The Federalist: MeatEater, a popular hunter-focused entertainment company started by outdoorsman and writer Steven Rinella, was purchased by a rabidly anti-gun Democrat financier late last year in a move that has raised alarms among hunters and gun-rights activists. The Chernin Group, a California-based investment fund run by wealthy Democratic activist and Hollywood producer Peter Chernin, purchased a controlling stake in Rinella’s MeatEater in 2018.
The left-wing, anti-gun political activism of MeatEater’s largest investor, as well as political commentary and activity from some of its key partners and sponsors, complicates the company’s expansion plans given that such a large percentage of hunters in the United States — who comprise MeatEater’s core audience — staunchly support both gun rights and Republican political candidates. Chernin’s company announced the investment in MeatEater and its hiring of a new CEO for the company via a press release last October.
Chernin, who has donated nearly $500,000 to Democratic candidates and causes since 2015, has repeatedly attacked gun rights and Second Amendment activists over the last year. He retweeted comedian Michael Ian Black’s attack on the National Rifle Association as a “terrorist organization” and a separate Hollywood personality’s attempt to force FedEx and Visa to sever their ties with the NRA.
In addition to endorsing calls for a ban on so-called “trophy hunting,” Chernin also signed a petition backed by a Michael Bloomberg-funded gun control group demanding a federal ban on semi-automatic weapons.
MeatEater’s ties to left-wing causes and candidates don’t end with Chernin, however. Ben O’Brien, a former marketing manager for YETI Coolers who now serves as the editorial director for MeatEater, was behind YETI’s controversial elimination of discounts for NRA members, a move that blew up in the company’s face. Following YETI’s announcement, NRA members videotaped themselves filling the pricey coolers with explosives and blowing them up, shooting them to pieces, and crushing them in vises. O’Brien responded on his Instagram page by attacking the NRA, where he used to work as a web editor, characterizing the gun-rights organization as bullies. read more