Left and Right Coast Liberal Papers Ignore John Edwards PlayStation 3 Wal-Mart Story

November 19th, 2006 6:41 PM

One of the big stories of last week was the buying frenzy over the limited number of the new PlayStation 3 consoles that were put on sale. There was a humorous political angle in this as well which was widely covered with the notable exceptions of the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. An unpaid volunteer for John Edwards contacted a Wal-Mart store in Raleigh, NC and invoked the name of his boss in order to get first dibs on a PlayStation 3. Since Edwards has been in the forefront of slamming Wal-Mart recently his hypocrisy was especially glaring and resulted in this press release from that retailer:

"While the rest of America's working families are waiting patiently in line, Senator Edwards wants to cut to the front."

This apparent hypocrisy on the part of Edwards (who claims that the volunteer was acting on his own) has been the source of a great deal of commentary and mirth in most of the media and in the blogosphere with the notable exception of the two coastal liberal newspapers mentioned previously. An example of the humor that this story has inspired is a parody song by Charles Henrickson of the Free Republic who has a reputation for being a prolific songwriter. His latest song parody is called It's Got To Be Secretly Bought based on the tune You've Got To Be Carefully Taught from the musical play, South Pacific:

You've got to be taught to use your fame
Your wealth and your power to get a game
But it's got to be done without harming your name--
It's got to be secretly bought.

You've got to be taught to scorn and scold
Those people whose shoes are cheaply sold
At Wal-Mart, whose heart is so corporate cold--
You've got to be duly distraught.

You've got to be taught to not stand in line
Before you are six or seven or nine
To act like John Edwards and think you're so fine--
You've got to get more than you ought!
You've got to be carefully taught.

The usual leftwing suspects are upset about this incident. Not at John Edwards, of course, but at Wal-Mart for pointing out the ex-senator's hypocrisy in a press release. This is what Dave Johnson at the Huffington Post had to say in his blog edition titled, Wal-Mart Engineers a Smear of Edwards:

Wal-Mart has a smear out on John Edwards. What is striking about the smear is the way a corporation feels free to publicize something that a customer did, and to use it as a flat-out, blatant, organized smear campaign. It is starting to appear on all the usual right-wing outlets, and may soon be as widespread as the pre-election Kerry "insulted the troops" smear.

"Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards acknowledged Thursday that amid his criticism of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a volunteer member of his staff asked the world's largest retailer for help obtaining a hot new Sony Playstation 3 for Edwards' family."

According to the article, a volunteer called a local Wal-Mart, on his own, and used Edwards' name. Wal-Mart takes this information and turns it into a national smear, right out of its corporate headquarters.

"While the rest of America's working families are waiting patiently in line, Sen. Edwards wants to cut to the front," the Wal-Mart statement said."

That is an official Wal-Mart statement! Have you ever heard anything like that from a company? Is this the business Wal-Mart is in? What right does a corporation have to issue a statement like that about any citizen?

Is this a company that ought to have its right to operate examined, or what?

So Dave Johnson believes that Wal-Mart should just idly stand by while John Edwards criticizes that retailer at the same time one of his volunteers invokes Edwards name in order to buy a PlayStation 3 at that store. Johnson might call this a smear but most folks would say that Wal-Mart is accurately pointing out the high level of hypocrisy emanating from the Edwards camp. You can read a selection of many of the amusing Huffington Post readers responses to Johnson's outrage over Wal-Mart defending itself at the DUmmie FUnnies.