PodText Logo PodText
Highlight any text to listen to it!
Podcast Transcript
00:03: A conservative legal group is taking aim at Target, claiming that the company pushed the
00:08: interest of their shareholders aside by marketing LGBT merch in June.
00:13: We break down the case in other similar lawsuits.
00:17: I'm Georgia Howe with Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief John Bickley.
00:21: It's August 12, and this is a Saturday edition of Morning Wire.
00:29: Asylum seekers flowing into the United Kingdom have been put on an offshore barge, as the
00:34: number of migrants has overwhelmed available housing.
00:37: What it sends is a forceful message that there will be proper accommodation, but not luxurious.
00:43: How are locals reacting and how long will the migrants be housed on the ship?
00:48: And the video communication software Zoom stirred up controversy this month when they updated
00:53: their terms of service to include a clause regarding AI.
00:57: I think the line between what they consider their information and what they consider your
01:01: information is really not well-stalled out in terms of service.
01:06: What's behind their customers' anger and how is the company responded?
01:09: Thanks for waking up with Morning Wire.
01:11: Stay tuned.
01:12: We have the news you need to know.
01:18: A conservative legal group is suing target over LGBT merchandise that marketed in June.
01:23: The group claims the company knowingly put political activism ahead of its fiscal duty to shareholders.
01:29: Here to tell us more about the lawsuit is Daily Wire Culture Reporter, Megan Basham.
01:34: So Megan, what exactly are the grounds for the suit?
01:37: Well, you know, most people will probably remember that back in June, Target released a special
01:42: lineup of LGBTQ themed products and that those caused a lot of controversy.
01:47: So the items included tuck-friendly bathing suits, some toddler boardbooks with titles
01:53: like buy, buy, binary. And then this was probably the biggest thing. A quote unquote, queer
01:59: themed clothing and accessories line from a designer who describes himself as a Satanist.
02:04: Well, the backlash to all of that was fierce and target removed some of the items from
02:09: their stock. After that, shares of target really just tanked.
02:14: Now, was the drop in stock definitively linked to that PR issue?
02:18: Well, a lot of legacy media outlets reported that it wasn't due to that.
02:23: They said that broader retail market woes were to blame.
02:27: CNN, for instance, quoted an analyst who said, and I'm quoting here, retail is just very out of favor right now.
02:34: So all the stocks in the sector are overcorrecting.
02:37: The outlet concluded that the cause of the drop was target primary shopping base of middle
02:43: income households have been pinched by rising costs and inflation.
02:48: Now, on the other side of that,
02:49: Smead Capital, which is a prominent investment manager,
02:53: said in its second quarter letter to investors,
02:55: that Target was our worst performer in the quarter,
02:58: primarily driven by customers and public reaction
03:02: to those in-store promotions for the month of June.
03:05: Well, I spoke to one analyst on background who agreed with that.
03:08: He pointed out that Amazon, Walmart, Costco,
03:11: really a number of other major retail stocks
03:14: were moving up just as Target was taking a dive.
03:18: And Target itself was trending up before the Pride controversy.
03:22: So the premise is that the Pride merchandise actually caused the losses
03:26: and that's the basis for the suit.
03:28: Exactly.
03:28: So this suit was filed by America first legal on behalf of shareholders.
03:33: And what they're saying is that in its 2022 and 2023 proxy statements, Target told shareholders that it was monitoring for risks
03:42: that might stem from its social and political messaging.
03:45: This was the group announcing that suit.
03:48: Steven Miller here, president of America First Legal.
03:51: We just filed a federal shareholder lawsuit against Target.
03:55: Following his disastrous pride propaganda that erased billions in shareholder value.
04:01: We are fighting ESG extremism.
04:04: Now in their statement announcing this, they wrote, quoting here,
04:09: management only cared whether it's leftist stakeholders were satisfied.
04:13: Disregarding the possibility that its customers and shareholders might feel differently.
04:18: This predictably caused more than a $12 billion collapse in share value,
04:23: the largest stock price decline in over 20 years.
04:26: Target's management has misled investors, assuring them that the corporation oversees
04:31: social and political issues and risks to protect shareholders.
04:36: Now, what's the likelihood of the suit actually gaining traction?
04:39: Yeah, that's a good question.
04:40: So AFL's president is Trump administration veteran, Stephen Miller.
04:45: So you're certainly hearing a lot of people calling this a political stunt.
04:49: But publicly traded companies are required to disclose certain information in their proxy
04:53: statements so that shareholders will understand the risks that they're running and can make informed decisions.
05:00: Target also has a fiduciary duty to protect shareholders' investments.
05:04: If it knew it was seriously risking that, that really is a legitimate issue.
05:08: And this is kind of a rising trend in attacking ESG policies.
05:12: Starbucks, for instance, saw a similar suit last year.
05:16: The outcome of that one is still pending, and also a good chance that one of these cases
05:21: will end up in front of SCOTUS.
05:23: All right, well, Megan, thanks so much for reporting.
05:26: Anytime.
05:30: Immigrants arriving in the United Kingdom from the English Channel are being put on a large
05:35: barge docked off the coast. The move highlights the growing number of asylum seekers arriving
05:40: in Great Britain and the challenge of housing them. Joining us to discuss is Radha Mir
05:45: Tile Coat Director of Research at the London-based Lagatum Institute. Hello, Radha. So the British
05:51: government has started housing illegal migrants on a barge. First, give us a little background on immigration in the UK.
05:58: Well, just as in America, where there are migrants spilling
06:01: across the southern border in large numbers, the UK has its own
06:05: southern border crisis because thousands of illegal migrants
06:08: or undocumented migrants, as we are now encouraged to call them,
06:13: arrive in the UK from across the English Channel in so-called
06:16: smallboats, which are often not actually that small.
06:20: Now around 46,000 people across the English Channel in smallboats
06:25: in 2022. That's a number that's increased rapidly over recent years. Although they bored
06:30: boats in France, the migrants frequently come from Albania, as well as Iran, elsewhere
06:35: in the Middle East and North Africa. That 46,000 number, of course, may not sound as significant
06:41: as the numbers you see in the States, but keep in mind the UK is only about a fifth of
06:46: the population of the US. So that's a huge challenge to absorb that many arrivals. And
06:52: that brings us to this week. The British government has announced that they will house hundreds
06:57: of male migrants on what has been called a prison barge currently moored on the coast of Dorset in England and Southwest.
07:05: Now in an update to this story, migrants are being temporarily removed from the barge
07:11: because of the discovery of legionella bacteria which can cause legionnaires disease in the
07:16: barge's water supply. Although it has been emphasised that this is simply a temporary
07:21: measure and once this is dealt with, they should be moved back onto the barge.
07:25: Is that to avoid having them come into the country or detain them or is this primarily just a housing arrangement?
07:32: Well, this is essentially an alternative to a hotel because the men on board will be able to leave at any time.
07:38: There are buses every hour to the nearby coastal town of Weymouth.
07:42: If they miss that last bus home, they get free taxis.
07:46: There are other perks to make life on the ship more pleasant.
07:49: free hiking like trips to cricket matches, a gym movie room, 24 hour food service, and
07:55: officials say this will all help them integrate into the local community. The barge itself
08:01: should hold up to 500 men who are awaiting asylum decisions and is meant to cut the number
08:06: of migrants that the government puts up in hotels at the British public's expense. Currently,
08:12: taxpayers are paying £6 million a day to house 51,000 asylum seekers in those hotels.
08:19: So, not cheap. Now, the 500 or so male residents will be sleeping on the ship offshore, but integrating
08:26: into the local community during the day. How do locals feel about that? Well, naturally, they're
08:31: concerned about hundreds of men arriving in their town. One woman who was interviewed by a newspaper
08:37: said that she was nervous being a woman going to the beach with all those men around, but that she
08:42: is afraid she will be called a racist if she voices those concerns. So, really fear of pushing back
08:48: on the policy there. How significant is the broader immigration issue in the UK?
08:54: Actually, I think it's very comparable to the situation in the United States. In the UK,
08:59: under Prime Minister Rishi Sonak, immigration has been rising. Last year, there was net migration
09:04: of over 600,000. And that's to the growing theory of many conservative voters who thought
09:10: that Brexit would reduce migration by bringing national borders back under national control.
09:15: But what's happened is that so far plans to reduce that immigration have been hobbled by
09:21: in the first instance corporate lobbying for continued cheap foreign labour and there's also
09:26: resistance from within the government bureaucracy. And I'm afraid small boat migrants have been
09:31: arrested for rape and other crimes including in those counties along the south coast where they
09:36: land. But addressing that migration has become especially politically fraught as left-wing politicians,
09:42: as well as judges, continue to fight against attempts to stop it.
09:46: Right, we've seen reports to that effect.
09:49: Has the government tried to actively reduce the flow of migrants
09:52: or has everyone who arrives basically accepted?
09:56: Right, so what the government has tried to do is to send small boat migrants to Rwanda for processing.
10:00: And that was based on Australia's successful scheme
10:04: when arrivals were processed on the island of Nauru.
10:07: That strategy was also successful by the way in reducing human trafficking as well.
10:12: Now on Monday night in the UK, lawmakers passed the government's illegal migration bill.
10:17: That will allow for arrivals to be detained and sent to Rwanda or another safe third country.
10:23: But that process was ruled and lawful by the court of appeal.
10:26: So Prime Minister Sonakka said the government will seek to take the case to the UK's Supreme Court.
10:31: So these are strange times indeed.
10:34: Yeah, on both sides of the pond.
10:36: Radamir, thanks for joining us.
10:37: Thank you for having me.
10:38: That was Ratameer Taukot of the Legatim Institute.
10:45: The video meeting platform Zoom caused a stir this month when a change of their terms of service
10:51: left customers outrage that the company was using their face and voice to train AI algorithms.
10:57: Here with more on the scandal and how Americans views toward AI have shifted is Daily Wire
11:02: Senior Editor, Cabot Phillips. So Cabot, this story really blew up earlier this week. Give us
11:07: us in background. Yeah, this is a wild story. So this week, the website stack diary made waves
11:12: after publishing a blog post digging into the terms of service for Zoom, the massively popular
11:17: video conferencing app that went mainstream during COVID lockdowns. While the terms include
11:21: standard language and disclaimers, they also include a number of passages that grant the company
11:25: broad rights to user data, including their images and voices. For example, one portion says Zoom
11:30: has the rights to users quote data, content files, documents, or other materials. But the
11:35: The section that really turned heads says,
11:37: Zoom has a perpetual worldwide royalty-free right to your data for the purpose of product development,
11:42: including, quote, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
11:46: Yeah, you can see why people were spooked
11:48: and wanted to know how exactly their faces might be used to help develop AI.
11:52: Now, the company had actually implemented
11:54: the new terms of service back in March,
11:56: but as we all know, very few people,
11:57: myself included, actually read all the fine print when clicking accept.
12:01: It wasn't until this week that anyone seemed to notice.
12:03: But now that the details of the terms are public, there was understandably mass outrage online with people accusing the company of violating their privacy.
12:11: Right, you can see why.
12:12: Now, tell us how Zoom execs responded to that.
12:15: So they've definitely been on the defensive.
12:17: The company's COO issued a statement saying
12:20: users will be notified when their images
12:21: or audio are being used for, quote, product improvement purposes.
12:25: But that did little to assuage the fears of many users.
12:28: In response, the company went a step further
12:30: adding a new line to their terms of service
12:32: that reads, quote, for AI, we do not use audio, video, or chat
12:36: content for training our models without consumer consent.
12:39: But it's worth noting the carefully-worted language in those revised terms.
12:43: While they do promise not to use audio or video content
12:45: to train their AI models, intellectual property lawyers
12:48: have pointed out that they'll still technically
12:50: be allowed to use a vast trove of other user data.
12:53: While some say it's simply the trade-off
12:54: you make when using high-tech software these days,
12:57: plenty more folks say it's a violation of user privacy.
13:00: This all comes at a time when Americans are increasingly skeptical of AI technology more broadly for this very reason.
13:06: Right, well, there's been some interesting polling on that front.
13:09: Tell us a little bit about that.
13:10: So according to a poll earlier this summer
13:12: from Reuters, 61% of Americans believe AI poses a risk to humanity.
13:17: And there was bipartisan agreement on the issue as well
13:19: with 70% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats expressed in concern.
13:24: And there was also clear consensus across party lines in supportive regulation in the industry,
13:28: just not regulation coming from tech companies themselves.
13:32: 82% say they do not trust AI leaders to self-regulate.
13:35: The majority of Americans say they'd instead prefer government regulation of some kind,
13:39: and they're likely to get their wish.
13:41: Congress has been working feverishly in past months to regulate the industry, expect
13:44: to hear much more on that front in the coming year.
13:47: Well, I'm feeling vindicated, but I refused to download all through the pandemic.
13:52: Cabot, thanks for reporting.
13:53: Anytime.
13:58: That's all the time we've got this morning.
13:59: Thanks for waking up with us.
14:00: We'll be back this afternoon with an extra edition of Morning Wire.