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Intolerant staffers demand Maven Media shutter ‘Blue Lives Matter’ website, CEO will reportedly cave

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Several staffers with Maven Media are demanding that the company shut down a website featuring stories of assaults and attacks on police officers, as well as other cop-related news, as intolerance and anger grow in the wake of Minneapolis man George Floyd’s death.

The “Blue Lives Matter” site, a subset of Defense Maven, is owned by the same company that publishes Sports Illustrated and Maxim, according to the New York Post. The same Defense Maven site also features “Warrior Maven,” a site focused primarily on military-related news.

The Blue Lives Matter site is also financially supported by Warrior 12, a t-shirt and apparel company featuring military- and law enforcement-themed clothing. Editors noted in November that the support of the company became even more vital after Facebook allegedly “cut the reach of Blue Lives Matter articles in half to push anti-police content to make more money.”

The Daily Beast reported that the call to dump Defense Maven’s police content came during a Friday staff meeting as Maven Media Brands officials announced they were trimming salaries 15 percent across the board after losing a lot of ad revenue due to a drop in spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

The site added that employees calling for the site to be shuttered cited the nationwide protests over the death of Floyd at the hands of a few bad officers in Minneapolis — cops that have been fired and charged with crimes related to the incident, including one charge of murder in the second degree.

The Daily Beast said staffers used the words “embarrassing,” “a disgrace,” and “horrible” to describe the Blue Lives Matter site. They also complained about alleged lax editorial standards staffers said allowed users to make racist comments “with no monitoring” and no checking of responses for accuracy.

One staffer said that someone commented on a Blue Lives Matter article by recommending snipers and armed drones be deployed to take out looters so as to “set an example for the world to see.”

“Blue Lives Matters’ comment sections are full of people calling for the extermination of people like me,” said another worker, according to the Daily Beast.

James Heckman, founder and CEO of Maven Media, was said to have acknowledged staffers’ concerns while pointing out that one of the company’s core objectives is to accommodate dialogue from all sides while breaking down ideological constructs to allow for various perspectives, The Daily Beast reported, citing sources in the meeting.

But later during another companywide phone call with staffers, Heckman appeared to have caved, telling workers he would ask Maven’s board of directors to take down the Blue Lives Matter website., the Daily Beast said.

“I think for sure this is something we have to do,” Heckman said, according to the Daily Beast. “I’m going to make that recommendation to the board, I’m sure the board will be supportive.”

Jazz Shaw of Hot Air noted the irony of Heckman’s decision and the staffers who were upset with the Blue Lives Matter site:

The workers who complained about how embarrassing, disgraceful and horrible the Blue Lives Matter site is work for Maxim and Sports Illustrated. (Both fine publications to be sure, but the woke crowd who worries about feminist ideals might not be so wild about Maxim nor the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.) But somehow, reporting on news about attacks on police officers and honoring the fallen is… disgraceful.

Shaw then suggested that Salem Media Group, which owns Hot Air, could acquire Blue Lives Matter since it was going to be discarded by Maven Media.

“I should really drop a note to Salem and see if they want to pick up a new outlet. I think they would find a fine home here,” Shaw wrote.

Jon Dougherty

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