Yesterday, Barstool Sports’ founder Dave Portnoy gave a masterclass on how to handle the corrupt corporate media by going on the “offense” and thwarting a Washington Post hit job. After learning about the looming negative Post article by reporter Emily Heil on his Brooklyn, New York One Bite Pizza Festival scheduled for this Saturday, Portnoy cold-called Heil and confronted her for using dishonest media tactics.
Portnoy posted his phone call exchange with Heil on X (formally known as Twitter), and the video has since garnered nearly 30 million views. Since then, Heil and her co-writer Tim Carman have cowered away, protecting their tweets and canceling their interview scheduled for this morning with Portnoy.
Portnoy knew Heil had been contacting advertisers of his pizza Festival, and he asked Heil on the call why she was asking his sponsors how they could support a “misogynistic racist.” Heil immediately denied doing so.
Portnoy didn’t let Heil get away with lying, reading to her out loud an email she sent to one of his advertisers, in which Heil stated that Portnoy “has a history of misogynistic comments and other problematic behavior.” Caught in a lie, Heil was left stuttering and later claimed that this was just one of her “standard” media tactics.
“This is kind of standard journalistic stuff,” said Heil, explaining that she “was hoping for a dialogue with [the advertisers]” and that “indicat[ing] that there might be something negative” in her report on the event was a “reporting tactic” used to “get [the advertisers] to engage.”
“That is a sad state of journalism,” Portnoy responded, pointing out her “tactic” is to lie, and her motive is to destroy his festival because she created a false characterization of him in order to scare off his sponsors. “It seemed like you were going to try to shame sponsors for being associated with me and put them in a box,” said Portnoy.
In a statement published after the phone call, Portnoy explained that what he’s “learned over the years with these types of hit pieces is that [you] can’t give an inch. So rather than just sit[ting] back and let[ing] them dictate the pace of the game I decided I’d speed them up and make them play by my rules.”
Portnoy is exactly right. In going on the offensive, he shamed and publicly humiliated Heil for her bad-faith journalism. Before Heil and Carman’s article even comes out, the public now knows exactly what to expect because Portnoy spectacularly discredited their journalistic integrity.
“Anybody who’s listened to this [and] think[s] you are going to give me a fair chance… is crazy,” Portnoy told Heil.
Amazingly, after Portnoy read Heil’s damning email, she still tried to claim that she was engaging in honest reporting. “I’m just asking people about, you know, how they came to participate and how they view it,” Heil said.
“No, but you could have just as easily said, ‘What’s your involvement? Are you proud to be involved with somebody who has done so much for the pizza and service industry?’ Right?” Portnoy asked, in reference to the millions of dollars he raised for small businesses during Covid.
Without answering his question, Heil attempted to end the conversation by inviting Portnoy to interview for the article the next day. Portnoy pointed out that if Heil “really wanted to get my perspective, it wouldn’t be me calling you. You would have already reached out to me in a fair manner.” Portnoy also said that all interviewing would do is “validate all the stuff you’re about to make up against me,” adding, “I wasn’t born yesterday.”
Eventually, however, Portnoy agreed to the interview, but after his video received millions of views and the public presumably began criticizing Heil and Carman, the pair canceled on Portnoy. “The @washingtonpost just [canceled] the 10am call,” Portnoy wrote on Twitter. “Shocker.”
The Washington Post, which claims to be a non-partisan publication, has a history of deceptive and slanted journalism. The Post attacks Christians and homeschoolers while weaponizing its stupidity to defend the Biden Administration at all costs. For example, without evidence, the publication worked to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 election, and even though its authenticity is indisputable today, the publication has doubled down on its false reporting. It also buried sexual assault allegations against President Joe Biden while incessantly pushing the unsubstantiated allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Portnoy’s cold call to Heil was a humbling moment for her. Rarely are members of the corporate media confronted for their journalistic malpractice. They are used to spinning narratives and telling lies that hurt people without facing any consequences.
Not this time. Portnoy beat Heil to the punch and, in doing so, took away her power and credibility.