June 6, 2005

The Author Responds

I did, in fact, receive a response from the author of the previously mentioned article about Wal-Mart's policy on what media it will carry. Since I had not told the author I would be publishing his response, I'll only summarize, rather than quote, what he said. He explained the definition of censorship as restricting the production or circulation of certain materials. Wal-Mart does not do this, they simply choose not to sell certain items, which is not censorship. The author has two main objections to Wal-Mart's policy. First, since Wal-Mart is, in some places, the only retail seller of books or CDs, they are, in effect, determining what is available to those communities. This makes more sense hearing it again from the author because he mentioned this point in the article, but followed it with mention of Amazon and other online merchants. This email leads me to believe that this inclusion may have been added by an editor. His second reason is that the media deemed "offensive" or "controversial" by Wal-Mart is often deemed as such to cater to the "Christian right" while allowing media that may be offensive to non right-wingers. It sounded like his second objection comes down to him being offended by Wal-Mart's conservative values, and thus refusing to shop there.

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