Monday, December 1, 2008

Did The Media Kill The Wal-Mart Worker?

BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS in Long Island, NY crushed a man to death at Wal-Mart as they rushed the store for sale items.

A New York Times columnist now says that the media is partially responsible for the man's death:

"The willingness of people to walk over another human being to get at the right price tag raises the question of how they got that way in the first place," writes David Carr. "But in the search for the usual suspects and parceling of blame, the news media should include themselves."

Carr argues that the media, specifically newspapers, rely upon retailers for ad dollars, so the media overhypes Black Friday sales. Therefore, the media creates mass consumerism, the kind that brought about the death of Jdimytai Damour, a 34-year old seasonal worker.

Do you agree? Does the media have that much influence over people? Are we responsible for the man's death?

Or were the shoppers only interested in the 42-inch LCD HDTVs that were on sale for $598?

20 comments:

Matt Petrillo said...

It is unfortunate that people are ignorant enough to step on a person lying on the floor, but the excitement of Black Friday is fueled by the stores who impose strict time restrictions on their sales and stock only a limited supply of hot-ticket items.

The media is not responsible for people's behavior.

Lheron said...

Agreed. The media had influence, but people are and always will be responsible for their own actions. All someone, just one person, had to do was help him up.

It's unnerving that a person died over Wal-Mart.

Taj said...

Blame the media for everything, why don`t you?! I blame the stores for causing the rush; they understock, overadvertise and don`t give shoppers enough time in the stores. They`re creating chaos. I feel bad for that worker, its ridiculous how savage some people can be.

laura meminger said...

Perhaps you could blame the media for someone's death...but it is definitely not this person's. It is the greediness and selfishness of the American people that caused this man's death. Really...all it would have taken was one person to help this guy. I don't understand why that was so hard.

summergirl said...

I don't think you can blame the media for this. I'm not even sure you can blame the crowd. Yes, they were totally overboard going that crazy about a TV sale. But what caused the trampling was that the people in the back of the crowd kept pushing forward, not knowing anything was wrong. If you have to blame someone, I'd say to blame WalMart - they should have handled the crowd better, found a way to get people into the store in a more civilized manner.

Courtney Schmidt said...

The media will always be blamed for influencing someone when something goes wrong. This man died because shoppers crushed him to get sales, and I agree that if anyone should get the majority of the blame.. it should be WalMart. If you are a store owner and were aware of the deals you would be having on a day like Black Friday, then have stronger security, make sure things like this do not happen. If we blame the media for advertising these sales, does that mean they will be blamed for every other tragedy that occurs during a sale over the course of the rest of the year? Where would it end?

erica rosenblum said...

I agree with many of the comments above me. It definitely has to do with the specific hours that a store will set for its "huge blowout sale" that causes the chaos and craziness in the Wal-Marts, Macys, and Best Buys of the world. That is extremely disturbing that not ONE person would stop to help this man up. It is pure insanity.

GraceMcDermott said...

I work at the mall, right next to this wal- mart, and people came into my store complaining about wal-mart being closed for maybe like 2 hours! It's crazy that people would blame the media. The fact is people need to take responsibility for there own actions, no matter how terrible they are and stop looking to blame the media for all the worlds problems.

Hattie Cheek said...

Its weird that this is on the blog cite because its what my papers on. I do feel that the media should be critisized about how they presented both storys. The day before Black friday the media was ecouraging shoppers to not bring children along because it would slow them down. They were being told to get out to the stores and shop as hard as they could. Once an inocent man was killed they portrayed the shoppers as monsters, when they were the people influencing this kind of behavior. Yes it is completely unexceptable to trample a man to death, but the media shouldnt have encouraged this behavior and then condemn it the very next day.

Lauren Hubbard said...

Taj makes a good point about how stores on Black Friday understocked items. Yes, the shopping "holiday" is over advertised, but that is not the media's fault. Neither is Damour's death. Like stated before my post, people from the back of the crowd do push forward to get closer to the goods not knowing the situation at hand, but the people killed him. So saying it is not the shopper's fault is a little out there. Wal-Mart should have organized the crowd better, or maybe even stocked better or advertised more sale items. But the media is not at fault. Newspapers are just as much a business ad Wal-Mart, why blame the media? Maybe Wal-Mart could have placed the TVs at a better location so spread out the crowds, or at multiple locations. That poor seasonal worker.

J K Hirst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J K Hirst said...

This is what I think: http://theredhairing.blogspot.com/2008/12/return-of-sith-walmart.html

HouseMD said...

It is crazy to say that the media is responsible for this. Hyping up Black Friday is their job... it's a never ending circle of money from ads/publicity etc., but the fact that these people were so inhumane to take this man's life for their greed is in no way the fault of the media. The blame lies with the citizens who so carelessly allowed it to happen.

Anonymous said...

I worked black friday and compared to this year, last years was horrible, why are you rushing anyway? You at least have about 2 hours to shop before the price goes up to regular price or whatever the case is.
I blame the media, the commercials, newspapers, everything, I'm sick to my stomach hearing news about what happened to an individual because the media changes people's minds!

Genevia said...

I don't believe the media had anything to do with this man's death. Everyone knows about Black Friday and it's insane sales promotions. SHOPPERS are crazy around this time and that's just a fact; sadly, THEY trampled that man o death. The media hypes everything anyway, in my opinion, so I don't think they were responsible.

Catherine Cannon said...

I understand trying to find someone to blame in such tragic events. Everyone wants to point fingers just so someone will be held accountable. Especially in a situation such as the man being trampled in Walmart because it is going to difficult to pin the blame on someone in this particular situation. However I think that David Carr's stretch of accusing the media as whole for the trampled man's death is bit ludicrous. No one should be blamed but the people who trampled the man. It's unfortunate that our world is now filled with such greedy & selfish people. It really disgusts me that those people were so possessed and needed these items so badly that they found it necessary to bring a man to his death. The media and advertisers can hype up Black Friday all they want and the stores can make the greatest deal they can offer but the consumers who trampled a man to his death are responsible for their actions, no one else.

Irene Kip said...

I think the media definitely played a part in creating the frenzy that caused this...but so did a lot of factors. First and foremost, though, the people that did this were to blame. Unfortunately, with or without the fuel of the media, people have a tendency to act this way when there is so much personal benefit to be gained.

Lauren Grant said...

The media had nothing to do with this other than advertising the sale. The greed of the people got the best of them and instead of realizing that they are stepping on someone, they were more focused on what they could get for less.

Aidan Walsh said...

Yet another attempt for people to deflect responsibility to anyone else, based on what they said or how they put advertisements in the paper (probably the most absurd excuse for people trampling someone to death there could possibly be).
I was taught in preschool not to rush in a crowd, especially down stairs or through a doorway. The phrase used by my teachers was "don't be a buffalo" referring to the way they trample their own kind in a frenzy.
It shouldn't be necessary for adults to remind each other not to trample each other. Media or not.

Jonathan said...

How sad is it that people got killed over a sale at Wal-Mart? The media pounds it into the heads of the people that they MUST buy whatever the hot product is and that it is a ONE TIME ONLY SALE. It's a disgrace that people would fall into the mind games of advertisers. It is also more of a disgrace that someone had to be killed over this. I guess South Park was right, they knew Wal-Mart was evil.