Mike Masterson really brightens up my day. Why? Because he always gives me something to laugh at. Lately, the Occupy movement has increased his tenancy to do so. He’s no fan of the movement, referring to the 99% as “the flea party”, but his contempt for Occupiers has reached a pretty sad low, because he either just made a laughable mistake or he’s just a liar plain and simple. Why? Well here’s some excerpts from his recent column concerning Occupy NWA:
Northwest Arkansas captains of commerce were none too happy the other day when I called to ask if they approved of their businesses being listed as supporters of the controversial “Occupy NWA” movement on that group’s website. Nope, not happy campers at all. Can’t say I blame those businessfolks for getting a bit steamed, especially when they where never supporters of the movement.
My problem, and the difficulty a lot of local business owners have, is that they never knew their business had been listed as supporting this movement until I called to tell them. I also didn’t know it had happened until an alert reader called to tell me he’d seen the names of two large local grocery stores listed as “occupy” supporters. But he discovered after calling those markets that they had not a clue that someone had posted their purported advocacy. He said his alarm seems to have worked since the grocer’s names had been scrubbed from the “Occupy NWA” site within a day.
Wow, misrepresenting support from local businesses is a pretty rotten tactic. It’s dishonest, potentially damaging to the good folks that work there, and totally undercuts the 99% movement and their message. Mercifully, Inspector Masterson was on the case (Cue the Inspector Gadget theme):
So I took to the phone myself and called Gary Head, president of Signature Bank of Fayetteville, which was listed as one of three bank supporters. That didn’t sound much like the man I know. Sure enough, he was also surprised, saying there was no way he’d have approved of using his bank’s name that way. He didn’t consider his bank, or himself, a supporter.
It was a repeat denial with Carl Collier at Fayetteville’s Collier Drug Stores. Collier didn’t know, or approve, that his business’s name was listed as a supporter of “Occupy NWA.” It was the same story at the Chicken Holler business in Farmington. I sensed a faint outline of a pattern forming.
In all, I counted 152 Northwest Arkansas businesses and artisans listed on the Occupy NWA website as their supposed supporters…I naturally wondered how many other businesses and people never approved of using their names.
Local Businesses Keep Money and Jobs in the Community. You Can Help Them.
The Occupy movement came about as a result of bad economic sense. Supporting local businesses makes good economic sense. The businesses listed here were recommended by patrons and other individuals as a result of their contributions to the local economy. This is not intended to imply that these businesses support OccupyNWA; rather, we simply wish to show support for these businesses. If you are a local business owner and would like to have your business included in our list of local businesses who keep money and jobs in the community, or if you wish to have it removed from the list, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh…well that certainly changes things. And look, Signature Bank of Fayetteville and Collier Drugs are both up there, sure enough (can’t find “Chicken Holler”) but Occupy NWA isn’t claiming their support…they’re encouraging people to support those local businesses as customers. In other words, Mike wasn’t doing a service to these good small business owners…he was attacking people who were trying to draw in paying customers for them. Way to go Mike. Bet your friends in those businesses you called are real happy about that.
So was Masterson lying or did he just make an extremely stupid and inexcusable mistake. Hard to say. The sad thing is that bit of research took all of about ten or fifteen seconds. Pretty sad Mike, pretty sad.
So, can we expect a correction and an apology to the good folks at Occupy NWA from Mr. Masterson?