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Letter of the Day: Shilling for shopping

<b>Shilling for shopping</b>

EDITOR: Black Friday and its even more insidious sibling Black Thursday are cultural events of such outsized importance that they were front-page news for several days. This shouldn't have been a surprise, because the media are shamefully culpable in perpetuating the frenzy that characterizes this annual rite.

Media outlets across the country dispatched a phalanx of reporters to bring us images and stories from the vast parking lots of big-box emporiums as giddy shoppers queued up to gorge at the trough of materialism.

I'm troubled that the media have provided a platform for their corporate counterparts that amounts to millions of dollars of free advertising. When the marketing strategies of the retail giants are reported as news, it's clear the fourth estate is at least partially derelict in its duties.

Corporate avarice and consumer complicity have sullied the spirit of what was the least commercial of our holidays. For many Americans, Thanksgiving now is nothing more than another excuse to go shopping.

MARK WARDLAW

Santa Rosa


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