Business Insider dispatched a report Thursday with intentions of publicizing Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy’s unseen sex life which he explained on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” did not reveal anything newsworthy nor illegal.
Portnoy reacted to the hit piece with frustration, claiming the blog’s push for publication on the report that had been in the works for eight months was backed by sour intentions. According to Portnoy, Business Insider reporter Julia Black reached out to “every single person” attached to him for dirt.
“They found virtually nothing,” he said. “There’s one incidence… I’m basically accused of going to a local cookie shop with a different girl every few days. So that is the gist of it.”
The Barstool head claimed that a few examples of incidents in the report were plainly untrue. Portnoy described Business Insider’s approach as “smart for them” since the story never pegged him under any accusation.
“They just lead you to water and want you to drink with sensationalistic headlines,” he said. “If I read about myself not knowing me, I’d be like, ‘ooh, this is a bad guy.’ If you dig into it, there’s absolutely nothing there.”
Business Insider has also targeted Barstool’s advertisers on the matter, questioning their intent to support the media company. Portnoy said he’s offered to openly speak with the publication, yet they’ve refused.
“They won’t even discuss it,” he said. “They print and run. It’s disgusting and it’s character assassination. My lawyers have said just let it go, it’ll go away. I’m not going to let it go… I’ve never been attacked like this.”
Portnoy spilled that he finds it’s no coincidence the story was dropped on the same day Penn National Gaming earnings were released – the day before there was “wild shorting” on the stock. Penn owns a 36% equity stake in Barstool Sports.
The catch is, Portnoy explained, Insider CEO Henry Blodget has been convicted for SEC fraud and is barred from trading stocks indefinitely.
“He stole working people’s money,” he said. “That’s the CEO of the company that wrote this hit piece.”