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Wal-Mart shitcans a newspaper. Good idea?

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Read this column by Pensacola News Journal Executive Editor Randy Hammer and see what type of questions start to form in your mind.

Wal-Mart didn’t like an op-ed columnist pointing out what Thomas Friedman already pointed out in his book, “The World Is Flat.” – 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees are in a Georgia health-care program, which costs the state’s taxpayers nearly $10 million a year.

It’s old news that Wal-Mart censors materials, bans books and music and even has it’s own in-store version of People magazine.

But isn’t this petty for such a big and successful company store?

Columnist Mark O’ Brien wrote, in part:

“I like Wal-Mart prices the same as the next shopper, but there’s a downside, too. Many Wal-Mart employees lack the fringe benefits and insurance that makes the difference between existence and a good quality of life. Yet, we customers pay a surcharge from a different pocket — subsidizing health care for Wal-Mart employees who can’t afford it.”

I applaud Mr. Hammer for sticking up for his staff when there has been absolutely no wrong.

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About temple

Always been a writer, always maintained an interest in politics, how people communicate and fantasy worlds within photography and books. Previously wrote for Blogcritics back in 2005 and interested in exploring the issues and topics I'm interested - the changing landscape of entertainment. all from the POV of a creator first, consumer, second.
  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Interesting, not surprising. What is surprising is that a corporation with the heft of Wal-Mart has so little stake in media/newspapers – unheard of in corporate history, I think.

    What would make this article even more interesting would be a link to the original article disparaging Wal-Mart

  • http://www.dorksandlosers.com Tan The Man

    Thomas Friedman is brilliant.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I had looked Aaman. The column must now be paid for.

    Not sure if he’s syndicated from Pensacola. Doubt it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The Pensacola paper is lucky that Wal-Mart didn’t buy the building they’re housed in, the notes on their delivery trucks and machinery and force them out of business.

    As to what Wal-Mard actually did, it’s their property. If they don’t like the paper or want it there, that’s their right.

    Dave

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Thomas Friedman is well-known after his many media appearances post-9/11 and a competent reporter for the NYT with a knack for seeking attention, but he’s certainly not brilliant.

    I have been really unimpressed with his insights on globalization in his latest media tour.

    That is all.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Welcome back, BAB! :)

    I eagerly await a Detroit Pistons diss… :-/

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    It’s the golden rule, you take the king’s gold, you play the king’s rules. Walmart is under no obligation in law, in morals, or in ethics, to help those who criticize it make money. It isn’t censorship because they made no effort to keep this from being published or the paper from being sold anywhere else.

    Get. Over. It.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Thanks, RJ :)

    Nah, I love the Pistons after last year. I was slightly rooting for the Spurs since I love them too, but it was basketball nirvana for me despite the blowouts.

    What do you think about Flip and Darko next year?

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Ah we welcome the sweet sound of your laughter John.
    Under no obligation. But it can still be wrong and petty.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Thank you for establishing the same pettiness and wrongness of Walmart’s actions apply to your actions in censoring my posts on this site.

    I agree with you, you are being wrong and petty.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    FYI: I didn’t do it. It was a consensus decision of the editors. I didn’t even ask for it, I just wanted you to do better.

    Enough of this on this thread.

    Do you think Wal-Mart’s move is petty?

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    And you just finished saying what Wal-Mart was doing wasn’t censorship so figure it out please.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “What do you think about Flip and Darko next year?”

    Flip is no LB, but this team doesn’t need all the X’s and O’s to exceed expectations. They have hard work and heart on their side.

    Darko will get some serious playing time this season. Maybe I’m naive, but I think the kid has got talent. Certainly not a Nowitzki, but perhaps a decent NBA starting center in another year.

    My concern is ‘Sheed. He was a strong, positive force in the Pistons’ championship run. But he was, if anything, a counter-productive element this last season. He needs to be traded, or something.

    And Prince needs to bulk-up in the off-season. Nothing serious, no ‘roids or anything, just 15-20 pounds of weight-room muscle. Somebody give that kid a ham sandwhich!

