Walmart apologizes for offensive anti-Trump tweet

What's gotten into Walmart?

America's biggest corporation, presumably with a reputation to defend, is hiring undisciplined, do-whatever-you-want punks to run its social media operation, or so they claim in what passes for their apology.

The tweet in question was described by Politico here:

Sen. Josh Hawley traded sharp words with Walmart's corporate Twitter account on Wednesday over his contention of the 2020 election results, prompting the superstore giant to apologize to the Missouri Republican.

After announcing his intention to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory Wednesday, Walmart's Twitter account responded, "Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser," in a since-deleted tweet. Hawley later shared a screenshot of the tweet, calling out Walmart for what he called "insulting condescension."

"Now that you've insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?" Hawley wrote. "Or maybe you'd like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business."

Walmart's Twitter account later apologized to the senator and said its earlier tweet "was mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team."

That triggered some big calls for a consumer boycott:

Why, exactly, is Walmart commenting on the inside-baseball affairs of the U.S. Senate and Electoral College?  This is bizarre stuff.

And who the hell is on their social media team who can't distinguish his own personal account from that of the company writing his paycheck?  Who gave this little puke the password and the keys, allowing him to be the Giant Voice of Walmart?  It all makes no sense.  To separate corporate from personal business is what's known as basic professionalism, and in any big company, people have it.

In a giant company like Walmart, known for its global mastery of supply chains and economies of scale, presumably in a position to hire anyone it wants and easily in a position to hire the best, well, they didn't hire the best.  They hired the amateur-hour bozo, someone with all the social media skills of an 80-year-old grandma (except that decent grandmas don't tweet this sort of stuff).

This is, frankly, hard to believe.  To say there was a "mistake" comes off as nonsense.  Why would this jerk be using his personal account on company hours, and why would his boss be tolerating it?

Walmart's corporate apology was inadequate, too, first, for this reason — and apologies for the tweeter's bad language:

They made a massive tweet insulting 73 million customers and replied with an apology from an account with 62,500?  Color us skeptical.

Here's the other problem: Walmart's claimed sorrow for our "confusion" is insult added to injury.  We read a tweet like that, and we are the ones who are "confused"?  How are we suppose to parse what Walmart "thinks" except by what Walmart says?  No, as a matter of fact, we are not the ones confused; perhaps they are, and ought to mea culpa themselves on that and announce that the punk who made the tweet, assuming it really was unauthorized, was the one who was "confused."

The problem for us is that it was a believable tweet, too.  We all know how Walmart's big shots donate and vote; we know that Walmart has made bank on both China and the pandemic shutdown of all those little rival upstarts; and we know they welcome Joe Biden's coming era (if he gets into the presidency) of permanent lockdowns for Americans with shutdowns for their businesses, as well as anything-China-wants supremacy, all things that are very, very good for Walmart.  Read Andrea Widburg's extremely clarifying blog post on this here.

This doesn't pass the smell test.  We are seeing this kind of behavior more and more from big corporate America — remember the McDonald's tweet against President Trump, which the company claimed was a hack?  No proof of that one, either. 

More and more, corporate America is consolidating its power and creating monopolies, with the logical result of expressing contempt for its customers.  It spells out one thing — that something is out of balance, and it's time for some anti-trust action.

Image credit: Jared C. Benedict / Sven via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.