Black Friday presents an annual birthday present to lazy newsrooms across the country to deliver us artificial content, such sheep we've become.
It's a stale, largely irrelevant event; manufactured news really. There was a time that the day-after Thanksgiving shopping day was reported on by the masses and it was legitimate news--a show of force by consumers looking to get great deals and the retailers pulling out all the stops and deal to entice shoppers. Great. Good visuals. The start of the holiday season. Live shots galore at the local Macys and eager beaver people grabbing the hundred dollar 62-inch flat screen. Convenient for the assignment editor and reporter too looking for glue after the all-night turkey feast.
No, Black Friday is a certified joke. It's a caricature of itself. It also is, once again, a made-up buffoonery that is an artificial element of the American economy. Even so, our fake media brethren are all too giddy to take part and be there at the shopping center to join in the November circus.
This is what you're going to get Black Friday. The predictable MOS live shot in Walnut Creek at the suburban white shopping mall. It beats the insanity at the less-desirable Walmart because young-white cheesy teeth are better demos for the sales dept. You get standard faire questions: "How much did you spend?" --"How does it feel to be out here?" Blah, blah, blah. You can pretty much keep every MOS on file and use it every year. It NEVER changes. It is reliably stale.
Black Friday has become enough of a phenomena that if news operations failed to cover it, then it would be met with universal scorn like, How Dare You! I'd love to see that. Would it kill a TV station to merely offer a two-minute quick report? Hardly. It would be refreshing and bold. It would require that the TV station then have to report real, actual news. Black Friday isn't anything newsy anymore just a hodgepodge of less-than-appealing modern Americana at its worst. That's not unpatriotic that's just the facts.
Today your all-encompassing TV/Radio media will be on holiday itself putting forth sloppy seconds. They don't have the creative force nor girth to provide anything unique or different--in a way they've become like the crazed morons who spend the night freezing in sleeping bags outside to buy 4-buck smart phone. Dummies. There is no there there. But why be so obvious? Because they don't have a plan.
They could comb the AP wire and look for some real stuff. But they're lazy. They could send a reporter to the mayor's office and ask about that $5000 junket to Hawaii back in October, and you know what? That would be some really good TV! Who the hell needs to see another MOS outside some antique store in Emeryville when they could see some politician getting squeezed! But that would require thought and creativity --basic tenets of good TV reporting just closed for business on stale Black Friday.
I don't bemoan the holiday spirit. I'm not some retail scrooge and I understand the excitement of post-Thanksgiving shopping. It's a rush; an adrenaline missile from the last stuffing of pumpkin pie last night, but in its most purest form it is not a TV event, a social-cause celeb as it has been portrayed on the TV news cycle. It should be covered, indeed, but not as the news force it has artificially become courtesy of national news and local affiliates.
People, you deserve better. You're being force-fed a football-field size of visual minutiae--are you that gullible? Maybe all of this you like and expect. Maybe you're just cynical like those news mangers who just dish it out and are incapable of serving up anything fresh. Pass the stuffing, it's stale Black Friday.
*Follow me on Twitter