Nothing has exemplified better the tendency of the Daily Mail to play both sides of the field than the latest crop of articles on The Sales. Despite all the copy expended over so-called “Black Friday” and all the other pre-Christmas offers, there was plenty of effort put into covering the Boxing Day rush, because, well, it’s cheap filling for a slow news period, and it’s traditional, innit?
What's f***ing wrong with telling readers to blow money they haven't got, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
Hedging their bets magnificently, Mail hacks told “Record Boxing Day sales as bargain hunters 'blow £3BILLION' – but stormy weather and rise of online shopping bring quietest High Streets in years”. Do we have photos of those allegedly “quietest High Streets”? Well, just one, Buchanan Street in Glasgow, a city that has been affected by last week’s horrific bin lorry crash that killed six people.
So Glasgow has good reason to be quieter. The Mail’s own photos show that London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and even Cheltenham were anything but. So why are so many people turning out at extremely silly hours? Perhaps they are being tempted by what they read on media news sites.
Sites like the one telling, in a headline published at 2248 hours on December 25, “The bargains you can't afford to miss: With hundreds off designer handbags and 20% off iPhone5s, let the sales begin! Great savings on Mulberry, Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo handbags as well as luxury beauty bargains ... But also amazing offers on winter essentials for the children and bits for the home and kitchen”.
There was more: “With the joy of unwrapping presents on Christmas morning gone for another year, it's time to grab a bargain on Boxing Day. This year, there are unbelievable offers in stores and online, with hundreds of pounds knocked off the price of designer handbags, flat screen televisions and Apple iPhone5s. But as well as treating yourself to some post-Christmas pick-me-up gifts, there are plenty of amazing deals on bits for the home and kitchen and winter essentials and toys for the children. Here are the best of the bargains you simply can't afford to miss”.
To no surprise at all, the hype is all coming from the same paper that then reported on the crowds early the following morning – yes, this too was published by the Mail. Granted, website details were given, but, human nature being what it is, many would have been tempted to be there just in case bargains ran out.
And in case you didn’t get the first prompt to go out and spend something, there has been a follow-up article today, backed up by a patently ludicrous piece titled “Smart ways to survive the sales! Only carry £50 notes. Never shop with a rumbling tum. And always take a man with you”. You could, of course, survive the sales much more easily by ignoring the Mail and staying put at home.
The hypocrisy is another good reason to ignore the Mail. No surprise there, then.