Archive for December 4th, 2006

The pot calling the kettle black? More on Wal-Mart and the critics

December 4, 2006

I’m not sure, but the critics of Wal-Mart who made the loudest noises about the “fake blog” controversy may be more than a tad hypocritical.

Ever since I commented here about the Wal-Mart Across America Blog that turned out was funded by Edelman, I have received several helpful comments (anti-Wal-Mart and ant-Edelman) from someone from the organization behind I checked this website and saw what I assumed to be a typical activist “trash the company” website run by individuals who are sincerely committed to making change in something they believe in.

Imagine my surprise when I read in the latest issue of the Economist that is a union-led organization. Sure enough, I went to the site and the head of it is indeed an union leader. But there is nothing clearly visible on the site to indicate that it is a union front.

So let me get this straight (and again, I may have my facts straight and I’m sure if I have anything wrong I will quickly find out: The Wal-Mart “critics” attack Edelman and the blog it sponsored for not being forthcoming about their vested interest in supporting Wal-Mart. But it is apparently perfectly OK for the critics to not be forthcoming about their vested and very clear financial interests.

Unions, after all, are a business. Their revenue gained is dependent directly on the number of members who have union jobs. The more union members employed, the better they do and the more resources they have to pay their people, hire more and maintain their political action–aimed of course at getting more union jobs. I can very well understand how much union leaders hate Wal-Mart. It not only does not hire union members, it puts enormous pressure on competitors who do hire union members with all the costs and benefits associated.

Just to be clear–I am not defending Wal-Mart’s employee practices. I have commented separately on how I believe they must change. But, if the Economist is correct (and they usually are) it is incredibly hypocritical (in my opinion) of to be so incensed by the fake blog when they themselves are posing as a citizen-based activist (and blog) organization when they have a clear economic vested interest.