Friday, November 11, 2005

I wasn't aware until now that Wal-Mart was also under attack from the right -- specifically, from the Christmas-is-under-assault wackos.

Reasonably, given America's diversity, Wal-Mart encourages employees to say "Happy holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas," which makes the wackos livid -- but, beyond that, Wal-Mart has apparently brought further trouble on itself by trying to do things on the cheap.

World Net Daily reports:

...The controversy was sparked when a woman recently complained to Wal-Mart that the store was replacing its "Merry Christmas" greeting with "Happy Holidays."

... the woman received an e-mail response from a customer-service representative named Kirby, reading exactly as follows:

Walmart is a world wide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than "christmas" which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism. The colors associated with "christmas" red and white are actually a representation of of the aminita mascera mushroom. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide wide world.

[Wal-Mart spokesman Dan] Fogleman confirmed the original note was written by a Wal-Mart representative, and explained today:

"We at Wal-Mart believe this e-mail between a temporary associate and one of our valued customers was entirely inappropriate. Its contents in no way represent the policies, practices or views of our company. This associate, who was hired less than three weeks ago, is no longer employed by our company."

Come on, guys -- you get e-mails on hot-button issues like this and you let temps answer them? Temps with three weeks' experience? Temps who don't respond with boilerplate carefully crafted by a team of lawyers and PR people at company headquarters, but who just write whatever they like?

You really are cheap, aren't you?

(Though the text of the e-mail does give me renewed faith in the heartland.)

Stirring up all the trouble, by the way, is the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, led by William ("Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity") Donohue.

The World Net Daily story, using Donohue's research, makes this additional claim:

To demonstrate an instance of discrimination, Donohue points out, and WND confirmed, that when using the company's online search engine, if the word "Hanukkah" is entered, 200 items for sale are returned. The term "Kwanzaa" yields 77. But when "Christmas" is entered, the message returned says: "We've brought you to our 'Holiday' page based on your search."

I get the same results when I click on the links. But when I go to and search for "Christmas," I don't get a redirect at all -- I get 7697 Christmas items.

What the hell did Donohue and Wal-Mart do to get that result? Are they (gasp!) spreading misinformation about hatred of Christmas in America?

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