Dear Maine Women’s Magazine” readers and customers of Coffee Design RE: the earlier Northrup post by Mary Allen;
I appreciate the opportunity to address you and perhaps clear up some misconceptions. My name is Reade Brower and “Maine Women’s Magazine – MWM” was started by “Masthead Maine” and later transferred to our Rockland based newspaper group; I am the owner of both. I am speaking to you directly because the buck stops here. I respect Mary Allen’s decision to pull her ads and we have canceled her remaining contract per her request. The interview with Dr. Northrup that has caused so much disruption was written and printed before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you read the piece, it is a personal profile about her – there is no mention of her political views. MWM is a human interest magazine and does not go into deep dives into political views, as a general rule. Northrup was chosen because she is a prominent woman from Maine, having appeared on Oprah 15 times, a slew of other national shows, and her books have been translated into 30 languages, selling over 5 million copies. MWM does not endorse her political views, nor did we write about them, nor were we aware of them – her personal political views were not prominent on her website or on a casual google search. MWM did not expect the avalanche of hate, shaming, and bullying that would come from this, so our reaction has been slow and measured. In Mary Allen and Alan’s letter to you, the owners wrote: “her now public statements that COVID-19 is a hoax” was their main decision to pull out of MWM. Never has Northrup said it was a hoax; she believes government overreach is an issue. We asked for clarification from Northrup the other day, she wrote us; “They are incorrect. I believe that the Coronavirus is real. But in my opinion, the way it is being spun in the media is inaccurate.” She also wrote she is not against vaccines per se: “And I strongly believe that the CDC, WHO, and the FDA are overly influenced by Big Pharma and that they have an agenda that is not as transparent as it should be. And mandating vaccines for everyone is a dreadful overreach.” As I mentioned earlier, we do not endorse her political views any more than we would any other woman we write about; that’s not what we do. Our mission is to introduce readers to interesting women in Maine. Period. The amount of bully and shaming we received from this article frankly floored us. It was so vile on our Facebook page that Facebook took down the post from our page entirely; I have asked Facebook for a screen shot. One of the posts read to the effect our Publisher should be hanged for featuring Northrup in our magazine. We have heard from some readers/fans that many in the “hate Northrup” group are vicious, threatening to contact all of our advertisers telling them to cancel their ads with us, and organizing boycotts. Without going into further detail, let it suffice to say there are others who want MWM to fail. I’ve been through this several times in the past. As I did then, I will do again – stand up to the bullies and not be influenced by the shaming and intimidation. Intolerance in any form is not acceptable. Thank you Mary Allen for the opportunity to give you and your followers another side of the story. With over 900 likes, 500 comments and 160 plus shares Mary Allen’s post has gone viral and I hope those same people will comment and share again now that they have this new information to consider. P.S. I can tell from the passion of the customer comments that Coffee by Design is a Maine business that thrives on nurturing and integrity, I believe in that too. I also believe in science, but that is not the issue at hand. From the many supportive comments MWM received this weekend, the real issue here is one of freedom of speech. When we limit that, we gain nothing. When we encourage or accept limiting free speech, we are doomed. I believe that those beliefs are deep in the heart of the Maine spirit and it is the essence of what keeps America great. :LIP: Reade SEE THE ORIGINAL POST BELOW.
To our Coffee By Design customers and Maine Women Magazine readers, we have made the decision at this time to end our support of Maine Women Magazine. While normally a business’s advertising plans are not worthy of sharing publicly, in this instance we felt we needed to explain our decision.
The current issue of Maine Women Magazine features a cover story on Dr. Christiane Northrup. Coffee By Design is a strong supporter of the right to free speech, and we have ourselves been chastised for sharing unpopular sentiments over the years. However, the decision to promote Dr. Northrup in a fluff piece that does not address her broadly-known anti-vaccine stance, compounded by her now public statements that COVID-19 is a hoax, has put us in an extremely uncomfortable position. We know that the decision to interview her, and the interview and printing of the issue happened before COVID-19 was of national concern, but we are now in the midst of a pandemic, and there has been no attempt by the publication to address the profile’s poor timing, or to publicly state that they do not support, or condone, Dr. Northrup’s beliefs. We spoke with the editor and publisher of Maine Women Magazine today and did not hear a solution to this situation that made us feel we could continue to support the publication. Please know that we will remain an advocate for Maine women, and are also advocates for public health, free speech and a future unmarred by misinformation.
Mary Allen & Alan