COMMENTS: Shopocalypse Now

In the Christmas spirit, all three newscast ran a feature--no, not on the baby Jesus--but on shopping. ABC had Dan Harris look at retailers' offers to contribute a portion of the revenue for each sale to charity. Harris concluded--unlike NBC, whose anchor Brian Williams is an enthusiastic fan of rock star Bono's Campaign Red--that this is mostly a marketing gimmick: "If you really want to help your favorite charity during the holidays you may be better off just cutting them a check." NBC's Kevin Tibbles survey suddenly popular retail gift cards: "The stigma that they are bland and thoughtless has apparently vanished." On CBS, the nod went to Rev Billy, the New York City performance artist who runs the Church of Stop Shopping. Anthony Mason introduced us to Billy Talen, the down-with-consumerism satirist who is the hero of a new movie What Would Jesus Buy?. The documentary shows the Rev Billy's antics "get him escorted out of the Mall of America and arrested at Disneyland."

His parting slogan: Save Christmas from the Shopocalypse!

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