MSNBC Wonders If Target Is ‘Cowardly’ Or ‘Economic Terrorism’ Victim

News & Politics

Apparently, colleges just hand out PhDs to anyone who wants one because on Thursday’s The 11th Hour on MSNBC, economics Prof. Justin Wolfers wondered if Target is “cowardly” for backing off slightly on the store’s display of LGBT products for children or simply the victim of “economic terrorism.” Meanwhile, the pot called the kettle black as senior reporter Ben Collins called the Target boycott a “terminally online” phenomenon.

Host Stephanie Ruhle led Wolfers by warning, “if you’re Target and you cave here, this is a slippery slope because this anti-LGBTQ movement, they’re not going to stop here. They want to sue every company out there that has any sort of diversity and inclusion initiative.”

Wolfers agreed, “I think there is something really quite scary here and it comes from the Target CEO saying the reason they were backing off is they were worried about the safety of their employees.”

For Wolfers, there are only two options, “it could be they’re cowards and used that as protection and a smokescreen so they could make a cowardly decision, or it could be that they’re actually genuinely concerned about the well-being of their employees and have had credible threats.”

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However:

If that’s the case, when Target caves into this, then it says that the moment you threaten the employees of a large corporation you get to control its policies. This is economic terrorism. Literally terrorism. Creating fear among the workers and forcing the corporations to sell the things you want, not sell the things you don’t, so I think it’s very worrying.  

Wolfers almost certainly did not refer to the left pressuring Target to remove Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage from their website as “literally terrorism” or “cowardly.” Only conservative-inspired boycotts get such treatment.

Ruhle then turned to Collins, “I mean, every company out there has a corporate social responsibility arm, diversity and inclusion, it is a key initiative they’re just going to go after everyone?”

If “corporate social responsibility” simply means promoting social and sexual progressivism, maybe that change, but MSNBC could never bring itself to even ask that question, let alone agree with it. 

As for Collins, earlier in the segment, he declared that Daily Wire podcaster and MRC Bulldog winner Matt Walsh was the leader of the movement. Now, he returned to Walsh and read a tweet:

‘Here’s what we should do pick a victim and gang up on it and make an example of it, we can’t boycott every woke company or even most of them, but we can pick one and it hardly matters which,’ he actually said that, ‘and target it with a ruthless boycott campaign, claim one scalp, then move on to the next.’ 

That’s what this is all about. It doesn’t matter which company it is, they’re going to, you know, to try to make their stock prices dip, which worked for Target.’

After Ruhle interrupted to add “for a moment,” Collins continued, “they get to say they won, that’s all that matters. This is a brief narrative viral thing and I think it’s very important to note that this is a very online movement, they call it terminally online, right, people who can’t, you know, process stuff in the real world.”

Collins’s entire job is to submerse himself in the deepest backwaters of the internet and claim those weirdos represent and have outsized influence on the Republican Party. He is the definition of terminally online. 

This segment was sponsored by Progressive.

Here is a transcript for the May 25 show:

MSNBC The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle

5/25/2023

11:31 PM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Justin, to that point though, if you’re Target and you cave here, this is a slippery slope because this anti-LGBTQ movement, they’re not going to stop here. They want to sue every company out there that has any sort of diversity and inclusion initiative. 

JUSTIN WOLFERS: Yeah, I think there is something really quite scary here and it comes from the Target CEO saying the reason they were backing off is they were worried about the safety of their employees. So, look one of two things are true: it could be they’re cowards and used that as protection and a smokescreen so they could make a cowardly decision, or it could be that they’re actually genuinely concerned about the well-being of their employees and have had credible threats. 

But if that’s the case, when Target caves into this, then it says that the moment you threaten the employees of a large corporation you get to control its policies. This is economic terrorism. Literally terrorism. Creating fear among the workers and forcing the corporations to sell the things you want, not sell the things you don’t, so I think it’s very worrying, I do wonder if Target has a corporate social responsibility and here I mean beyond its commitment to diversity. 

I also mean to the broader business community, if it gives in here everyone else and everyone else’s employees have to look out that they will being looked at next. 

RUHLE: Ben, do you want to weigh in? 

BEN COLLINS: Yeah.

RUHLE: I mean, every company out there has a corporate social responsibility arm, diversity and inclusion, it is a key initiative they’re just going to go after everyone? 

BEN COLLINS: Yeah, look, here is that tweet, he said, this is Matt Walsh, a far-right commentator, “here’s what we should do pick a victim and gang up on it and make an example of it, we can’t boycott every woke company or even most of them, but we can pick one and it hardly matters which,” he actually said that, “and target it with a ruthless boycott campaign, claim one scalp, then move on to the next.” 

That’s what this is all about. It doesn’t matter which company it is, they’re going to, you know, to try to make their stock prices dip, which worked for Target – 

RUHLE: For a moment 

COLLINS: –for a second. But again, they get to say they won, that’s all that matters. This is a brief narrative viral thing and I think it’s very important to note that this is a very online movement, they call it terminally online, right, people who can’t, you know, process stuff in the real world. They are trying to get things to trend on Twitter, which is their favorite site now, they’re trying to get viral memes onto Truth Social and Facebook, but in the real world who cares? 

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