Friday, January 06, 2006

CJR Doesn't Like My Film. Sigh.

My letter to the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review:

In her January CJR review of my film, "Why Wal-Mart Works," crusading anti-WalMart scribe Liza Featherstone accuses my film of being "ideologically extreme." Coming from a contributor to Robert Greenwald's famously neutral Wal-Mart film, I suppose that's to be expected. She then accuses me of "verging on dishonesty," which coming from a contributor to a film (Greenwald's) whose first 20 minutes she admits are factually inaccurate, is hypocritical. My film is "amateurish," as though a film (Greenwald's) whose first 20 minutes were not fact-checked, is not. Ms. Featherstone misses the point that my film is an op-ed piece, as is Mr. Greenwald's. That is evident in both the films' titles.

Mr. Featherstone gives her elitist little heart away when criticizing my choice of a poor African-American mother of seven as an interview subject, by lumping her into an imaginary category of Wal-Mart employees who have "few needs and low expectations." A single mother of seven has few needs? How can Ms. Featherstone speak to this African-American woman's expectations? This proves my point that the people criticizing Wal-Mart are not the ones who need to shop there.

My film title is "Why Wal-Mart Works & Why That Makes Some People Crazy." 1.3 million Americans choose to work at Wal-Mart. 138 million people choose to shop there every week. Given the tone of her earlier writings, I'd bet a nickel Ms. Featherstone is pro-choice. So why is she critical of the free choice Americans make to work and shop there? Because she and Greenwald feel millions of Americans just don't understand how vile Wal-Mart truly is, and they must be illuminated.

The anti-Wal-Mart group Wake Up Wal-Mart boasts on it's website that they have 160,000 members. 160,000 Americans shop at Wal-Mart every 12 minutes. That's really what makes some people crazy.