When Timothy Egan decided to pen a predictable hit piece against Wal-Mart for the New York Time’s Opinion Pages, he probably didn’t expect America’s biggest retailer to strike back by publicly fact-checking his claims. But that’s exactly what David Tovar, the company’s Vice President for Corporate Communications decided to do - in epic fashion.
The Time’s op-ed was a boilerplate condemnation of Wal-Mart’s business practices, which they decried as contributing to income inequality. The piece accuses the retail giant of being a drain on taxpayers and of contributing to reliance on food stamps and welfare in the US by not paying their employees high enough wages.
Using red ink, Tovar marks up Egan’s article as if he were a high school English teacher correcting a student’s sloppy term paper.
“Tim - Thanks for sharing your first draft,” writes Tovar at the top of his corrections. “Below are a few thoughts to ensure that something inaccurate doesn’t get published.”
Of course, Egan’s op-ed slamming Wal-Mart had already run in Friday’s paper. But the tongue-in-cheek critic of the multiple fallacies contained in Egan’s column show that the goal of the response was more of an effort to counter the left’s long standing attacks on Wal-Mart with hard facts, rather than to actually obtain corrections or a retraction from the paper.
The Wal-Mart fact check challenges long-standing liberal talking points against Wal-Mart’s business practices by responding to almost every claim made by Egan and includes links to information and fact-checking sites to back up their defense.