday, some who have pushed for change were no happier than those who want to keep the status quo.

Most major news outlets stuck to a similar theme of the proposal generally failing to satisfy both sides. Quotes pulled straight from advocacy groups’ news releases reigned.

While reports hinted at the key religion angle, voices of faith were scarce in the stories I read. The New York Times, for example, referenced “conservative Christians” up high:

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X