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Friday, September 07, 2018

How Nike avoided being treated like Kathie Lee Gifford

Some of us remember her as Kathie Lee Johnson back when we could name a tune in three notes. But she married Frank Gifford and flourished as a celebrity. Wal-Mart set up a line of clothing in her new name: Kathie Lee Gifford.

Liberals got on their high horse about sweatshops. The suddenly Puritan press went after her with self-righteous anger.

"Shortly thereafter, to add to the sordid sweatshop fashion show, a dozen cameras captured Kathie Lee and her husband Frank Gifford at a factory in New York City's Chinatown, which produced Kathie Lee blouses. More than two dozen workers, mostly women, had been cheated out of their pay during several weeks of rush orders, so Kathie Lee and Frank tried to commandeer the media feeding by slipping the bewildered workers envelopes of $300 each," Jonathan D. Rosenblum wrote in the Chicago Tribune.

Wal-Mart made some of the clothes in Honduras. The press pressure on her forced Wal-Mart to void its contract. Hundreds of Honduran families suffered the loss of jobs.

They targeted her because she made the mistake of being wholesome. The press does not like wholesome.

It was 1996 -- before Red China joined the World Trade Organization.

Once the communists were in, liberals became free traders who looked the other way when gargantuan companies such as Apple paid Chinese workers pennies per hour to make their goods.

Nike made its $200 tennis shoes in South Korea, then Taiwan, then Red China, and then Vietnam.

It has been doing this for decades without even one-tenth of the outrage poured on Kathie Lee Gifford.

Nike gets away with this because of its social justice warriorship. Hiring Colin Kaepernick keeps the press off you.


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  1. an analyst on Fox pointed out they are after the 14-17 year old Demo. Presumably no one in it cares about anything other than the coolness of their shoes. Adidas has out performed them by a large margin in share price.

  2. Yeah, but their parents, who end up paying for those shoes, do.

    1. Maybe some do but today's youth seem to have more influence than they should with their parents. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I just threw away my only Nike T shirt.

  3. For years I wore cheap shoes because that was all I could afford. Then I reached the point where I could afford Nikes. They felt the same on my feet and I didn't run any faster. The wore out just as fast as the cheap ones, but cost 2x or 3x more. And they looked pretty much the same, except for that shwooshie thing.

    So I went back to buying cheap shoes.

  4. Not only does Nike use cheap labor to make its apparel, it also participates in an illegal scheme to avoid US trade sanctions that have been imposed on North Korea. According to an article I read yesterday, Nike contracts with a Chinese firm in the city of Dandong, which is located along the border with North Korea. The Chinese firm then contracts with North Korean factories located across the Yalu River to make the goods in order to take advantage of the cheapest labor costs in the world. The finished goods are then sent back across the border to China for trans-shipment. The goods carry the label saying they are "Made in China" in order to avoid US trade sanctions, although in fact they are made in Korea.

    1. What was the pay? A fish head with a side of grass?

  5. Kathy Lee Gifford is also religious, adding to the animus against her.

    When I was a runner, I never wore Nike’s. They didn’t fit well and were way overpriced. Glad I never supported them.

  6. Pls Fwd to