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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Does This Look Like the Face of a Child Pornographer?

David Portnoy, the owner and creator of Barstool Sports, has been facing a media firestorm because of a controversial blog post published on his site Thursday evening. The post was titled “Check out the Howitzer on Brady’s Kid,” and it shows a close-up picture of Tom Brady’s son in profile. Portnoy then presents some commentary on the naked two-year-old child’s large member and uses it as a way to compliment Tom Brady on his latest world conquest.

The post’s title and commentary was pretty hilarious, but there is little doubt the picture crosses privacy lines often toed by Barstool Sports. That’s the thing though — that’s exactly what Portnoy and Barstool does. They’re lewd, graphic, and … (gasp) funny! If people didn’t like the smut they throw up, the site wouldn’t get the millions of pageviews it does every month.

However, just because the site throws up the rear end of a famous woman and tells you to “Guess that ass,” doesn’t mean it’s proper decency to show a picture of a two-year-old child and comment on the size of his penis. It’s plain for anyone with a brain to recognize that. I’m sure Portnoy deep down recognizes it; after all, he freely admitted the “El Presidente” alter ego is an uncouth and chauvinistic character he developed for the site.

Here’s the thing: while it may have been in extremely poor taste to post such a picture (though the idea behind it was hilarious), and it may have been an item that crossed privacy lines, the people bringing out the lynch mobs calling for Portnoy’s head are at least on the same level as him, if not worse.

Commenters on the site have talked about the post being child pornography. Callers into Boston sports radio station WEEI reportedly were calling for Portnoy’s life. That’s just absurd. Did he cross privacy lines by posting a picture a paparazzi photographer had already taken of the son of Boston’s most famous couple? Of course. Is it enough reason to call for his life? Is it reasonable to call it child pornography? Give me a break.

The guy was cracking jokes — hilarious ones that were in poor taste. It was definitely wrong, but the people who are out to get him are the ones who are so jealous of his success they’ve been waiting for an opportunity to bring him down.

Portnoy often walks the line of decency and went overboard this time. But he is not a child pornographer as the extremists suggest, nor was his post any sort of child pornography. Give it a rest, people. And stop manufacturing your outrage.



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