I love LexisNexis. I’d just like to put that out there.
The academic version of the news search database helped me discover something interesting: Coverage of Black Friday hasn’t always been so extensive.
My original goal was to find out how many times Black Friday is mentioned in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, through the day after, versus how many times Afghanistan is mentioned during that same eight day period each year. Turned out that Afghanistan has a fairly steady figure (I expected it to steadily or suddenly decline over time as readers developed war fatigue) while Black Friday has soared from 10-30 stories per year to more than 100.
Link to a version of the chart which can be modified to display posts on Afghanistan, as well as to include or exclude years:
Who knew loss leaders could be so much more interesting? And at which point will loss leaders eclipse combat losses for our national attention?