Sorry for posting this so late, but I’ve been online all morning buying, buying, buying. After all, it is the vaunted “Cyber Monday,” as local TV news tells us. So, no one’s getting any work done.
Am I being hyperbolic?
Of course. But I’m just taking my cue from the newscasts.
With Thanksgiving behind us, I feel as if I’ve been watching the Home Shopping Network. “Black Friday” reports led the local news in the early evening on Friday, and only the killing of an off-duty cop in Fairfield prevented the story from leading the late news.
(Is it just me, or could local stations rerun tape of previous “Black Fridays” - the stampedes toward the entrances, the long lines to check out, the add-nothing quotes from shoppers - and no one would know the difference?
Hey, I’ve got nothing against capitalism. But I could sort of sympathize with the granola-crunchers who touted Friday as “Buy Nothing Day,” only because it would’ve spared us from live shots at the malls.)
Channel 3 took advantage of its studio at Arden Fair to bring us the news from that mall all day - except for the late news, when Edie Lambert holed up in the actual studio.
The Arden mall location (a.k.a. “the KCRA Experience”) works for Channel 3’s noon news, when Walt Gray and Co. cook with Biba and mix lifestyle and the headlines. But doing the 5 p.m. news with Dave Walker and Lois Hart from there was a bit much. Channel 3 spent its first 10 minutes talking about shopping, with four reporters (yes, FOUR) weighing in.
Here are some lasting images: Suzanne Phan holding store coupons up to the camera, like an informercial host; Mike TeSelle nearly trampling a woman in line in Roseville; Dann Shively hovering over malls in his copter, giving us shots of parked cars.
Quoth traffic reporter Adrienne Bankert: “Arden Fair Mall needs all the help it can get with parking.”
What, as if that’s a breaking news story? I’ve never been to that mall when parking has NOT been a problem.
Meanwhile, at Channel 13, anchor banter revolved around a report that men are outspending women at the stores. And at News10, George Warren gave us the results of a new poll, “commissioned by America Online” (gee, there’s a non-biased observer), that reports 80 percent of people will shop online. And News10 timed a woman to see how long it would take her to purchase her items at a Best Buy in Stockton. (Answer: 20 minutes.)
Hyperbole of the night goes to Fox40’s Louisa Hodge: “By the time you park your car, you’re almost too exhausted to shop.”
But my favorite “Black Friday” image was Fox40’s visual of a man’s foot being run over by a woman in wheelchair as they made their dash to the entrance. The station replayed it three times, as if it was the Zapruder film.
For good measure, Fox40 showed a Virginia shopper punching out another guy in line. Yeah, Merry Freakin’ Christmas.
Good news: Only three more days of sweeps remaining.
And, in the shameless plug category, I’m going to take myself to task for telling you to be sure to pick up The Bee’s Scene section on Tuesday for our print-version of local TV news sweeps madness.