Giant superstore chain Wal-Mart is having an incredibly bad week.
I will leave it to the pundits, pontificators and gasbags to work out whether the charges against the company – from being heartless greedy jerks to racists to scumbags and everything in between – are true.
Let’s review the current Wal-Mart news:
1) The company has been on the defensive in recent months since the release of the documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price by the director of Outfoxed. A review of the new Wal-Mart movie is here. I’m leading a discussion of the movie myself.
2) Yesterday Wal-Mart apologized for what it called programming problems that encouraged people interested in seeing Planet of the Apes to check out
Some liberal bloggers jumped on the story as proof that Wal-Mart is racist. It should be noted that this particular blogger, Steve Gilliard, is the same guy who I wrote about here for making racist comments about a Black Republican.
Others thought this was much ado about nothing, noting that Wal-Mart’s statement also says: “To further illustrate the bizarre nature of this technical issue, the site is also mapping movies such as Home Alone and Power Puff Girls to African American literature.
A more comprehensive look at bloggers thoughts on the issue is here.
The blog Crooks and Liars posted a link about the story but later – after getting much buzz, some mentions in news stories and aware of massive
pontificating on the issue – said it never intended to suggest a racist conspiracy on the part of Wal-Mart
3) Both Crooks and Liars and FireDogLake – which “broke” the Planet of the Apes controversy – have made another allegation against Wal-Mart: That it is heartless when it comes to the homeless.
Seems the company has decided not to give expired or near expired food to
the homeless any more out of concern it might lead to liability issues if anyone should get sick.
4) According to today’s Washington Post, a Wal-Mart executive has admitted he is guilty of five counts of wire fraud.
5) And I have not even mentioned the class action law suits by former employees accusing the company of sexism, labor violations, etc.
But hey, it is ok because Wal-Mart says quite clearly on its own Web site that it does not need unions.
All in all, though, this is not the best week for Wal-Mart.