Favorite

Covering Wal-Mart 

A new television ad critical of Wal-Mart says that the huge retailer’s business practices are far from Christ-like, a reporter on Channel 4’s newscast informed us the other night, but she quickly added – lest anybody get the wrong idea about Wal‑Mart or Channel 4 — that “religious leaders” had concluded the ad’s labor-union sponsor was only attempting to appropriate the banner of Christian values for the union’s own secular purposes. Those “religious leaders” she mentioned turned out to be Jerry Cox, the head of the Arkansas Family Council, a right-wing lobby group. All one of him.

Conservative pundits profess to see major mistreatment of Wal-Mart in the media. They see what they want to see, just as that Channel 4 reporter saw a band of Jerry Coxes. Wal-Mart has many friends and protectors in the media, especially the Big Media. Wal-Mart is, among other things, an advertiser, much more of an advertiser than any labor union or consumer group, and no cow is so sacred to most of the media as an advertiser.

When ABC’s “World News Tonight” focused its attention on a class-action sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the show ran a segment quoting one plaintiff, then went to three sources for criticism of the case, including Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott. Steve Bokat of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another member of the defense team, echoed Scott, calling the suit “fundamentally unfair.” ABC reporter Geoff Morrell advised that “economists say [the lawsuit] could have a chilling effect on big retailers, forcing them to raise prices and implement stricter policies for promotion.” For affirmation of Morrell’s remarks, the network turned to Tim Kane of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, who said the lawsuit would “make the management risk-averse; that adds cost to you and me.” No other economists were quoted. E pluribus unum.

Wal-Mart roughs up the media as much as the other way around. Among the largest sellers of media products, Wal-Mart denies shelf space to those it deems inappropriate, such as “America (The Book),” a satirical look at politics and government by Jon Stewart and Comedy Central’s Daily Show. Too irreverent for Wal-Mart.

It was widely reported that Time magazine had intended to select Osama bin Laden as its “person of the year” for 2001, but backed down under pressure from Wal-Mart, which did not officially confirm the reports, but didn’t deny that pressure had been applied either. Editor Wal-Mart at work.

Time had no hard feelings that it dared show, if it wanted to stay on the shelves of the company that accounts for 15 percent of all single-copy magazine sales in the U.S. In June 2005, Time did a cheerleading piece on Wal-Mart’s Chinese enterprises. It found that Chinese employees and customers alike were delighted with Wal-Mart, the big softy.


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • Can't afford to gut ACA

    The Affordable Care Act was passed into law with the promise that it would make insurance affordable. Because of bipartisan leadership in Arkansas, we continue to strive to achieve that goal. While rhetoric abounds, it is important to understand the Arkansas experience.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Storm president

    It's undeniable that President Trump's public approval has improved since the moment Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas the last week of August; polls showed his popularity up by approximately 2 points.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Shiny, nobody is saying that Hillary isn't entitled to speak. Shit, the more she talks,…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bad health care bill, again

    • Its hard to tell what the GOP in Arkansas care about beyond making life worse…

    • on September 20, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • I am very glad to see a lot of women running for government positions in…

    • on September 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation