Columns » Kenneth Cleaver

Kenneth Cleaver

Consumer Correspondent



June 15, 2003

Mr. Tom Williams
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 702 Southwest 8th Street
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716

Dear Mr. Williams:

I was saddened to learn that Wal-Mart will no longer carry Maxim, Stuff and FHM (For Him Magazine). I understand you fancy yourself a family store and that publications featuring barely dressed, barely legal women have been deemed inappropriate.

You do realize that the women featured in these magazines are not mere models: Many have appeared on such acclaimed documentary television programs as Temptation Island and The Bachelor.

Usually once a month my son and I make a Wal-Mart run for dried foods, paper towels, and the odd power tool. But our favorite part, hands down, is the magazine rack. After browsing a few lesser titles -- Field & Stream, Soldier of Fortune, American Conservative -- I usually pick up the latest Maxim and Stuff for me and the boy.

While these publications might not be appropriate for every family, they have taught my son and I a great deal about the career trajectories of pop stars. We've also gotten a chance to see a wide variety of really hot women. But more than that, the service pieces and columns have broadened our perspectives on sex and love.

Take, for example, the extensive reporting on how to ensure that new communication technologies do not interfere with clandestine romantic conquests. Also illuminating is the advice to seek out hotties in places where they are most vulnerable: emergency rooms, bail bond agencies and funerals.

I am always finding these magazines scattered around my boy's bedside and closet. I know that he will be a reader for life and that it will remain something we will share for years to come. While we can still purchase these magazines at other venues, I am disappointed that we do not fit into your definition of family.


Kenneth Cleaver

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