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‘Anatomy of a modern-day media kill shot’: Watters defends Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy against failed hit piece

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Fox News host Jesse Watters took the media to task during his Saturday night show in defense of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who was recently targeted with salacious but false allegations in a hit piece from Business Insider.

Watters introduced the segment accusing the “mainstream media” of “losing more power” to influence the country, which in turn has “made them more dangerous” while adding that they “employ pockets of character assassins” whose objective is to destroy anyone who opposes the left’s worldview.

“Usually, outsiders are their targets, falsely framing them as traitors, racists, and even rapists with innuendo destroying brands and families with no remorse,” Watters continued, noting that Portnoy is one of the most recent targets.

Business Insider’s piece by writer Julia Black contained alleged accounts from several women Portnoy had sex with who claimed that the encounters were “humiliating” and “violent,” though Watters pointed out that the Barstool Sports founder isn’t married and the “hit piece” contained no references to any illegal behaviors.

“Portnoy, who’s not married, was just smeared as a sexual scoundrel and was forced to do damage control over a seemingly questionable and manufactured scandal,” Watters continued, adding that as the Barstool Sports figure “was asking for fair treatment,” Business Insider operatives were busy attempting to “peel away advertisers” from his hugely successful site.

“You’re looking at the anatomy of a modern-day media kill shot,” the Fox News host summarized before playing a clip of Portnoy defending himself after he was essentially “accused of rape” and saying that he was able to prove the allegations false “in three days.”

Watters noted that Portnoy was able to produce text messages and videos “blowing gaping holes” in the article’s narrative, adding that “no everyone” is able to do so, “which is why these kinds of episodes can be so scary.”

In bringing Portnoy in, Watters asked what he “learned this week about the media.”

Portnoy began by noting that he “already knew” that he is not popular with “a lot of people” but added that he did not “realize how bad it can get” with the media until he was viciously targeted by the Business Insider piece.

“I had the ability to fight back — I had the receipts,” he said, noting that he retained texts and other documentation that he, in the past, may have deleted without a second thought.

“I just happened to have them, so, if I didn’t have that, you know, it’s a he said, she said” situation, Portnoy noted. “If I didn’t, I’d be at the mercy of what people thought about me… It’s a scary, dangerous game.”

The sports website founder noted that after the Business Insider piece was published it was immediately retweeted by “the blue-check brigade,” which he calls his detractors on Twitter, who remarked that is what they “expected” of him, even though he has since “definitively” refuted all of the story’s allegations.

“None of them are retracted, none of them say anything, they just let you out there to die,” Portnoy continued. “They go and they hide. It’s disgusting.”

Portnoy went on to explain the genesis of the story, noting that Black contained him near the beginning of this year to do a “glowing piece,” but he declined. Months later, when the piece came out and contained all of the salacious allegations, he was stunned.

In addition, he said that Business Insider was in possession of a police report that contradicted the women’s allegations but Black did not include that information in the story.

Portnoy added that he has since reached out to Business Insider personnel and its CEO and offered to sit down in a recorded setting to discuss the story’s allegations, but he has not gotten any response “at all.”

Jon Dougherty

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