The term is in reference to a May 16, 2006 article by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) detailing the repeated use by columnist Thomas Friedman of "the next six months" as the period in which, according to Friedman, "we're going to find out...whether a decent outcome is possible" in the Iraq War.
As documented by FAIR, Friedman had been making such six-month predictions for a period of two and a half years, on at least fourteen different occasions, starting with a column in the November 30, 2003 edition of The New York Times, in which he stated: "The next six months in Iraq—which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there—are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time.
In general terms, it can apply to any hollow promise of meeting a politically attractive benchmark that no one will bother to check on later. But temporally speaking, it's usually 6 months
"We should be seeing a real difference inside six months," criminologist David Kennedy said in an interview Friday after speaking at a Loyola University symposium on lethal violence.
Kennedy's ideas are the basis for a new component of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's "NOLA for Life" murder-reduction campaign.