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  • Wal-Mart reportedly is being sued by a group of Maryland customers because the retailer stocks a CD by the rock group Evanescence in which during one song the group drops the F-bomb.

    The plaintiffs are seeking damages of up to $74,500 for each of the Maryland customers who bought the CD at Wal-Mart. They say that Wal-Mart purports to sell only “clean music,” and that it knew the word was on the CD but continued to stock it anyway. The CD does not carry a parental advisory warning of the offending word.

    Wal-Mart said it would not pull the CD off its shelves, but would investigate the allegations.

KC's View:
Sometimes Wal-Mart just can’t get a break.

As a parent, we feel that we can’t hold retailers responsible for the music, videos or books that they sell. We have to be responsible for helping our kids to make good judgments about the cultural choices they make, and we have to monitor those choices – because knowing what is going on is part of a parent’s job. (If we heard the F-bomb on a CD that our 10-year-old daughter was listening to, we’d turn it off, take it away, and explain that it is inappropriate and why. That’s our job, not Wal-Mart’s.)

We hope that Wal-Mart won’t bow to this kind of nonsensical pressure. The folks down in Bentonville ought to have the moral courage to tell these customers that it is not the retailer’s job to censor the choices available on its shelves, but rather the parent’s job to mold children of good character.

We have no problem with parental warning labels on CDs, and maybe that is something that Wal-Mart (and other retailers) could rectify.

What these parents are doing has nothing to do with decency. Rather, it has to do with craven cynical opportunism. You can tell that because they’ve assigned the figure of $74,500 as the price of their children’s virtue.