As Black Friday looms, Fox News rushes to Walmart’s defense

In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 photo a worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Walmart store in North Kingstown, R.I.
In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 photo a worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Walmart store in North Kingstown, R.I.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

On Wednesday’s Fox News’s Megyn Kelly hosted the conservative writers Stephen Moore and Stephen Hayes for a discussion about the Black Friday Walmart strikes. The result was as fair and balanced as you’d expect.

In the view of Moore and Hayes, Black Friday strike is being orchestrated by as an attack on consumers.

“There is no government program in American history that has done more to help poor people than Walmart through providing people low-priced products that they can afford,” said Moore, a Wall Street Journal editorial board member. Moore didn’t mention the myriad other ways in which Walmart “helps” people, such as paying them poverty-level wages, thereby driving down the wages of the retail industry as a whole.

To Moore, the campaign against Walmart has nothing to do with helping poor people and everything to do with a union-driven attempt to “bully these employers” into letting them hold an election, so that they can collect billions in union dues from Walmart employees’ paychecks. Seemingly, everyone is in on the conspiracy against poor old Walmart: George Soros (obviously), the unemployed bums who subscribe to, the Obama “labor government,” and the National Labor Relations Board.

In fact, the NLRB got singled out for particular ire, due to its decision not to rule on Walmart’s unfair labor practice complaint against the UFCW (the union helping to organize Walmart strikers) until after Black Friday. The Weekly Standard’s Hayes said that the decision was politically motivated, while all but admitting that the evidence suggests otherwise.

“I think what the NLRB will say is that it usually takes 30 days or more to go over these kinds of complaints, and this is more complex than usual, so they couldn’t render a decision within a two or three day period,” he said. “That’s their defense.”

Hayes went on to argue that the “plain facts” suggested otherwise—but he left the viewers in the dark about what any of those “plain facts” happened to be. He also declined to mention that the labor organization OUR Walmart will also have to wait until after Black Friday to hear a ruling on their allegation that Walmart management illegally intimidated workers.

Megyn Kelly wrapped up the segment by rhapsodizing about the convenience and low prices of her local Walmart in Danbury, Connecticut. Both she and the Stephens bemoaned the inconvenience that Black Friday strikes and pickets would create for innocent consumers. After all, ”what could be more American than going out to shop on Black Friday?” asked Kelly.

This is not the first pro-Walmart infomercial Fox News has run since the strikes began heating up. On the Monday before Black Friday, Fox’s Stuart Varney gave a scented oil massage of an interview to Walmart spokesman David Tovar which cut to commercials with the announcement: “This program is brought to you by Walmart.”

Come to think of it, maybe that’s a better slogan than “Fair and balanced.”

As Black Friday looms, Fox News rushes to Walmart's defense