Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why has the "News" devolved to retail hucksters for holiday shopping?

When did the news turn into hucksters for holiday shopping? The local news is the worst, sharing the "best deals" and opening times for stores, Black Friday this, Cyber Monday that. But even NBC Nightly News was talking about cheap gas prices as if they were an unmitigated gift to society and then said the $1100 annual household savings would "go straight under the Christmas tree." No mention of setting aside some of that in savings. Buy, buy, BUY! Even the supposedly objective journalists have become snake oil salesmen for our consumer society.

Image Courtesy 
David Castillo Dominici
Is it corporate ownership? That's the easy answer, but if you look at who owns whom, you'll see that most like Walt Disney and Time Warner are only in the entertainment business. Maybe that does explain the emphasis on big screen TVs and in the case of Disney, toys. But they aren't hawking their own books, videos and magazines.

Is it that they think that's what we want in news? Maybe, but that's a self-fulfilling prophecy....give us drivel and that's what we expect.

Is it that they are just as blind to our materialistic culture, thinking that is what makes us happy? I would hope they are better read and more intellectually curious.

Mainstream media gets the airwaves for free in return for providing public benefit. What if they redirected their hype from retailers to charities? They could promote the idea of giving charities for Christmas. When my family had all they needed, I did this as Christmas gifts.

This even works for kids. My niece thought it was really cool that she became the adopted parent of a white leopard for a year and when she graduated from high school, I took her on a volunteer vacation. I found a charity for my soccer-fanatic godchild that brought soccer balls to bombed out areas in the world to give the traumatized children there something fun to do. And when I gave him a couple hundred dollars as a graduation present, he wrote that he wanted to donate half of it to charity. Wow.

So give a REAL gift this year, a gift of compassion, a lesson in values, an experience that will last a lifetime.

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