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Fox News and Walmart: It's a Love Story

Reported by Melanie - January 14, 2005

Walmart launched a PR blitz today in an effort to repair its sagging image. The company has been accused of such things as discrimination, human rights violations, paying miserably low wages, destroying local environments, locking employees inside its stores, invading residential neighborhoods, creating traffic congestion, noise and light pollution, contributing to urban sprawl, and censoring the books, DVDs and videos it sells.

None of that mattered until Walmart was surprised by lower than expected 2004 holiday sales numbers. Now it's hitting the road, trying to convince the public that it cares.

Fox News was happy to lend a hand on Thursday (January 13, 2005) by giving the first 13 commercial-free minutes of Your World w/Neil Cavuto to Walmart's CEO, Lee Scott.

COMMENT: It's been a long, long time since I've seen a 13 minute, commercial-free interview on Fox News. It's been a long time since I've seen a commercial-free segment of that length anywhere on corporate media outside coverage of a special event. Fox News' interviews (like those on the other cable news networks) last an average of three to seven minutes.

Nonetheless, I was touched to see these two corporations working together. Fox gave Scott an opportunity to plead his case and Scott gave Fox an opportunity to bash two of its favorite targets: trial lawyers (for filing "frivolous" lawsuits against Walmart) and the "liberal" media (it reports nothing but bad news about Walmart). Seeing these two mega-corporations helping each other like this renewed my faith (not) in fascism. My faith grew when Fox followed Scott's interview with that of a former Walmart employee who said she was fired so a man could take her place. Fox gave her three minutes. Ah yes, "fair and balanced" Fox: 13 minutes for the corporation, three minutes for the employee. I knew then and there that Fox and Walmart were loyal and supportive friends. It was touching. Really, really touching.

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