The Deadspin blog has been at the forefront of the "we won't stick to sports" movement, but that may be about to change. Megan Greenwell, who identifies herself as the site's "former editor-in-chief," writes that new management is insisting Deadspin change its ways (so often vulgar, irreverent, anti-Christian, anti-Trump) and she has submitted her resignation.
Just this year alone, Deadspin "prayed" that God would not allow the Liberty University "bigots" to win in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, mocked Tim Tebow for abstaining from sex until marriage and trashed conservative opponents of the progressive "Equality Act" legislation. Deadspin frequently uses President Trump for a punching bag, too. And this is just a tiny sampling of this slimy sites' nastiness.
In her post, "The Adults in the Room," Greenwell complains on her way out the company door that she and her colleagues "just care too much about The Truth to yield before the gale-force winds of Capitalism ... ." But yield, she did, to the "ruthless, profiteering guys in ill-fitting suits" of Great Hill Partners, a private-equity firm that now owns Deadspin. These hated capitalists are all white male one-percenters, she notes.
Greenwell said it's exceedingly clear that the new owners envision a narrowing of the scope of Deadspin’s coverage. In her conversations with CEO Jim Spanfeller and Editorial Director Paul Maidment, they resisted Deadspin's coverage of politics and other media companies (like ESPN, a frequent target). Maidment issued a "stick to sports" edict.
The outgoing editor defended Deadspin’s current lack of coverage boundaries, saying readers want politics and culture. Greenwell says:
"My colleagues and I know that most Deadspin readers do not want the site to stick to sports. I know this because I have 18 months of experience running the site and 12-ish years of experience reading it, and because I work with people who have seven or eight or nine years’ experience writing and editing for it. We know this because I read the comments. We know this because readers make obvious every day what they most like to read, and because our traffic numbers are large and growing, and because I have tunneled obsessively into the details of those traffic numbers for the past year and a half."
Also, Greenwell writes that she and her colleagues are giving readers the politics, media and lifestyle stories that Deadspin readers want. They're doing this "with enviable levels of intelligence, humor, and integrity." Their intelligence, humor and integrity are tinged by a decidedly left-wing political bias.
Great Hill's clueless capitalists don't appreciate the Deadspin writers' immense abilities. When Greenwell told the new brain trust that non-sports content attracts more traffic and creates more revenue opportunities, she got shot down. When she told them the data demonstrates Deadspin readers prefer publications with a "distinctive point of view" and it doesn't try to be neutral, they said they want to be all things to all people.
Greenwell says her now former colleagues are already forming a "resistance" to the new regime, and they won't suddenly start sticking to sports is because it’s about the opportunity to grow the audience and make more money for Great Hill Partners. "But the adults in the room know that we’re wrong, despite all evidence, because they just know."
Deadspin staff already undermined Spanfeller by writing a hit piece on him and his threats to editorial independence. He threw a fit, but Gawker Media allowed the story to run because they won't be intimidated by bullies, Greenwell writes.
The richest men in digital media sometimes show that they aren't the adults in the room, Greenwell says. Obviously the "adults" in the room are the Deadspin writers who've written that social conservatives "are looking for a new stupid controversy to hump since opposing gay marriage became politically unsustainable, angry straights obsessed with their own fear of gender nonconformity, and numbskulls who think Tootsie is a documentary."
These adults also wrote last month that MAGA toads "endlessly demand that their precious sports and the people within those sports 'be castrated of anything resembling progressive attitudes ... .'"
One of these so-called people of intelligence, humor and integrity also wrote that if Liberty becomes the darling of the NCAA basketball tournament, "I’m going to have to learn some satanic rituals." Because "Liberty University is a den of bigotry masquerading as Christianity ... ."