National Retailers Refuse To Apologize For Claiming eBay Leads To Crime
from the lies-are-more-fun-than-facts dept
Earlier this week, we noted that the National Retail Federation, a lobbying group made up of a bunch of large traditional retailers, had claimed to Congress that eBay drove people to shoplift by being so addictive that people couldn’t help themselves. According to the NRF, otherwise innocent people, after running out of legitimate things to sell, turned to a life of crime to support that eBay selling high. The whole thing is so preposterous, that the group NetChoice called for an apology from the NRF. The NRF’s response? It stands by its comments:
“The testimony we submitted reflected the sentiments of many retailers that we work with.”
Now there’s a neat little rhetorical trick there. When called on the fact that they were lying in claiming a rash of eBay-induced criminals, the response is to claim that the statements “reflected the sentiments” of the retailers. So, even though those sentiments are based on pure lies, it’s okay, because the statement reflected those sentiments.
In the meantime, it appears that NRF supporters have decided to respond with personal attacks, such as that one, directed at my post. It’s also got some neat rhetorical tricks, such as claiming that what the retailers really meant when they said (and I quote), “When they run out of legitimate merchandise, they begin to steal intermittently, many times for the first time in their life, so they can continue selling online” was organized crime. Yet, that’s clearly not what the NRF statement was claiming. It was talking about individuals who were selling stuff legitimately, until they couldn’t find anything else to sell and began a life of crime.
See? So now that they’ve narrowly defined the issue as “organized crime” (ignoring what the NRF actually said and brushing over the actual stats on shoplifting being on the decline), the NRF supporter claims that these new laws are just “reasonable duties” for online auction sites to combat that issue — never once explaining why online auction sites need to step in and do the work that the retailers themselves are unwilling to do. The retailers themselves admitted that they don’t want their employees to act as police officers — but they apparently have no problem demanding that their online competitors act as their police officers.