Friday, November 17, 2006

Wal Mart HQ Unfairly Smears John Edwards





Hey, Wal Mart - Apologize for Swift-Boating
Senator John Edwards!



Wal Mart is wrong here. Simply wrong for what they have done. They need to apologize and clarify a story they released to the press that seems to have been specifically engineered to unfairly damage the former Senator and VP candidate's reputation.

Dave Johnson: Wal-Mart Engineers a Smear of Edwards

Daily Kos: Who Should You Believe, Wal-Mart or John Edwards?

When I see a major corporation trying to take the heat off themselves by creating a false impression about a popular citizen-leader who is speaking out against their unjust policies, I have to strike that corporation off my list of businesses with which I choose to deal.

So, it's Goodbye, Wal Mart for me. The way I see it, they've shot themselves in the foot by deliberately, and with harmful intent, making a stupid and false attack on a leader that millions of Americans greatly admire.

How interesting that the story came out the same day that Senator Edwards participated in a nationwide public conference call in opposition to Walmart's policies toward its employees. Senator Edwards was active in his pursuit of fairness for all Americans who work for Wal Mart. Edwards has obviously been targeted as an enemy of Wal Mart for having been active in the Wake-Up Walmart campaign and tour. This kind of retribution looks very, very bad for Wal Mart, a corporation that boats a little yellow smiley face while stabbing an honest man in the back for merely questioning their policies.

Imagine if John Edwards had been a Republican in this situation (or just another spongy and Corporate-compliant hypocrite like so many of our "leaders" today). Imagine this was a "leader" who was perfectly willing to look the other way as Wal Mart failed to pay employees enough to support a family, forced those employees to work off-the-clock, and failed to cover over 775,000 employees for healthcare, (1 out of 6 Wal Mart employees have no health care coverage at all). We never would have heard a word about this so-called incident. Wal Mart would have not even worried about a need to drum up a story that raised all these false impressions. The problem Wal Mart has with John Edwards is that he possesses the character of a true leader with real moral conviction about defending justice for the American worker.

What's next? Is Wal Mart going to start a rumor about me in my own community when I write to my local newspaper about my concerns regarding the economic justice they deny to their employees every day? What scum - truly. What scum has come out of the Wal Mart headquarters today. (Do I sound disgusted?)

Whether you like John Edwards or not, anyone willing to fall into the trap on this Wal Mart swift boat story is saying that they are perfectly willing to go the way of Senator John Kerry's excruciating 2004 electoral loss. Wal Mart is acting like one of those 527 groups who attacked Senator Kerry in swift boat ads back in 2004 - for which Kerry never supplied adequate self-defense or comeback. It was painful to see his campaign falter when we knew he was a brave defender of our nation and its troops during the questionable Vietnam conflict.

Regardless of what you politically think of John Edwards, think about who is attacking him and why they are doing so. If you think Wal Mart has a long way to go to provide economic justice to its employees and if you understand how Wal Mart has made it own unique and terrible contribution to poverty in this country, then we should remember to fight back instead of believing Wal Mart over a citizen-Democrat named John Edwards.

John Edwards does not intend to destroy Wal Mart. He is appealing to them to treat their workers more fairly. He did not deserve this attack upon his character. It was based upon innuendo and what I view as a deliberate misleading.

Wal Mart's swiftboat story is akin to a 527-style political campaign ad. It was started by a corporation's headquarters - with free advertisement by a malleable press looking to stoke controversy. As we approach 2008, I see this as a dangerous situation for any political leader who has the guts to tell the big corporations that they're wrong.

What are we going to do about it? I'm taking Wal Mart off my Christmas-shopping map. (And I'm one of those people who says "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays.")

A commenter at Huffington Post named "laughingalltheway" who, in my view, is deliberately acting publicly in concert with the Wal Mart headquarter's smear campaign against John Edwards asked:
Does anyone think that the staff member got this for Edwards on his own initiative?
I replied:

First, get your facts straight. It wasn't even the staff member. It was a citizen that was classified as a "volunteer." It comes to me as no shock that a person who wants to do something nice for a leader he respects might get overzealous and think he can throw the leader's name around (without the leader's knowledge or consent). That doesn't make the leader himself culpable or involved in any way. To assume so is REALLY is stretch.

You fell for Wal Mart's attempt to suck you in and believe that Sen. Edwards went shopping at Wal Mart vicariously through another person. If Edwards was telepathic (like that other John Edward), he may have known what was happening. But he didn't.

So let's not turn this into something it's not.
Wal Mart had best beware. I'm a citizen in New York State who just witnessed the overwhelming victory of Eliot Spitzer's campaign for Governor. He won because he was a champion - bold, fair, tenacious and courageous, against any corporation who thought they were so well-protected by corrupt government that they could not be held responsible for unfair practices. I don't see Senator Edwards' mission for justice as any different. The public greatly respects leaders who demand the kind of justice and fairness that is made manifest by food on their table, a college education for those who desire it, and regular trips for doctor's and dental check-ups for themselves and their kids as a rule rather than a miraculous exception.

* Go here to see a leter I wrote to radio show host Ed Schultz. On his Friday show, he played right into Wal Mart's version of the story and all of its false impressions. Wow. What a disappointment Mr. Schultz is on this issue.

The bottom line is this: Wal-Mart tried to smear one of its fiercest critics.

____________________


UPDATE: NOVEMBER 24, 2006 - ONE FULL WEEK AFTER THE STORY WAS DEBUNKED:

A website called Morningstar is not only perpetuating a myth that one Google click could have told them was already debunked a full week ago, but they're asking othes to spread the disinformation. Why would they do something like that? It surely doesn't say much for their credibility!



3 comments:

Thivai Abhor said...

Good riddance, this is actually one of the least reasons why we should not shop at Wally World--thanks for the post!

I like the new site!

Anonymous said...

November 27, 2006
Edwards's Crusade
Posted by TOM BEVAN | E-Mail This | Permalink | Email Author

John Edwards's crusade against Wal-Mart hits another bump in the form of this editorial smackdown by the New Hampshire Union-Leader:

Former Sen. John Edwards is to spend an hour at the Manchester Barnes & Noble tonight promoting his new book. We find his choice of venue very interesting.

In Manchester, the local Wal-Mart store sits right behind the Barnes & Noble. It has more floor space, a parking lot several times the size of Barnes & Noble's, and is easier to access by car or public transportation.

But Edwards would not be caught dead inside a Wal-Mart. Saying that the company pays its employees too little, Edwards has embarked on an anti-Wal-Mart crusade. He instructs his staff members and all Americans not to shop at Wal-Mart.

"Wal-Mart makes plenty of money. They need to pay their people well," Edwards said at a Pittsburgh anti-Wal-Mart rally in August.

So naturally Edwards is holding his book signing at Barnes & Noble instead of Wal-Mart. Which is too bad for his anti-low-wages campaign, because in Manchester Wal-Mart pays hourly employees more than Barnes & Noble does.

The Barnes & Noble where Edwards will hawk his book pays $7 an hour to start. The Wal-Mart that sits just yards away pays $7.50 an hour.

Oh, the humanity!

It gets better. Read the rest.

Iddybud said...

Well, "anonymous", I guess yu missed THIS post.

Read on... it gets better. On top of that, it's HONEST. No one's paying me to write it.