“Little Girl” Versus Walmart
Remember Renee Dudley?
She’s the former Charleston Post and Courier investigative reporter who broke open a big transparency scandal involving S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – who later slammed her as a “little girl” – and a major ethics scandal involving S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
What did Dudley get for being the only mainstream media reporter in the state willing to challenge these “Republican” leaders? Easy – she was belittled and smeared by the politicians she exposed, and basically run out of town by her editors (who then repeated the same spineless accommodation with her replacement).
Anyway … Dudley is ruffling feathers again in her new position with Bloomberg. In fact the 27-year-old newsbabe is currently in the midst of a major spat with America’s largest retailer, Walmart.
Earlier this week Dudley reported Walmart was cutting supplier orders for the current quarter due to declining sales.
Walmart – which watched its stock price tank in response to Dudley’s story – quickly dispatched a spokesperson to CNBC, who labeled her reporting “completely false.”
“Renee’s article was wildly inaccurate and irresponsible journalism,” a company spokesman later tweeted.
Wow … them’s fightin’ words.
To its credit Bloomberg – unlike the Post and Courier – has stood by Dudley. And why not? She’s right.
Walmart has been experiencing declining sales. Last quarter it reported an unexpected 0.3 percent decline in U.S. sales – its second consecutive quarterly decline. As a result the company lowered its sales outlook for 2013.
More importantly, Dudley didn’t pull the “cutting supplier orders” story out of thin air, either. She was quoting directly from an email sent by an ordering manager at the company’s Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters.
Not only that, Walmart was given an opportunity to respond to the email in Dudley’s story – and did respond.
This website has dealt with Walmart’s press office – and Dudley – in the past. Bottom line? We trust the “little girl” implicitly on this one – and suspect Walmart’s rebuke was more about doing damage control with antsy investors than honestly critiquing Dudley’s journalistic integrity.
Finally, we’re still waiting on Walmart to tell us definitively whether the company will make good on its promise to create “4,000 new jobs” in South Carolina by the end of 2016 (a.k.a. Nikki Haley’s single biggest jobs announcement since taking office).
Last time we checked (which was before the company’s recent struggles) that promise was still very much up in the air …