Stories from the Dump: Michelle Obama Loses Another Staffer, New Recovery.gov Numbers

Government and corporate officials know the best way to bury bad news, is to release it late on Friday. It's been called "The Dump"--- bad news that ends up in the weekend news abyss and often goes unnoticed. We'll revive some of those stories here on Monday so you can know - what they didn't want you to know.

Michelle Obama's Communications Director Jumps Ship:

Friday afternoon the White House announced that Michelle Obama's Director of Communications, Camille Johnston, would be leaving her post for a job in the private sector.

"Her dedication, calming presence and expertise have been invaluable.  She will be missed, but we wish her all the best.," said First Lady Michelle Obama in a White House statement.

The White House was mum on where Johnston would be going, but tech giant Siemens Corporation announced late Friday that Johnston will join the company as Vice President, Corporate Affairs, effective September 7.

Johnston, who has worked for Mrs. Obama since the beginning of the administration, is the third high-level employee to leave the First Lady's staff. Mrs. Obama's first chief of staff, Jackie Norris left in June 2009, and her first Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers, departed in February following the state dinner "gate crashing" debacle.

Read Siemens Press Release

Read the White House Press Release

Recovery.gov posts new recipient reports:

Any reporter waiting anxiously to comb through the latest wave of quarterly Recovery recipient reports was surely disappointed Friday. That's because the quarterly reports---which recipients submit to show how they spent stimulus money during the quarter from April 1-June 30---didn't get posted to Recovery.gov (dumped) until late Friday evening.

Vice President Joe Biden, who has deemed this season "Recovery Summer" released a statement early Friday morning trumpeting the fact that this quarter's Recovery reports show new job gains:

"Preliminary totals provided to my office provide encouraging news about the Recovery Act recipient reports. These reports will show over 750,000 jobs were directly funded by the Recovery Act in the most recent quarter - the highest total so far."

Great news---the only catch? The actual recipient reports---which would help put the job gains in context and were slated to be posted to Recovery.gov "later today" according to a 1pm Recovery press release ---didn't get posted to Recovery.gov until after 6 pm. A Recovery spokesman told CBS News late Friday afternoon that they were still "tallying the data" and working to the reports posted as soon as possible. Just in time for the Friday dump.

Read Vice President Biden's Statement


  • Emily Rand

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