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.

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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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