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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Dave Portnoy pulls off brilliant tactic to stymie Washington Post hit piece

Dave Portnoy on the phone

Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy walks towards the pagoda before the start of Carb Day practice, Friday, May 28, 2021, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo Credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Dave Portnoy drew online attention Wednesday for the brilliant tactic he used to stymie a hit piece he was anticipating from The Washington Post.

Portnoy is hosting a “One Bite Pizza Festival” at Maimonides Park in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Saturday. The festival advertises that it will feature pizza from over 35 legendary pizzerias. The festival will also feature live music and entertainment.

Portnoy, who founded Barstool Sports and recently bought back full ownership of the company from Penn Entertainment, caught wind that The Washington Post was targeting festival sponsors, seemingly in an attempt to scare them out of participating.

His clash with The Washington Post came a day after NJ.com wrote an opinion piece questioning why pizzerias would do business with Portnoy. Portnoy responded to that article in a blog post.

An email from Washington Post reporter Emily Heil was sent to one prominent event sponsor, questioning why they were associating themselves with Portnoy.

“Hi, just following up on this. We are planning to write about the festival and how some of the sponsors and participants have drawn criticism by seeming to associate themselves with Dave Portnoy, who has a history of misogynistic comments and other problematic behavior,” Heil’s email to a sponsor said. “I wanted to make sure that [redcated] had a chance to respond to this, since the company is the most prominent of the “partners” for his festival.”

That email made its way to Portnoy, who recognized a hit piece from The Washington Post was imminent. He responded by going on the offensive.

Portnoy proactively reached out to the sender of the email, Heil, and recorded a phone conversation he had with her. Portnoy then shared video of that phone call via his X account on Wednesday.

During the call, Portnoy called out Heil for saying Portnoy had made “misogynistic comments” and displayed “other problematic behavior.” She initially denied having written an email of that nature until Portnoy read it to her. He called her out for seemingly having her opinion made up and for not treating him fairly. She defended herself by saying her opinion was not made up, but that she was using a scare tactic in order to get the company to respond to her email.

The end result is they agreed to speak the next morning. Portnoy later revealed that the reporter had canceled.

The bottom line is that when the article is released, at least some people will now know the exact process for how the Portnoy hit piece was made, which will allow them to evaluate the article more fairly.

You can watch the video below:

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