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NBC Stacks Deck Against Wal-Mart

     The February 26 NBC Nightly News treated a move by Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) to expand health care benefits as an opportunity to stack the deck with another attack on the retail chain and a liberal plea for universal health care.

     For years Wal-Mart has been targeted by critics who claim the nations largest private retailer offers substandard benefits. Today the company announced it would expand its benefits, correspondent Pat Dawson said, introducing a sound bite from Wal-Marts CEO.

     But the move by Wal-Mart didnt satisfy the NBC correspondent, who aired only the left-leaning talking points of Wal-Mart critics: Andrew Grossman of the union-backed Wal-Mart Watch; Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.); and Peter Morici, an economist from the University of Maryland.

     The real problem is we lack a universal approach to providing health care for low-wage workers, Morici complained.

     Moments before Moricis comments, Dawson told viewers that Wal-Marts move to increase health benefits was welcomed by Wal-Mart critics to lessen the cost of government health care. States have acted because so many Wal-Mart employees, especially part-timers, are forced to rely on Medicaid or other state-subsidized health programs, Dawson continued, cueing Bredesen to say that forcing Wal-Mart to extend health benefits takes a huge burden off of our state.

     But while Dawson gave air time to liberals advocating government solutions either government-controlled health care or government mandates on private businesses he ignored free-market critics of both approaches. He failed to include supporters of market-based initiatives like health savings accounts or defenders of The High Benefit of Low Prices, like Frostburg State University economist William L. Anderson.

     Dawsons unbalanced report is just the latest example of the medias ongoing attack on Wal-Mart, recently documented by the Business & Media Institute.