Puppets on the Left, Puppets on the Right

Brian Cook

Wal-Mart has launched an opinion war by hiring political operatives (a.k.a. media mercenaries) from both the Kerry and Bush 2004 presidential campaigns. The list of Wal-Mart's operatives stretches from a former Reagan media operative and the national director of President Bush's campagin to one of Clinton's media managers and the director of John Kerry's national delegate strategy . The New York Times article goes on to describe that such operatives are targeting "swing voters," middle class shoppers who are wary of Wal-Mart's actual benevolence, after well-organized critiques of the corporate giant have had significant resonance among the public. (For two examples of those critiques, check out UFCW's Wake Up Wal-Martcampaign and SEIU's Wal-Mart Watch.) What does this say about the American political system when media consultants for both parties join together to use political campaign tactics to shore up a corporation's deservedly-soiled image? You can read the story, "A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room," here. This blog was actually written by In These Times Intern Extraordinaire, A. Staley Groves.

The Rise of a New Left

“An engrossing, behind-the-scenes account of our decade’s breakout political movement.” –Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

For a limited time, when you donate $30 or more to support In These Times, we’ll send you a copy of the new book, The Rise of a New Left: How Young Radicals Are Shaping the Future of American Politics, by Raina Lipsitz.

Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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