- McLibel -

There is very little supporting fact in their publication.

Posted by: Marc ( USA ) on July 07, 1998 at 12:44:44:

In Reply to: Facts are Facts...Statistics Aren't posted by Thomas on July 06, 1998 at 17:03:30:

First, a point of information: the piece was shown on "60 Minutes," not "48 Hours."

Second, your points are well put. You are obviously a person of clear, logical, and objective reason.

Third, I'd agree with just about everything you said. But let's face it: the true debate did not begin until the big bully corporation decided to sue the small-time players. The focus, as portrayed by the "60 Minutes" story seemed to deviate from the thing itself, the content of the leaflet, to a classic David vs. Goliath confrontation. Isn't that the case in most publicized controversies today? It is never seemingly a big deal until the players involved become bigger and the coverage more large scale. Had it not been for the story, would you have known about this? I certainly wouldn't; and I've been to England before and have English friends!

Don't get me wrong--I got a kick out of the story and admired the way those two poor sods really took it to McD's. But just like you pointed out, there is very little supporting fact in their publication. Just a lot of lofty, emotionally-based hype that seemed to make sense.

And in regards to the labor issue, nobody is forced to do anything they do not want to do. It is truly a matter of choice. I worked on cruise ships for several years and saw the types/class of people that would do the nastiest jobs onboard. Where were they from? Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Central America--some of the poorest areas of the world. Why were they hired? Isn't it obvious? A cheap source of labor. The greenbacks they earned from doing the dirty work would be worth far more than they could ever make at home. Also, no American, Brit, or any other Western European/North American would do that kind of work. The bottom line is that there is a job for everyone out there; it just depends on who is willing to do it.

Your environmental points are well taken. We will just make things harder on ourselves (Greenhouse effect/global warming???)

The McSpotlight people have not said anything that we haven't heard before; their argument has just now been given a much bigger forum.

McSpotlight: Lofty, emotionally-based hype? A quick glance at the referenced version of the "What's Wrong With McDonald's" (follow this link) will show that the points under debate in court were, in many cases, from McDonald's own internal documents (e.g. the aiming of advertising at children). Others were paraphrasals of findings by highly-respected organisations, like the World Health Organisation (WHO).

What the case did achieve was to force McDonald's to expose their practices to the light of day - something that McDonald's did not want to happen. The genie is now out of the bottle; and McDonald's can no longer use their favourite weapon (the UK libel laws) with impunity. The whole affair was an expensive PR disaster for them - no wonder they have remained quiet on the subject ever since.

It might perhaps be more accurate to say that the original leaflet was emotive, rather than emotionally-based. It's a subject that arouses great feeling in a lot of people; as such, a clinical thesis on the subject would be pretty much unreadable and wholly inappropriate. Yet the basic points of the leaflet are founded in "objective fact" (insofar as such a thing exists).

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