The reputation and market power of cheerleading monopolist Varsity Brands is falling apart under a deluge of sexual abuse scandals. The result is both ugly and empowering.
This machine kills fascists.
This substack saves lives.
I'm in the middle of my workday, so I'm coming back later to add a tale of 'The Value Of A Collar (i.e. arrest)'. It's a true story based on my time as a Anti-Crime cop in the Bronx in the 80's that I think is VERY pertinent here re DOJ criminal charges. I'm just adding my bit here as a teaser so you guys can see it later. (I think if you 'like' this post or comment on it, Substack will let you know when I put it up.
Now a note to the free readers:
This community (trolls included LOL) is the SMARTEST gang of 'usual idiots' on Substack. It'd be great to hear your input. Cough up the fifty if you can; I guarantee you'll be a smarter person in a year.
Thank you so much for the follow up to your previous article on Varsity, and your powerful argument that monopoly power promotes or protects immoral actions. I wonder if that might be a metaphor to apply to our current media and political partisanship.
I also liked the reflection regarding the hostile takeover of J. B. Lippincott, although I believe you mean Harper and Row, subsequently HarperCollins, as opposed to the magazine Harpers. As it happened, my husband worked for Little, Brown in that era of Time Inc. ownership, subsequently TimeWarner, and I worked for The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Addison-Wesley, who acquired HarperCollins College, and somewhere along the line was acquired by Pearson. Today textbook publishing amounts to an an oligarchy, I am told.
Awesome job Matt. I hope an example is set and Bain pays the price for enabling such an organization.
Another awesome article. BIG clearly has made and is making important impacts in the real world with every post.
Matt seems to be one of the only people writing about the problems caused by monopolies and they do cause a lot of them. The opportunities for exposing corruption are endless and yet he has almost no competition. Despite cornering the monopoly market he hasn’t raised prices probably because he’s a nice guy (except to companies like Varsity, Google and a thousand others). Pitch in with a subscription to prevent Matt from abusing his market power or worse shopping around for corporate sponsorship (good luck with that one). Keep him honest. Just joking about the monopoly thing, BIG is on the leading edge, an early innovator leading the field. It has no power over the competition except for the power of truth which is in short supply. The mainstream media doesn’t need Matt to dig a moat around it, they are digging their own hole.
‘’It turns out, what CNBC praised the firm for establishing - a moat against competition - might be illegal’’
CNBC is an expert in cheering useless wars - not the same thing as cheering harmless sport except they also frame it as entertainment. They are part of a media oligopoly however so no surprise they praised Varsity. When CNBC calls for censorship of others, it’s like a moat against the competition.
Seems like monopolies in different sectors all use the same playbook. Expose the secret playbook and they’ll lose every game.
The Varsity article is great, and has convinced me to become a paying subscriber.￼ The thought that occurred to me (and I’m no lawyer) is that you appear to have described a chain of actions that fill in all the blanks necessary for a criminal conspiracy charge. Bain and its predecessor created a monopoly in that wound up controlling the personal and professional lives of thousands of people. That control was used to maintain their monopoly. When the monopoly was threatened by possible public revelations of widespread criminal sexual behavior, the monopoly’s leverage coerced victims and witnesses not to go to the authorities. The coerced silence, in turn, perpetuated both the ongoing sex crimes and the ongoing violations of antitrust law. It would appear -- and I do believe -- that the conduct you describe goes beyond immorality, although that’s bad enough, to criminal conspiracy. Which is worse.￼ ￼We’ll see how the lawyers view it. Thanks for helping to uncover all this.
Congratulations, Matt, on this victory. I believe your research and writing is perhaps the most important work happening in America today.
if this helps and maybe your already list-it https://www.cruz.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sen-cruz-statement-on-democrats-withdrawing-journalism-bill-after-passage-of-his-free-speech-protection-amendment.
Me as to Media, Crying Wolf isn't free speech. Pass something, as to ARE YOU a News outlet as to license as NEWS or a Entertainer- Opinion piece. THEN, if license as one or the other, and "IF" you across a line. being IF one is license as "NEWS" and you can do a "Opinion only" if stated or aired as a opinion. NOT and you sell as Fact. There needs to be set cost-penalty.
Google and others, DATA protections STOP the long read and one after another changes to Policy as to your data and what you want. Other how GOV. pass to make it easier for THEIR business model Banks- corp - cut the red tape and paper work them , JUST to have it NOW pass to the Customer.
ATT I had over 200 pages of contract, All I wanted,, what going to be the cost? after a year. that now is over $30 a month then what I was told. OR I can pay $25 a month tell the end of contract IF I drop them. Thinking about it? Sorry about that, BUT, one gets 20 million customers, stick them with just $5 a month, that $100 million of free profit "a Month" . Bonuses Time to Go to CEO - board members right. It stealing.
issue to me is DATA, is what I fear here and to what or whom. last I heard as to Google lobbying here to DC, IS they need control to control hate speeches. To trust them. As to Cruz`s I think input
My Name is NoBody (1 vs 160)
Thank you for this, this is a fantastic article. And it's really helped me to understand the machinations of gender discrimination, sexual abuse, and monopoly power in an industry I'm involved in: poker.
Boy do I have stories for you: rampant collusion between consolidated/private equity-owned online site operators, casinos, and the monopoly of television rights in North America by the vicious vanity project of predatory student loan Kingpin Cary Katz in the form of PokerGo. "News" sites that are no more than affiliate sites for the operators/casinos who thus control all the narratives. And an industry that is still approximately 95% men who protect everyone from well-known professional players/ambassadors for operators (like Daniel Negreanu, who has been revealed by another top pro Shaun Deeb to have had Pokerstars settle at least one sexual abuse case against him while he was an ambassador for their site before being quietly dropped a short time later, and Phil Nagy, CEO of America's Cardroom who has been accused by mulitple women players/staff of sexual harassment).
There is zero accountability for any of these people, and open misgoyny/racism that would be career ending these days in virtually every other industry are normalized, with critics shunned and cut off from access to backing/funding, meaning few people ever express any criticisms at all. Unshockingly, most of the men still routinely express confusion why most women run screaming from the sport and gender equity numbers haven't shifted in decades of attempts (almost all designed by men who can't or don't want to understand the role of sexual abuse/harassment/discrimination in the sport) to attract women players.
I'm trying to figure out how to send you a message about this. There is no comment form when I click on the name of your blog. I will try to respond to one of your emails.