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Wal-Marting Across America

LT: Let's change the context a little, and see how it affects our analysis.

This couple ran a popular blog about their travels across America in an RV; staying in Wal-Mart parking lots. When it was discovered that Wal-Mart was the actual impetus (and funding) behind their trip, controversy erupted.

  • What is the "moral weight" of their failure to disclose the true nature of their trip? Does the fact that it was being done for profit, for commercial reasons, make that situation somehow more offensive - or for those who saw no problem with the above - does it make the behavior cross some line into offensive?

Of course, the situation is distinct in other ways. The blog was not per se fabricated - the couple alleges that they were entirely truthful. However, this assertion is undermined by the fact that the blog was unfailingly positive - and had frequent citations of how wonderful all the Wal-Mart employees were.

Keep in mind that Wal-Mart took down the blog after the information got out that it was their doing - now all that remains are two defensive posts.

  • Is this otherwise offensive because it was an attempt at "GoogleWashing" the pejorative use of the new verb Walmarting?
  • Is it offensive because it is Wal-Mart - because it is being done b a company that is already known for using its bulk to conform the world around it to its wishes?


Lciaccio 14:20, 19 October 2006 (EDT)