Independent Christian Voice

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Wal-Mart sets up "war room"

[Updated version of a previous post] From The New York Times:

Wal-Mart is taking a page from the modern political playbook. Under fire from well-organized opponents who have hammered the retailer with criticisms of its wages, health insurance and treatment of workers, Wal-Mart has quietly recruited former presidential advisers, including Michael K. Deaver, who was Ronald Reagan's image-meister, and Leslie Dach, one of Bill Clinton's media consultants, to set up a rapid-response public relations team in Arkansas.

When small-business owners or union officials - also employing political operatives from past campaigns - criticize the company, the war room swings into action with press releases, phone calls to reporters and instant Web postings.

One target of the effort are "swing voters," or consumers who have not soured on Wal-Mart. The new approach appears to reflect a fear that Wal-Mart's critics are alienating the very consumers it needs to keep growing, especially middle-income Americans motivated not just by price, but by image.

> Read entire article

Two observations about this news:

First, rather than working to actually address worker advocates' and concerned consumers' issues with Wal-Mart's practices, the company has decided it's better to invest in an aggressive PR strategy. Smoke and mirror tactics are much more effective (in the short term) than substantive debate on the issues or any long-term solution. It works well in politics; why not adopt the practice for big business?

Second, the almighty dollar makes for strange bed-fellows. Reagan and Bush strategists working side-by-side with Clinton and Kerry strategists. Principle easily succumbs to profit.

For former Democratic stategists to engage in such work is paramount to selling their souls to the "devil" they previously fought against. At one time they promoted the Democratic message, one purported to stand up for workers' rights and to stand against monopolistic big business. Now they whore themselves to the highest bidder.

It's more evidence that money nearly always trumps principle, no matter what party you belong to. Both parties are corrupted by the money of special interests. No wonder the electorate is so disenfranchised.

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