Out of Control Policy Blog

Wal-Mart, Critics Slam Each Other on the Web

That's the vaguely porno headline of this piece.

Seems that the Wal-Mart Wars have escalated yet again:

    Paidcritics.com was started last week by Working Families for Wal-Mart, a group funded primarily by Wal-Mart, to reveal what it described as "the real motives of the union leaders behind the campaign against Wal-Mart."

    It characterized one of its leading critics, Andrew Grossman of union-backed Wal-Mart Watch, as "a political operative with a checkered past" in a section called "Paid Critic of the Week" that also lambasted Wayne Hanley, head of the Canadian chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

    The site is part of Wal-Mart's aggressive defense since last year against its increasingly organized critics. Wal-Mart won't say how much it is spending, but it has set up a political campaign-style "war room" staffed by consultants, hired Washington D.C. lobbyists, formed the Working Families group and created another Web site called Wal-Mart Facts.

    In response to the new site, union-funded WakeUpWalMart.com started its own Web site Tuesday, http://www.abunchofgreedyrightwingliarswhoworkforwalmart.com, which attacks the retailer's public relations and lobbying figures.

Right wingers? But this Kerry supporter calls WM a progressive success story. And how about those low priced gay-themed flicks WM sells?

Interesting that WM is getting fiercer and softer:

    The world's largest retailer has hired Harriet Hentges, a former nun and foreign conflict mediator, to help steer the company's policies on the environment, health care and labor relations -- three areas where Wal-Mart's public image has suffered.

Article here.

And WM's attempt to make its own version of MySpace seems just wrong:

    It's a quasi-social-networking site for teens designed to allow them to "express their individuality," yet it screens all content, tells parents their kids have joined and forbids users to e-mail one another.

A tightly-screened, Mom and Dad-supported, no-chatting online experience. Yeah, that's what teens want.

Then there's this:

    users [are] "hubsters" -- a twist on hipsters that proves just how painfully uncool it is to try to be cool.

More here.

Related: Wal-Mart Foe Hyperbole Watch

Ted Balaker is Producer


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