OLD Media Moves

Barbaro's Wal-Mart story needed to mention employee's ties

August 8, 2006

Ken Shepherd, writing on the TimesWatch.org web site that critiques the New York Times, noted that the story in Tuesday’s paper by business reporter Michael Barbaro about Wal-Mart’s decision to raise wages should have mentioned the fact that the employee he quoted was a campaigner in an anti-Wal-Mart group.

Shepherd wrote, “Of course, as with any workplace, you’re bound to find employees who are still dissatisifed with their pay. Barbaro certainly did:

Wal-Mart logoCynthia Murray, who works at a Wal-Mart in Laurel, Md., and has made statements critical of the company at labor rallies, said her starting salary at Wal-Mart five years ago was $7.50 an hour.

“‘With the prices of everything going up,’ a 6 percent raise on a starting salary is not impressive, Ms. Murray said. She said she needed $40 a week just to fill her car’s gasoline tank.

“But, wait a minute. Barbaro is in New York, Murray works in Laurel, Md. He didn’t just bump into her at a picket line while shopping for school supplies.

“In fact not only is Murray profiled on the labor union-backed WakeUpWalMart.com Web site, according to the August 2 New York Daily News, she is an active campaigner for the left-wing anti-Wal-Mart group.”

Later, Shepard wrote, “It’s more than a bit odd to leave out this tidbit, considering Barbaro uses Wake-Up Wal-Mart as a source.”

Read more here.

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