Andy Kroll

Andy Kroll

Senior Reporter

Andy Kroll is Mother Jones' Dark Money reporter. He is based in the DC bureau. His work has also appeared at the Wall Street Journal, the Detroit News, the Guardian, the American Prospect, and TomDispatch.com, where he's an associate editor. Email him at akroll (at) motherjones (dot) com. He tweets at @AndrewKroll.

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The Truth About Mike Daisey—and Walmart

| Wed Mar. 21, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
A Walmart store in Beijing, China.

Mike Daisey made you care. Give the man that much.

For all the flaws and fabrications in his monologue "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," excerpted and then retracted on the popular radio program "This American Life," Daisey changed how you looked at your iPhone or iPod or iPad. He caused you to consider how and where your Apple gadgets were made, and who made them. That Daisey lied about meeting underage workers at Apple supplier Foxconn does not mean Apple suppliers don't hire underage workers. They do. That Daisey misrepresented meeting a man with a hand snarled from repeating the same motion on an Apple production line doesn't mean such injuries aren't common in China. They are. Daisey's lies have stained his reputation. But Apple's once-glittering reputation is tarnished, too. For that Apple can blame Daisey, and even more so the reporting team behind the New York Times' superb iEconomy series.

But the problems plaguing the Chinese manufacturers are not limited to Apple. Far from it.

Today, you can read my investigation into an even more massive American corporation that, like Apple, depends on cheap, fast, and nimble Chinese labor: Walmart. It's a story 18 months in the works, and it reveals how the world's largest retailer has fallen well short on its much-hyped sustainability campaign, especially in China, where so much of Walmart's products are made.

Walmart launched its sustainability campaign in 2005, billing it as a boardroom-to-break-room effort to shrink the retailer's waste footprint, slash emissions at its stores and suppliers worldwide, and stock its shelves with more environmentally friendly products. Walmart's "green" embrace fit into a broader makeover at the embattled retailer. Walmart redesigned the company logo, de-cluttered its shelves and store aisles, and changed its slogan from "Always Low Prices" to "Save Money. Live Better."

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Santorum: 'I'm Praying' for Dan Savage Who 'Has Serious Issues'

| Mon Mar. 19, 2012 4:54 PM EDT
Rick Santorum and Dan Savage.

RealClearReligion posted an interview with Rick Santorum on Monday in which the reporter asked the candidate about Dan Savage, the gay sex columnist who held a contest in 2003 to redefine the word "Santorum." Savage started the contest after the Pennsylvania senator controversially said the "definition of marriage" never included "man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be." The winning redefinition in Savage's contest for Santorum was, famously, "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex."

Savage's redefinition took hold, so much so that his "Spreading Santorum" site quickly became one of the top three Google search results for Santorum's name. It's since dropped to the eighth result, but the GOP contender still has a major Google problem.

Asked what he'd say to Savage if the two met, Santorum replied:

I would tell him that I'm praying for him. He obviously has some serious issues. You look at someone like that who can say and do the things that he's doing and you just pray for him and hopefully he can find peace.

I emailed Savage to see what he had to say about that. He wrote back:

Rick Santorum thinks that women who have been raped should be compelled—by force of law—to carry the babies of their rapists to term, he thinks birth control should be illegal, he wants to prosecute pornographers, etc., etc., basically the guy wants to be president so that he can micromanage the sex lives of all Americans...and I'm the one with issues? Because I made a dirty joke at his expense eight or nine years ago and it stuck? I'm the one with issues?

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Rick can pray for me. I'll gay for him. And we can call it even.

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