For-profit

True Blue Media

Formation:

2015

Type:

Investment Firm

Holding Company for Shareblue Media

Owner:

David Brock

True Blue Media, LLC is an investment firm founded in 2015 and owned by Clinton family-aligned political operative David Brock. The firm acts as a holding company for the Brock-aligned Shareblue Media, and owns an 80 percent stake in it. Shareblue Media produces left-wing viral media content. It owns an 80 percent stake in Blue Nation Review, now Shareblue Media (formerly Blue Nation Review), an online news outlet.[1]

True Blue Media is part of a network of organizations owned or controlled by Brock that exist to attack Republicans and conservatives. Among the network of Brock organizations include Media Matters for America and the super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, which focuses on “tracking” Republican candidates. The Brock organizations focus on using opposition research to message against Republican and conservative candidates and causes.

History

True Blue Media was formed in 2015 by Brock to facilitate his takeover of a left-wing blog site called Blue Nation Review (now Shareblue Media). The site was bought by Brock from Australian company MOKO Social Media Limited, which wanted to focus on its student division.[2] MOKO has since entered bankruptcy in Australia, and has been delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange, ( although it remains listed on the Australian Securities Exchange).[3]

According to the Huffington Post, MOKO actually paid True Blue Media to take over Blue Nation Review. The site was a money loser for MOKO, which spent a “few hundred thousand” in paid promotions for readers, according to MOKO Social Media CEO Ian Rodwell.[4]

Blue Nation Review head Jimmy Williams, a former Democratic staffer in the U.S. Senate and then-frequent MSNBC guest, had clashed with Rodwell. Williams had assembled a group of Democratic donors to try and take over Blue Nation Review. Eventually, the takeover attempt had been steered to Brock. [5]

2016 Presidential Election

Brock backed Blue Nation Review with $2 million from his donors.[6] Upon purchasing the website, Brock fired all existing staff, eventually including Williams, who was dismissed shortly thereafter. The website was renamed Shareblue Media in September 2016.

Former Hillary Clinton adviser Peter Daou became CEO of the website, leading to accusations that it served as the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign’s own media outlet.[7]

Shareblue proceeded to first attack Clinton’s presidential primary challenger, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Among the attacks Shareblue leveled at Sanders were denouncing him as a sexist and rude. Many of the stories attacking Sanders were stories that Brock had failed to place in more mainstream media publications.[8] In March 2016, Sanders strategist Tad Devine called the website “the pond scum of American politics” for its relentless attacks on Sanders.

After Hillary Clinton’s presidential primary victory over Sanders, Blue Nation Review focused its attention on 2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The website published anti-Trump stories, which Daou then used in conjunction with his large social media following to harass mainstream media reporters into covering the story.

Post-2016 Election Activities

After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in November 2016, Peter Daou was unceremoniously fired as CEO. David Sirota, a frequent critic that Hillary Clinton was not left-wing enough, was slated to replace Daou; but Sirota declined the job after raising questions about the resources that were supposed to be at his disposal and the editorial direction of True Blue Media. [9]

After the election, Brock reported an uptick of investment in the site from donors. At a January 2017 conference, Brock pitched revenue-generating ideas, including a plan for create and charge readers to participate in a left-wing version of Twitter hosted by Shareblue. There were also plans unveiled for Brock’s other organizations to create and share content. [10]

Organization

True Blue Media, LLC is registered in Delaware with CT Corporation as its registered agent. Katie Paris currently serves as CEO. Among those currently employed by the company are veteran left-wing writers Emily Crockett, Oliver Willis, Eric Boehlert, and Tommy Christopher many of whom have backgrounds working for other Brock projects.. [11]

References

  1. Sutton, Kelsey. “Incoming CEO of David Brock’s Progressive Media Venture Backs out.” POLITICO. February 07, 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018. https://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/02/incoming-ceo-of-david-brocks-progressive-media-venture-backs-out-234739. ^
  2. “Blue Nation Review & True Blue Media, LLC Transaction”. 2015. Yahoo.Com. https://www.yahoo.com/amphtml/finance/news/blue-nation-review-true-blue-133000087.html. ^
  3. Wallbank, Paul. 2017. “Moko Social Media Goes Into Administration”. Mumbrella. https://mumbrella.com.au/moko-social-media-goes-administration-450233. ^
  4. Grim, Ryan, and Gabriel Arana. 2015. “Sale Of Blue Nation Review Gives Hillary Clinton Camp Its Very Own Media Outlet”. Huffpost. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/david-brock-blue-nation-review_us_564f0f3de4b0879a5b0a7bc5. ^
  5. Grove, Lloyd. 2016. “Hillary Clinton’S Hit Men Target Bernie Sanders At Blue Nation Review”. The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/hillary-clintons-hit-men-target-bernie-sanders-at-blue-nation-review. ^
  6. Horowitz, Jason. 2016. “Inside Hillary Clinton’S Outrage Machine, Allies Push The Buttons”. Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/us/politics/hillary-clinton-media-david-brock.html. ^
  7.   Grove, Lloyd. 2016. “Hillary Clinton’S Hit Men Target Bernie Sanders At Blue Nation Review”. The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/hillary-clintons-hit-men-target-bernie-sanders-at-blue-nation-review. ^
  8. Grove, Lloyd. 2016. “Hillary Clinton’S Hit Men Target Bernie Sanders At Blue Nation Review”. The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/hillary-clintons-hit-men-target-bernie-sanders-at-blue-nation-review. ^
  9. Sutton, Kelsey. 2017. “Incoming CEO Of David Brock’S Progressive Media Venture Backs Out”. POLITICO. https://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/02/incoming-ceo-of-david-brocks-progressive-media-venture-backs-out-234739. ^
  10. Markay, Lachlan. 2017. “David Brock Thinks Liberals Will Pay For His ‘Twitter-Like’ Website”. Washington Free Beacon. https://freebeacon.com/politics/david-brock-thinks-liberals-will-pay-twitter-like-website/. ^
  11. “Company”. 2018. Shareblue Media. Accessed August 18. https://shareblue.com/company/. ^

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