The Portnoy School of Public Relations

I am an unabashed fan of Dave Portnoy. I've said as much in one of my first blogs on this silly little website.


I respect the empire he's built with Barstool Sports.


I respect the work he's done with the Barstool Fund, to help raise money for small businesses destroyed by lockdowns (they've raised nearly $40,000,000).


I respect that he's one of the few remaining people in media that unapologetically pushes the envelope and that he tries to remain true to what helped make him a fortune - making people laugh.


I also respect how Portnoy dispenses with journalists and people who make it their life goal to ruin his name and the business he built. Let's take his latest kerfuffle with N Magazine as an example.


Back in April, Portnoy, who vacations in Nantucket, Massachusetts, during the summer, tweeted out the cover of an upcoming issue of N Magazine (the N stands for Nantucket, if that wasn't obvious), for which he would be featured:

If you follow any of his social media accounts, you know how much Portnoy loves Nantucket and it seems like Portnoy is very much excited to be on the cover of this magazine. In fact, I'd wager that this issue of N Magazine (a magazine that NOBODY has ever heard of or cares about) will probably be their most successful and lucrative publication to date. Why? Because the issue features Portnoy and Portnoy enthusiastically blasted it out to his millions of fans.


How did N Magazine return the favor? Well, they apologized for putting Portnoy on the cover, after some people complained about jokes Portnoy had made years and years ago:

Now, for many people in Portnoy's position, the PR move here is to ignore or to apologize for "harm" he may have caused with old jokes and blah blah blah blah blah, please don't cancel me. Thankfully, that's not Dave Portnoy and that's not how Dave Portnoy deals with controversy.


Instead, Portnoy has gone on the offensive - as he typically does when these situations arise. In this instance, per quotes given to Pagesix.com, Portnoy's message to anyone offended by his piece in N Magazine is to "go fuck themselves" and that "“It’s unfortunate that the powers that be at N Magazine are spineless jellyfish who are held hostage by the whims of the vocal minority.”


This isn't the first time Portnoy has taken the fight to media wokescolds either, back in March, when Portnoy was asked about his role in harassment campaigns on Twitter, he told the Daily Dot: “I believe you are a fuck face. Next question.”


This is rude, sophomoric and likely somewhat performative by Portnoy, but . . . right now, in the current media environment, with the target that Portnoy has on his back . . . it's the correct tone and correct response.


Being conciliatory or being civil are foolish propositions when you're dealing with people who want to end you. To play by the old rules, to try and engage in discussion and explain that your joke, was just a joke, is a foolish proposition in 2021. Why? Because providing an explanation presumes that you believe that you're dealing with someone who wants to better understand the situation, has an interest in nuance, or has a goal other than your total annihilation.


Portnoy understands the new rules of the PR game and so should you.


Now, you likely don't have the money, status, or millions of loyal followers like a Dave Portnoy, so you might not want to go at them as directly as he does - but you don't have to engage with journalists and help them dig your own grave. Essentially, you should treat talking to a journalist the same way you should treating talking to police - don't, because anything you say, can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.


If you must, for some reason, speak to a journalist - calling them a fuck face isn't a terrible option.


Happy Wednesday. God Bless America.




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