In an AP article widely circulated today, I am quoted as saying:
At least one steering committee member, filmmaker Ron Galloway, said he would prefer the strategy to focus on the facts of Wal-Mart's case.
"I still think that it is a sub-optimal strategy to personalize all this. I think the facts are in Wal-Mart's favor and that's just not part of the battle I'm interested in joining," Galloway said, referring to the paidcritics.com Web site.
From October 2005 to February 2006 I was the guy in the arena putting forth the case for Wal-Mart in the media, as I promoted "Why Wal-Mart Works." My opponent in this battle was not Robert Greenwald, but rather the unions who wish to swell their ranks from 9 million to 10.4 million by unionizing Wal-Mart, thereby swelling their dues collection by $400 million per year.
For my troubles I received telephone threats, startling email abuse, and lots of nasty remarks about me in the blogosphere (read the comments on my HuffPo columns). I was target A in the personalization wars with the unions.
As a steering committee member of Working Families For Wal-Mart, I am active in, and supportive of all of the goals and initiatives of the organization, whose ranks have swollen to numbers I could not have expected. Part of our mission is to answer the critics of Wal-Mart, who would not be after Wal-Mart if they were not PAID to do so. To criticize a store 130 million people shop at every week, if you are not getting paid to do so, is irrational behavior.
Remember, the people criticizing Wal-Mart are not the ones who NEED to shop there.
I find that when people are made aware that the critics of Wal-Mart are merely union employees, they immediately discount the negative things being said. That's why the anti-Wal-Mart organizations are striking back in anger at being exposed for who they are. THEY made the battle personal. I know. I lived it. It made me tired and cranky. On the bright side, I did lose a lot of weight.
Working Families For Wal-Mart is a new, very large organization whose goals include putting out the positive facts about Wal-Mart that are ignored in the press, as well as answering the paid critics of Wal-Mart. Having done more than most in answering the paid critics of Wal-Mart, for which I received no compensation, I simply prefer now to focus on putting out the positive facts about the company, which in and of themselves defeat the arguments of Wal-Mart's paid critics. To that end "Why Wal-Mart Works Version 2.0" will be released in a few weeks, as well as a companion book "Defending Wal-Mart."
Working Families For Wal-Mart is not Edelman. WFFWM is a collection of individuals who share a common goal in putting out the positive facts about a company that I have found to be indispensible to the lives of millions of families.