The damned Thanksgiving eve stories

This is one of those mornings when I want to throw the TV out the window. The lead story is that the roads and airports will be crowded this morning. Now that’s news! And it’s team coverage everywhere as correspondents stand in airports and on road reporting absolutely nothing there but providing mere atmospherics as they recite meaningless statistics from various agencies: “…more Americans than ever are on the move this Thanksgiving…” They are telling us absolutely nothing we don’t already know. This is journalism?

And then comes Friday, when they will give us the big news: Stores will be crowded.

It’s the no-shit season on TV news.

  • Jeff, how can you as productive as you are with the TV on? And one more question: Do you watch the TV news because 1) you learn something, 2) you’re interested in the business, or 3) it’s interesting anthropology? Just curious. Happy Thanksgiving

  • AMEN, Jeff. It’s almost physically painful to see the lead stories on EVERY newscast the day before (and the day of)…telling us how many millions of people are driving, how many are flying, how crowded the roads and airports are…can you give us ANY insight as to WHY they do this every year?

  • David- My guess is that they do it every year because they the have done it every year previous. -BK

  • Dave the H.

    Brooklyn Kitchen writes: My guess is that they do it every year because they the have done it every year previous.

    Hey, isn’t that what Thanksgiving celebrations are all about?

    (What’s that you say? These TV heads aren’t celebrating?)

  • BW

    This is one of those times I’d almost love to just stand behind a reporter and make faces into the camera like a 5 year old. Exactly what part of your “on the scene” report am I supposed to take seriously? Actually, I’m on my way to my job and you’re in the way.

  • Right!

    “no-shit” television – I LOVE IT.

    President sets bird free!
    Your Turkey Could Kill You! (food poisoning)
    Butterball Hotline Gives You Leg Up!
    When Turkeys Attack!

    And newspapers do the same damn thing!

  • Guy Love

    Overcoverage and overmarketing of holidays is going to kill the golden goose. Do we really need to see Christmas items for sale the day after labor day? I have gotten to the point where I don’t even watch TV or read the newspapers during these pre-holiday run ups.

  • Personally I think they should ban Thanksgiving not just because of the wanton genocide of friendly birds, but also because of the obesity epidemic and the global warming issues surrounding annual record traffic. There seems to be an inordinate amount of large “high passenger” cars on the road to boot.

    Some others have argued that Thanksgiving should be eradicated because it was on that day that the Puritans introduced Native Americans to alcohol. I am not so sure of this. Regardless I find the tax-free reservation casinos to be reparations enough.

  • Scott


    Add that to the first snowstorm live remotes (also shot from the overpass) and live hurricane remotes. I’m surprised news departments don’t try to save money by using footage from their libraries. Who would know the difference?

  • If you’re they’re going to repeat the same thing on TV every Thanksgiving, why can’t they repeat the “Turkey Drop” episode of “WKRP in Cincinnatti”?

    “Oh the humanity!!!”

    “As God as my witness… I thought turkeys could fly.”

  • chico haas

    So much happens to me during the year that I forget a lot of people travel before Thanksgiving and a lot more shop after. Thanks, Action News!

  • steve,
    sorry. no time to answer. ;-)

  • Gregory J. Amani Smith

    I like watching those stories to see the local heirarchy of the TV News totem pole. The young saps trying to be witty with rotten material. No-shit season into train wreck TV.

  • We could say the same about every newspaper (and TV news program) doing the same story about people standing in line to buy the PS-whatever-it-is video game machine, and some of them buying it to put on eBay.

    Maybe 2,000 journalists in American wasted — what, half a day? — driving to the Best Buy store and interviewing some teenagers camped on the sidewalk.

    Just imagine what useful and meaningful stories might have been covered with that amount of journalist manpower!

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  • IS

    Its lazy. They’re all lazy. And if you ever work in a local TV newsroom you would see that the managers that let it happen are typically the old-school hard core journalists — They’re just tired.

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  • Hand-crafted TrackBack:


    Jeff Jarvis laments the lame offerings the MSM is foisting on us this week: travel and shopping. I agree!


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  • jp stanley

    Amen, brother.

    It’s not just the media that’s at fault, though … how about this press release by BuzzMetrics, which features painfully obvious insights and predictions:

    There’s more holiday buzz now than there was a few weeks ago!

    People will start complaining about customer service more after Christmas!

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