    Ben Wallace and Billups will be fine. Hamilton, though, will have to wear that face-shield for the rest of his career. That can’t be a positive thing for his game. If he doesn’t put up some serious numbers (20 ppg, frex) this season, he needs to be dumped.

    If the Pistons aren’t in the Finals again this season, there will be some serious restructuring going on. And I trust Joe Dumars to do it right.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Temple-

    It may or may not have been a consensus decision, but it has nothing to do with my writing. There is a difference between an excuse and a reason. That decision wasn’t taken until I asked editors repeatedly to do editorial work in e-mail. It was only then they decided to question the quality of my work to me.

    Also, as far as the use of the word “censorship”, YHBT. :)

    If you wanted me to do better, you could have emailed me and had a conversation. I’ve done as much with Justene.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    See my e-mail.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    See my response.

  • http://toddyarling.com todd

    I would defend Wal-mart, as it is ridiculous to blame them because the Regime pays for their employees health care, but Wal-mart likes to use the Regime to steal property for their stores,

    So screw em. Just another mercantilist company that only likes a free market when it suits them.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Wal-Mart has the right to be a horrible company and to engage in pettiness. Seems to be what it does best.

    Thanks, Mr. Stark, for reiterating one of the many reasons why I will not shop at Wal-Mart.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/djradiohead DJRadiohead

    And therein lies the beauty in all of this. Wal-Mart has the right to do what it did.

    We have the right to criticize them if we do not like it. We have the right to take it a step further and shop elsewhere if we really did not like it.

    Freedom is a good thing. Who knew?

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    The idea of freedom is good to be sure, esp. for those for whom it is limited. A friend of mine works at Wal-Mart because few companies will hire her. The reason: She is transgender (was born male, but feels she is a woman). She dresses as society dictates women are “supposed” to dress, but she doesn’t “pass” very well, and very few companies are willing to hire what they see as a man in a dress. Wal-Mart did hire her (but only in the warehouse, outside of customer view). Consequently, she lives in poverty without health insurance and all. She hates it and hates Wal-Mart, the less-than-living wage it pays, the way it treats its employees, the company’s use of sweatshops abroad, etc., but unless she gives in to the dominant paradigm (and pretends to be something she isn’t, which I believe would kill her), she isn’t free to do much else but suffer with Wal-Mart.

    Point is, some are more free than others.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    More importantly, RJ and I need to hijack this boring thread to talk hoops.

    Did you see the NY Daily News rumor that the Knicks offered Darko to the Hawks for Al Harrington, RJ? Would you do that deal?

    I’d have to think the Pistons are still co-favorites with the Heat in the East, assuming Shaq’s body can hold up next year. Flip was known as one of the better game coaches in the league before the collapse last year.

    What was Sheed doing that was disruptive last year? By all media accounts I’ve heard, he’s been a really positive,integral part of the team, down to the heavyweight title belts he had made for everyone — somehow I don’t think those were handed over to the low-key Spurs. I don’t know about any off-the-court stuff (which I thought had calmed down with him), but on the court, he’s probably the key to their success the last couple of years, particularly making the defense ungodly. He’s a great interior defender to complement Big Ben (see his defense on Duncan in the Finals), particularly to defend the bucket when Ben goes for a blocked shot or to challenge a shot and let Ben grab the board. He’s also their best scorer, although he’ll never be a big-time, dominant go-to scorer since he’s too unselfish. Rip wasn’t as dominant in the Finals as he was against the Lakers, but he’s a very, very good player who’s in his prime. I think the Pistons are set for several years to come, but that doesn’t mean they can’t use more stars for their rotation. Tayshaun will always be skinny, but perhaps they need to groom him to be their big scorer since he has the body, a good shot, and the athleticism to score all over the court.

    I think your Pistons will be fine and I look forward to the Heat-Pistons-Suns-Spurs rivalry over the next few years.

    That is all.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Basketball is for elsewhere. RJ has the capability to create a post. Or you can go here in the open comments thread.

