Wal-Mart's Done Talking to the Huffington Post

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville has had it with the Huffington Post, citing what the world's largest retailer calls "inaccuracies" and "one-sided rhetoric" in the news website's reporting.

From Politico:

Wal-Mart says it is cutting off communications with The Huffington Post -- again* -- after the website reported that the retail chain plans to halt health insurance benefits for newly hired part-time workers.

In an email to Politico, Wal-Mart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said HuffPo's story was "riddled with inaccuracies" and "reinforces our company’s decision to no longer participate in the Huffington Post’s one-sided rhetoric."

Wal-Mart had already decided to cut off the website, citing its pattern of coverage, "negative spin" in news articles, and that, while Wal-Mart "has spent a great deal of time on the phone and in person with the outlet's reporters," its perspective has been "buried by contrary views." Much of that complaint stemmed from labor protests that took place on Black Friday.

In the HuffPo health care story, reporter Alice Hines said Wal-Mart "plans to begin denying health insurance to newly hired employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week."

In his rebuttal to Politico, Hargrove says the plan isn't new and that since it's been in place, "a higher percentage of associates signed on for our health care benefits for 2013" because the plan is affordable.

Huffington Post says it stands by its story.


Josh Eidelson has more thoughts on the fight at The Nation.