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Wednesday, November 22, 2023
MRC Defends Dave Portnoy, Gives His Sexual Abuse A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had quite the run of late in defending fringe right-wing exremists like Russell Brand and Roseanne Barr against credible accusations of horrible behavior because they supposedly do a good job of owning the libs and peddling right-wing narratives. Another one of those fringe haters is David Portnoy of the right-wing Barstool Sports. Tim Graham protrayed Portnoy as a poor, maligned victim in a Sept. 23 post:

One long-running joke aboutThe Washington Post (and The New York Times) is they are so relentlessly biased in their journalism that you can locate it anywhere in the paper, including the Food sections. The latest, very flagrant example is the blowout this week between the Post and Dave Portnoy, the wildly popular “El Presidente” of Barstool Sports.

On Wednesday, Portnoy took to Twitter with a video interview of Post feature writer Emily Heil, confronting her directly with emails that Heil sent requesting comment – and a cancel-culture moment – on a pizza festival organized by Portnoy.

Heil requested comment on Portnoy's trail of "misogynistic" comments, implying everyone who participated in his pizza-fest was slimed by association. Portnoy exposed Heil's manipulative method -- an attempt to blacken Portnoy and his event, and then when the hit piece was fully assembled, then you interview the victim.

On Friday, the Post published its story, headlined "Pizzerias navigate buzz, backlash around Dave Portnoy’s pizza festival." The "backlash" is what Heil and her co-author, food writer Tim Carman, were trying to create.

Graham offered no proof that Portnoy is "wildly popular" anywhere outside his right-wing bubble. It wasn't until the fifth paragraph that Graham got around to noting why Portnoy might be facing such criticism:

Heil and Carman dug up an unpublished rape joke from 2010, a joke that a female ESPN anchor's job was to "make men hard," and mockery of cop-hating QB Colin Kaepernick: “I thought he was an ISIS guy. … Throw a head wrap on this guy and he’s a terrorist.” Then came the allegations of bad sexual behavior:

In 2021, published a story in which three women alleged that sexual encounters with Portnoy “turned into frightening and humiliating experiences” and two additional women alleged that Portnoy “choked and filmed them without advance permission.”

If the rape joke was "unpublished," as Graham claims, how did the Post writers find out about it? Because it was published; as they write, the so-called joke appeared in "a 2010 blog post that has apparently since been deleted." Published then deleted is something completely different than "unpublished" -- something Graham apparently doesn't understand. Graham omitted that the Post article also cited other racist and sexist remarks by Portnoy, which undercuts his suggestion that Portnoy was caught in a old, rare instance of saying bad things.

After Graham quoted the article pointing out Portnoy's abusive behavior toward women, he ... said nothing. He just let it pass. If Portnoy wasn't a right-winger, you can be assured that Graham would use those charges to impugn him. Instead, he spent the rest of his post raging that the Post somehow hadn't treated Portnoy with respect and insisting that letting participants in the pizza fest know who Portnoy really is is "cancel culture" -- though without an explanation of why Portnoy's "culture" shouldn't be canceled. We've already noted how the MRC has given Portnoy's sleazy behavior a pass to the point that writer Tierin-Rose Mandelburg tried to wash her hands of the sexual abuse charges by declaring that her readers could "believe or not on your own time."

Graham concluded by gloating that "Not a single participant pulled out of the pizza festival." That's not an outcome he would have cheered if Portnoy was a liberal, proving once again that being a right-winger buys a lot of goodwill from the MRC against later exposure of bad behavior.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2023 2:57 PM EST

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