When Will the Ethical Nightmare of Sponsored Trips to the Middle of Nowhere End?
There is, apparently, some sort of Bentonville County Fair going on at Wal-Mart HQ. They're calling it "Media Eduction" or "Please Write Favorably Of Us For Once Day" (the first one sounds ominous enough, actually...). They've invited a couple bloggers to liveblog (sort of) the proceedings, and it sounds like quite a treat:
There is definitely a real mythology about Wal-Mart. Sam Walton's benevolent visage looks down at you everywhere you go in the home office. It is in many ways the ultimate success story of our time (Bentonville started off no different than Pullman). There is nothing evil here. The feeling is distinctly All-American. That's probably why the liberals hate it so much.
Uh, right... benevolent omnipresent visages aside, we just want to say that we hope the New York Times is calling their media critics because BLOGGERS ARE WRITING STUFF BASED ON STUFF PUBLICISTS TELL THEM!
Once again, bloggers, FOR SHAME. How many times do we have to tell you? Hold out for the good stuff! This is a trip to fucking Arkansas, not, say, a junket to Napa or Canouan Island -- you're supposed to trash 'em 'till they shell out for tickets to Greece! Rank amateurs, all of you.
Update: Ok, this isn't even a sponsored trip. Apparently, the bloggers had to pay their own way! This is why this internet thing will never take off.
Wal-Mart Home Office [Palousitics]
Related: Payola Six: On the Matter of Junkets [Gawker]