A month ago Costco featured former VP, Al Gore, on their magazine cover. Many members of the warehouse club expressed our displeasure with both the free publicity for Gore (he was hawking a book) and the shot the editor David Fuller seemed to take at Glenn Beck who was charged by Costco for the same privilege to hawk his book. The second of these issues is what I objected to and posted my original Costco Disconnection. I was surprised at the comments and how fast members responded to my comments. The Costco Connection even posted a comment.
Costco also committed to provide a forum for the other side of the man-made global warming debate.
My copy of The Costco Connection arrived today and I have to admit a little disappointment at the cover featuring Jimmy Kimmel. I guess that the Costco folks need to get away from the controversy, but I would have been more pleased with a photograph of one of the many scientists who oppose Al Gore’s man-caused warming point of view.
Mr. Fuller did address the issue in his column and we can all feel good that he is here to explain our First Amendment rights. You may consider my sarcasm to represent my level of belief in his explanation.
Costco’s forum to represent the opposing view consisted of three quarters of a page of letters from members expressing their displeasure and a half page rebuttal from Dr. S. Fred Singer. The selection of Dr. Singer to discuss the issue was a good one. An atmospheric physicist at George Mason University, Dr. Singer has been an outspoken voice challenging the Gore Position. Neither had the impact of a cover photograph and a feature article. A more complete discussion by Dr. Singer can be found in this transcript from a PBS interview.
I would be inclined to give Costco a B- for their efforts and try to explain the lame response to the fact that they are trying to escape the issue and politics and let it go. The editors of The Costco Connection, however, chose to print a letter from Patricia McPherson (Oxford, Michigan) where she claimed that Al Gore was the real winner in the 2000 Presidential Election. THEY ACTUALLY PRINTED A LETTER FROM A LADY WHO STILL BELIEVES THAT PRESIDENT BUSH STOLE THE ELECTION. For Mr. Fuller’s and Ms. McPherson’s information, the liberal New York Times even printed an article in 2001 dispelling that lie. George W. Bush won.
Costco missed a great opportunity to really evolve had they taken a more balanced approach in this issue. Consider the impact of this issue would have in light of the exposure of the questionable methods used by the Gore camp calling further into question his claims.
As long as The Costco Disconnection keeps wading into political waters (one letter printed remarked about how they have evolved), they can expect members like me to respond and eventually exercise another of our rights to shop elsewhere.
Note to Mr. Fuller: I took a look at the New York Times best seller list where Nobel Prize winner Al Gore’s book is listed at number nine (non-fiction paperbacks). Much to your dismay, Glenn Beck’s book, Common Sense (also released directly to paperback, but five months earlier) occupies the seventh slot. Beck’s Arguing With Idiots, occupies the fourth slot on the hardcover best seller list.
You can read the original post here.