Skip to comments.Wal-Mart in duel with damning documentary (Barf alert)
Posted on 11/01/2005 4:47:45 PM PST by proud_yank
Wal-Mart has made a documentary extolling its own virtues in an effort to counter a damning Robert Greenwald film.
Greenwald's Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, was released Tuesday, and opens in cinemas in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 4.
Poster for Robert Greenwald's movie, highly critical of Wal-Mart.
Made on a shoestring budget of $1.8 million, it will get limited release in theatres, but in the current age of popular documentaries, Greenwald hopes it will become a cult hit like Michael Moore's critique of General Motors, Roger and Me.
In The High Cost of Low Price Greenwald talked to Wal-Mart employees, who complained about being cheated out of overtime and being unable to afford the company's health insurance.
The film looks at Wal-Mart's development practices, building large stores on the outskirts of towns and sucking the life out of many small communities.
Current and former employees describe the company's inner workings and community leaders and poets from throughout the U.S. describe its practices as "an assault on families and American values," Greenwald says.
Wal-Mart, known for eschewing public relations under founder Sam Walton, has hired prominent public relations firm Edelman to bolster its image against the perceived threat from the documentary and from other activists who have criticized its practices.
Wal-Mart fears it will lose the support of middle-class consumers. Earlier this year unions organized a boycott of the retailer by teachers buying school supplies.
Among those coordinating the campaign against Greenwald's documentary is Michael Deaver, one of Bill Clinton's media strategists, according to the New York Times.
Wal-Mart has hired Ron Galloway to make a film called Why Wal-Mart Works and Why That Makes Some People Crazy.
While Wal-Mart executives would not agree to be interviewed for Greenwald's film, they have made themselves very available for the Galloway counter-offensive.
In advance of Greenwald's movie release, they accused the filmmaker of getting his facts wrong. And now they are challenging Greenwald to show the two films side by side.
On his website, Greenwald urges faith groups, community activists and schools to host a screening of his documentary. The filmmaker says he plans 3,000 such screenings in the week of Nov. 13-19, describing this as a worldwide grassroots premiere.
Greenwald is the director of the 2004 movie Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism and TV movies and miniseries including The Book of Ruth and The Burning Bed. The Wal-Mart movie is being backed by his own production house, Best Films.
For good or ill Wal-Mart and stores like it are how we shop today. Do we really want to go back to open air Bazaars?
I've got my problems with Wal-Mart, but, overall, if they'd return to the practices that brought them success under "Mister Sam", they'd be great. Most of Wal-Mart's critics, however, will always be lying jerks.
I don't know what it is these people want. I think that they just like to complain, bitch, moan, and be miserable for no reason other than to be heard. Why, I don't know. If their policies were in place, unemployment would linger around 50%, and the economy would crumble. Of course it would be Bush's fault, and the only solution to it would be to throw more $$ at the problem.
WalMart gets picked on because they're at the top of their game. GM had their share when they were the #1 employer too, as does McDonalds.
The bottom line that these people do not understand is the basic, fundamental truth of any business transaction. When someone buys something, the good or service they are purchasing is of equal or greater value to them than the money they spent for it.
I tend not to shop there too often myself, as they're kind of far from where I live, but I am not in any way anti-walmart. I become irate when people tell me where I can and can't shop. Its called freedom of choice, and these people will never figure it out.
". . . being unable to afford the company's health insurance."
They can quit and then beetch about what they can't afford. Maybe they should try to do something about their situation if they are so unhappy with it. Isn't a minimum wage job supposed to make one aspire to a higher profession or station in life?
". . . poets from throughout the U.S. describe its practices as "an assault on families and American values. . ."
". . . organized a boycott of the retailer by teachers buying school supplies."
This will show the big bad super store. Who would be more effected by this great idea? And what, do they have a special monitor who stands outside the store to make sure no teacher goes in? What if the teacher said ok and then had an agent go in to get what was needed?
There is a Walmart in my town and I must say, the reason I don't like to go there, even if it is a LOT cheaper, is because it is so crowded. Of course I still go once and a while because, well, dam, it's a bargain.
If others are in fear of being put out of business, they should make their prices more competetive. How many other companies donated 15 million to the people spanked by Katrina?
Here is a good WalMart article you might enjoy reading. Macleans is a pretty leftist canadian publication, but it lists and debunks many walmart myths.
Typical hard left angle, attacking "development practices."
Some level of critique is possible vis a vis overreliance on sourcing from Communist Red China. If I were to critique them, that would be the sole nature of my own critique. Otherwise, they are an excellent business.
When Hurricane Katrina hit Greenwald and his army of leftists didn't hand out bottled water, supplies or generators to the victims.
This is Washington's fault. Wal-Mart isn't responsible for the high tax and punishing regulations that forces businesses to move overseas.
Yes you are correct, Washington is in a way responsible but we vote for them so we are really responsible. As far as Wal-Mart (me a stock owner) I guess what I ment is I cant believe the people actually buy into this crap that WalMart supplies the JOBS to their communities..... what a freaking joke... not jobs... not jobs...
Thanks, that was great.
The first weekend after Katrina a local company organized a donation center in the parking lot of the Walmart here in Vero Beach, FL. Unfortunately, I was only able to volunteer to help for the second day as I did not know about it sooner. It was a huge undertaking. It was one of two city locations set up to receive donations. I would guess that more than fifty percent of the donated goods (at the location I was at) were purchased at that store. The shelves were so empty it looked the same as it did last year after we were struck with the two hurricanes. After two days of collecting, 10 semis packed full of supplies headed out to the afflicted areas. I must say, I have never seen the inside of a semi before. Them is big trucks!
I do not believe the organizers could have just set up shop without the permission and support from Walmart.
Our Wal-Mart coffee shelves were rather bare and the reason--from the associate in charge of the section, and the signage--was that the coffee had been diverted to Katrina victims.
Retail runs on a narrow profit margin, so this kind of big-heartedness is genuine.
The Albertsons and Target are not as highly-trafficked as the Wal-Mart in this area, a possible result of higher union costs and resultant higher retail prices.
The market force is part of the American tripod: democracy, religious freedom, capitalism, which has created the sole superpower.
There was an article in our newspaper a few weeks ago about Folgers coffee. They said it was 'packaged' in New Orleans and because of Katrina it was in short supply here.
Also some of our sugar was packaged there.
Folgers they had; Arabica was a no-show.
Aww Phil, you ruined my whole explanation!!
In the article it said that Wal-Mart and Sams said they would have Folgers stocked even when the other stores couldn't get it.
Heading for bed, see you tomorrow.
Robert Greenwald is another Michael Moore (his hero!). He did the "Outfoxed" movie about Fox News and it was all lies! I doubt this will be full of any truths either.
I think I can decide where I want to shop without his input!
He thinks he is smarter than the rest of us and we can't think for ourselves. Just like a damn liberal. Mr. Hollywood filmmaker/producer knows what is best for the rest of the country. We can't decide for ourselves!
I'm going to make another trip to Wal-Mart while I'm thinking about it!
I was unaware that he did 'outfoxed'? Did anyone do a video checking his 'facts', like Dave Koppel did (Fahren'HYPE' 911)?
Would be interesting. I have yet to watch it, though I am curious (Don't want to support these pukes). I suppose the whole premise of his muck-u-mentary is debunked by the simple fact that FoxNews is #1 in the country. If they were lying to people, they wouldn't be. In our society, people choose what they want.
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