Wednesday, October 27, 2021
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Bullshit News: Black Friday sales

The geeks at TechCrunch may be hell on wheels when it comes to covering new computer software and hardware, but "not so much" when it comes to covering the economy.

Unless your idea of "news you can use" is the kind of shameless stock market cheerleading which is only good for getting on the wrong side of a bad trade, underpinning yet another knowing lie by a political hooker, or making overworked Americans feel like they're coming up short.

The kind of regurgitated economic journalism TechCrunch just vomited into the public forum pisses me off to no end, because I covered economic indicators in Washington, D.C., back in the day. And I know that this type of overly rosy economic story is a plague on Americans of every income and background, because it makes the average person feel like a loser by implying everyone else is doing better than they really are.

It’s not true. The economy sucks for everyone but the top 10 percent and has for about a decade now. The rest of us are all struggling. 

You are not alone.

TechCrunch implied otherwise with this misleading economic headline for the critical Thanksgiving weekend sales period: “Thanksgiving/Black Friday Online Sales Hit $4.5B, 34% Of Purchases Made On Mobile.”

They followed it up in the body of the story published Nov. 28 with a lede built around a sin of omission. By focusing solely on the natural gravitation to online shopping, instead of the decline in holiday spending which actually occurred on Black Friday, they turned the frown that was the biggest shopping day of the year upside down.

The result was a story which falsely implied to many casual readers that Americans spent more this Thanksgiving weekend and our economy has been thriving.

The painful reality is that they didn't and it's not.

Consumers actually spent 6 percent less on Black Friday 2015 than the same day a year ago, by my calculations of the relevant data TechCrunch cited from Shoppertrak and Adobe. Total purchases on Nov. 27, both online and in person, fell to $13.14 billion from $14 billion. 

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