    And since you do not provide an e-mail I cannot tell you off-site that further basketball comments on this thread will be deleted.
    Thank you so much. Temple

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/djradiohead DJRadiohead

    There is still a freedom to make choices. I will not pretend to understand the circumstances of the friend in Comment #20. My physiological issues are limited to being fat, and that shit is on me. :)

    I have had to make choices in my life. I had two job opportunities. One was doing something I loved for squat money. The other was doing something I care little about but do not hate for a pretty decent wage. I was recently married and took the money. I miss doing what I was doing but my decision has worked out well for us.

    What does this have to do with anything? Maybe not a damn thing. I guess the point I am trying to make is most of us have to decide what we can live with and what we cannot live without. Sometimes these choices feel like no choice at all. A lot of people have to make tougher choices than my illustration – it is not even the most difficult decision I have made in my own life. It is just one example.

    They are still choices and we are still free to make them.

  • Nancy

    I think part of the point is that Walmart insists on trying to make choices on behalf of its employees – like ‘deciding’ they don’t need access to union organizers, even off-hours & in their own homes, a gross violation of US labor law, or ‘deciding’ that women aren’t what Walmart sees as being in the corporate mold as far as management is concerned, another gross violation of US labor law for which they are being sued, or several other instances which have gotten Walmart into the headlines – and not in a good way – lately. I’m w/Natalie: I refuse to shop at Walmart; I don’t patronize places that try to re-institute slave labor & sweatshop standards.

  • Neal

    Ban lifted.

    here

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Good — this is the power of the consumer. Raise a big enough stink about this kind of thing, and sometimes things happen.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    So the answers to my two questions are: Good idea? No.
    Petty? Yes.

    Thanks much for the link Neal.

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Cerulean Cerulean

    I don’t agree with those who say that Walmart has a right to do whatever they want and people should just accept that. That’s too extreme and too repressive. There are other values and other factors that come into play in a democracy with a history of worshipping free speech. It’s important for people to make a fuss and be a power against repressive corporations. Whatever it is that is good about America wasn’t created by people saying let huge evil corporations do whatever they want.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    My bad, Temple. I didn’t realize that you were the one who wrote this post.

    Are you the new comment enforcer? Nice to meet you.

    That is all.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “A friend of mine works at Wal-Mart because few companies will hire her. The reason: She is transgender (was born male, but feels she is a woman). She dresses as society dictates women are “supposed” to dress, but she doesn’t “pass” very well, and very few companies are willing to hire what they see as a man in a dress. Wal-Mart did hire her (but only in the warehouse, outside of customer view). Consequently, she lives in poverty without health insurance and all. She hates it and hates Wal-Mart, the less-than-living wage it pays, the way it treats its employees, the company’s use of sweatshops abroad, etc., but unless she gives in to the dominant paradigm (and pretends to be something she isn’t, which I believe would kill her), she isn’t free to do much else but suffer with Wal-Mart.”

    Just when I thought Leftist whining was at its apex…I read this.

    First of all, “she” ain’t a “she”

    “She” is a “he”

    If you don’t believe me, take a look up “her” skirt sometime…

    Very few companies are willing to hire “what they see” as a man in a dress because…and I know this is difficult for some to grasp…it IS a MAN in a DRESS!

    I can guaran-fucking-tee that if I showed up for work tomorrow in a dress, and I told the GM that this was not some silly joke, but it was how I intended to dress from now on, I would be fired on the spot.

    So. Walmart was kind enough to hire this FREAK friend of yours, regardless of whether your friend is a she/he/it/something else. And instead of praising Walmart for sticking its neck out and giving this kook an opportunity, you ATTACK Walmart because you claim they don’t offer benefits (even though THAT IS NOT TRUE).

    Get a fooking grip.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Wow.

    Sounds like you want to see a picture.

    I’m all for rights. I’ve never quite understood the transgender “right” however.

    Probably because I think there is more than one definition of transgender out there.

    So as not to completely hijack my own thread – I was surprised to hear Wal-Mart hired her. They don’t seem to take any chances whatsoever – see own version of People magazine, cited above.

    Again, why have your own version of People magazine?