'Nightly News' Praises 'Victory' Over Home Depot

     Eighty people in a Vermont town will soon be out of a job and residents will have lost access to a wide selection of less expensive hardware. NBC calls that a “great story.”


     The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) recently announced it would close 15 of more than 2,200 of its stores because of their failure to meet earnings targets. One of those stores is in Brattleboro, Vt. Mike Taibbi reported on the town’s glee over seeing the “Goliath” big box store on its way out.


     “It’s not surprising that long-time residents, like John Morse back at the Ace [Hardware] store, collected thousands of petition signatures opposing Home Depot when it arrived four years ago and are cheering now because it’s closing,” Taibbi said.


     Two smaller hardware stores, Ace and True-Value, stayed in business to compete with Home Depot when it opened its store, and the family-owned businesses are celebrating what they hope will spell the end of their “long, flat earnings” now that residents will have to get their hardware from mom-and-pop shops.


     Taibbi insisted that “no one’s cheering” the fact that 80 employees will be out of work after Home Depot closes. Nonetheless, he featured two residents who did cheer the departure.


     “People are going, ‘Yes, yes, yes, we did it!” Morse said.


      “Here’s a hometown True-Value that outlasted the big box store,” said Glen St. John, owner of the True-Value. “That’s exciting.”


     “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams called it a “great story” and Taibbi himself called it, “in a man bites dog sort of way, an unlikely survivor story.”


     But not everyone’s as excited to see Home Depot go as Morse, St. John and the NBC gang. In addition to the 80 people losing their jobs, customers who enjoyed Home Depot’s bigger selection, lower prices and more convenient hours might also be disappointed.


     Taibbi only included one disappointed shopper who wasn’t even identified. “Home Depot was the one place you could really go when everybody else was closed,” said the unidentified man.


     “Nightly News” isn’t the first network to wax nostalgic about mom-and-pop stores, or to portray them as “David” battling the “Goliath” of large, successful chain stores. The media routinely side with small businesses and against large ones. They paint big businesses as bad, failing to point out the benefits of lower prices, better selections, and more jobs for the community.