August 16, 2004
NPR sells out to Wal-Mart
The New York Times headline screamed, "Wal-Mart Tries to Shine Its Image by Supporting Public Broadcasting." So what you say? In defending the tie with Wal-Mart, National Public Radio spokeswoman Jenny Lawhorn said its audience consisted of "intelligent and well-educated people who tend to be business leaders and tend to be engaged in the civic process." (We have engaged a linguist to interpret whatever it was that Ms. Lawhorn was trying to say.)
NPR refuses to say how much Wal-Mart is paying NPR. I'm not kidding, it is apparently none of your business. Interestingly, Wal-Mart seems to have purchased talk time hosted by Tavis Smiley on PBS.
The NPR ombudsman wrote, "Wal-Mart symbolizes values that some of our listeners believe to be antithetical to the values of public radio." No kidding, Jack.
Could we revist the dumping of Bob Edwards? One writer asked, "What's next, Halliburton?" And, indeed, why not Halliburton if NPR works with Wal-Mart?
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