Business leaders wanting praise from the liberal media only need to embrace some left-wing cause. Promoting a conservative agenda earns scorn.
The Washington Post published a massive profile on Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack and his gun control advocacy on June 2. The profile, which appeared on the cover of The Post’s Sunday Business section took up a full three-quarters of the section’s front cover that day, along with three-quarters of an inside page.
Although his actions — removing guns from some stores, raising age requirements and lobbying — were opposed by many of Stack’s customers, Stack was a hero to the Post because he “overhauled” his business policies and “didn’t stop there.”
Post national business reporter Rachel Siegel acknowledged the “swift” backlash from “gun-toting customers, pro-gun lawmakers, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).”
Making them seem wrong and Stack sound good, Siegel added, “But on that day, Stack was focused only on the wrenching stories he was hearing [from victim’s families].” She said Stack considered getting Dick’s “out of the gun business altogether” just after the shooting and indicated it would’ve garnered “even fiercer condemnation from many customers” if he had done so.
While Stack attributed Dick’s recent decline in sales to gun policy changes, the Post story claimed that wasn’t “the sole root of its challenges.” The Post suggested that “competition for hunting and outdoor gear” had risen among rivals such as Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and Gander Outdoors.
Siegel quoted Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel, who gave Dick’s “a lot of credit” for changing its policies on gun sales, but acknowledged that it would “struggle for a while.” That financial struggle, of course, would be a consequence of consumers unhappy with the company or its CEO's efforts to restrict gun sales.
She noted his gun control efforts hadn’t “yielded much momentum” on Capitol Hill, but quoted Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and others on the left for being supportive of Stack’s position and eager to pass gun control legislation. Siegel said his “meetings with Republicans” went nowhere, and some like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) criticized Stack’s company.
The lengthy profile also noted Stack’s personal efforts to make gun sales more restrictive, mentioning that he joined a council of business leaders associated with the liberal gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Everytown was founded by liberal, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but Seigel failed to mention Bloomberg’s connection or multi-million dollar funding of the group. She also didn’t note that the group has lobbied for and donated to Democrats running for office since 2014.
Everytown is made up of the joint coalition of gun control groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The former was also established by Bloomberg in 2006, and was a natural development of his implementation of stringent gun control measures during his mayorship.
An objective paper would either celebrate all CEO activism, or none at all. But of course, that’s not how the liberal media operate. How often does the liberal media applaud a conservative CEO for activism?
Not often. In fact, such businessmen are generally attacked as Chick Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was in 2012 by The Post and many other liberal news outlets for his views toward same-sex marriage.