Jason Cochran

Stuff you never knew you never knew

Most good publications have something called an “editorial calendar.” That means the editors have a list of topics they want to cover during the year, partly because people want to know about them at those times, and partly because it’s when advertisers are most interested in paying for ads for stuff about that subject matter. Come to think of it, those are pretty close to the same reason.

Anyway, one of WalletPop.com‘s golden subjects (along with Tax Day) is Black Friday. That’s the day after Thanksgiving, when Americans bum rush box stores in search of big discounts. Same people get so worked up about the possibility of a good deal that they camp out all night just for the chance to wake up at the crack of Mother Nature’s ass and kill a Walmart employee.

WalletPop has been sending me out in front of the cameras (and in front of keyboards, where I just coined the word “blackwashing”) to discuss Black Friday with a wide audience. Unfortunately, a wide audience usually isn’t available, but there are plenty of people who live in Philadelphia and read WalletPop. I’m posting three of my recent pulpit moments about Black Friday right here.

If this first segment doesn’t attest to my CBS News Sunday Morning leanings shamelessly enough, my YouTube channel might bear sweeter fruit, often with the gentle tropical aroma of Steve Hartman or Bill Geist:

That video you just watched normally resides in a post I wrote for WalletPop which includes several other facts that didn’t make it into the final cut. (Can you believe it? There are actually DVD extras for these adorable little Internet skits!) Specifically: details about the several Black Fridays of the late 19th Century, including the one that sparked the 20-year Long Depression. Yeah. I can’t imagine why those tidbits about archaic aspects of the global financial industry weren’t deemed jaunty enough for this cut, either.

I’ve become satellite buddies with good old Thomas Drayton over at Fox Philly. Every Wednesday evening on my weekly segment, he crawls into my earpiece and asks me the questions that prod me to guide savvy shoppers in the right direction, or at the very least, shamelessly work to spread usage of my made-up word “blackwashing” across this fine, free-spending land of ours, as I craftily did in this segment:

Tonight, I paid another visit to Philadelphia via the airwaves of inner space. Once again, I essentially warned American shoppers not to be idiots and to take a little responsibility for themselves. After all, now that pretty much every major retail brand leaks — or, more accurately, pretends to leak — their Black Friday circulars, people really have no excuse not to know in advance whether any Black Friday “deal” is really a phony markdown off a phony markup. Come on, shoppers. Hear me preach it:

Oh, what the hell. I’m putting it out there in the universe, Oprah-style:

We leave you now with the radiant logo of my favorite show...

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