Rethinking Barstool?

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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That is categorically untrue and is a giant disservice to everything the CEO has done over the last couple of years to grow the company and the brand.

Regardless, I am enjoying that the two month reset button has been hit on this thread so the same circular conversations can be had.
I honestly believe that so long as Portnoy is with that company he's the force behind what they do. It's his company. And too many of his fans emulate his shitbag, gamergate behavior.

I mean, it's not even arguable at this point that Portnoy is a shitbag. The company deserves zero benefit of the doubt about getting better until he's gone, which will be never.
 

OurF'ingCity

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So he doesn't drive everything about the company.
Who gives a shit whether it's Portnoy, Nardini, or anyone else? Nardini has been quite explicit from Day 1 that she didn't want to change Barstool's culture. According to this Business Insider article, she was specifically hired because she was the only candidate who didn't raise their misogynistic attitude as an issue that needed to be addressed.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Who gives a shit whether it's Portnoy, Nardini, or anyone else? Nardini has been quite explicit from Day 1 that she didn't want to change Barstool's culture. According to this Business Insider article, she was specifically hired because she was the only candidate who didn't raise their misogynistic attitude as an issue that needed to be addressed.
I should also add that they've branched out in their harassment; when they used a recording or video of something Fenway organist Josh Kantor had done, and Kantor expressed the mildest of objections on Twitter about it, the Stoolies brigaded him too, led by Carrabis. Which was also fucking gross.
 

kenneycb

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Who gives a shit whether it's Portnoy, Nardini, or anyone else? Nardini has been quite explicit from Day 1 that she didn't want to change Barstool's culture. According to this Business Insider article, she was specifically hired because she was the only candidate who didn't raise their misogynistic attitude as an issue that needed to be addressed.
And because she was extremely qualified to lead a 21st century media company, which she has backed up. Don't forget about the fact that she's, you know, good at what she did and does. But I enjoy the insinuation that a woman at Barstool is more or less a figurehead (hyperbole, I know) instead of driving the strategic direction of the company.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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And because she was extremely qualified to lead a 21st century media company, which she has backed up. Don't forget about the fact that she's, you know, good at what she did and does. But I enjoy the insinuation that a woman at Barstool is more or less a figurehead (hyperbole, I know) instead of driving the strategic direction of the company.
I specifically said Portnoy is the creative side of the company. I assume the CEO is not in on meetings to determine which Deadspin personality they're going to harass next.
 

kenneycb

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Sorry to be pedantic again but you specifically said he drive EVERYTHING about the company. To claim she has nothing to do with the expansion in what they cover/focus on is, again, bullshit.
 

Seven Costanza

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My wife is a pretty big sports fan, comparatively speaking. Last night as the Bruins game was starting she was perusing twitter and mentioned that she thought it was a massive bummer about Barstool sponsoring the towels. She wasn't particularly pleased about the situation, and I don't blame her. Just my personal anecdote.
 

OurF'ingCity

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And because she was extremely qualified to lead a 21st century media company, which she has backed up. Don't forget about the fact that she's, you know, good at what she did and does. But I enjoy the insinuation that a woman at Barstool is more or less a figurehead (hyperbole, I know) instead of driving the strategic direction of the company.
I didn't insinuate that, and I don't disagree that she's good at what she does. My point is that "what she does" is, explicitly, to seek a wider base of consumers/others ways of monetizing the same misogynist trash that Barstool has continually put out. The fact that she might be making decisions instead of Portnoy (to the extent that's true) is irrelevant because they both are all-in on the "Barstool culture."
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Sorry to be pedantic again but you specifically said he drive EVERYTHING about the company. To claim she has nothing to do with the expansion in what they cover/focus on is, again, bullshit.
Yes you're right you're being pedantic.

As long as Portnoy is there, Barstool is a garbage company. And I'm bitterly disappointed that some chucklehead with the Bruins thought it was a good idea of have them on the rally towels.
 

kenneycb

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I didn't insinuate that, and I don't disagree that she's good at what she does. My point is that "what she does" is, explicitly, to seek a wider base of consumers/others ways of monetizing the same misogynist trash that Barstool has continually put out. The fact that she might be making decisions instead of Portnoy (to the extent that's true) is irrelevant because they both are all-in on the "Barstool culture."
The second biggest podcast on Barstool behind PMT has a 70% female audience. She's expanding to the female audience since there are only so many middle-aged white bros to go after, which is tricky to do with the strategy you outlined above. And one I'm assuming that was not driven by Portnoy, despite his ability to drive everything at the company.
 

Myt1

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That is categorically untrue and is a giant disservice to everything the CEO has done over the last couple of years to grow the company and the brand.

Regardless, I am enjoying that the two month reset button has been hit on this thread so the same circular conversations can be had.
Has having her as a CEO stopped the company’s misogyny? If so, was it by virtue of the fact that she’s a woman?

Or is your point that SJH is wrong because she does stuff?

Just trying to figure out the breadth of your point.
 

kenneycb

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The second piece. Claiming Portnoy is the driving force behind everything at Barstool is a false statement that keeps getting trotted out as fact in this thread. Even if I have to be pedantic about it.

I in no way claim the first point, though it's Barstool, so many people will automatically assume I am doing so.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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Doesn't Portnoy brag about having editorial control? If so, who gives a shit if Nardini was able to better monetize podcast advertising? He's still a jerk at the helm.
 

Myt1

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The second piece. Claiming Portnoy is the driving force behind everything at Barstool is a false statement that keeps getting trotted out as fact in this thread. Even if I have to be pedantic about it.

I in no way claim the first point, though it's Barstool, so many people will automatically assume I am doing so.
Thanks. My ignorance is nearly complete.

When it comes to the culture and editorial activity and follower interaction, do you think that he is the primary moving force? Has she tempered him in some way? Or is she concerned more with running the business?

I don’t mean to imply that those are the only possible alternatives. They’re samples, I guess.
 

Myt1

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Imagine being this offended about a hockey game rally towel sponsor. Jeez.
Imagine being concerned with what people who aren’t you are offended about that you didn’t do and that has nothing to do with you.

Jeez.
 

kenneycb

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Thanks. My ignorance is nearly complete.

When it comes to the culture and editorial activity and follower interaction, do you think that he is the primary moving force? Has she tempered him in some way? Or is she concerned more with running the business?

I don’t mean to imply that those are the only possible alternatives. They’re samples, I guess.
I'll be honest, I really have no idea and don't consume them outside of PMT and Chiclets, so I don't follow the every moves of the company. That said, I find them to be a fascinating company and the way they have gone about building themselves up from what they were to what they are has been truly impressive from a business model perspective. I imagine she's doing the classic strategic direction stuff (e.g., focus on going after the female market, heavy emphasis on podcasts, getting into video, etc.) and then there's some collaboration with Portnoy as to how that is done, then he likely runs with it. But that's just a wild ass guess.
 

JCizzle

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I specifically said Portnoy is the creative side of the company. I assume the CEO is not in on meetings to determine which Deadspin personality they're going to harass next.
Deadspin chooses to go after successful women in non-Barstool media on their own, like Rachel Nichols, for merely being friendly with a couple of Barstool employees. While it's certainly not to the same level as the outright harassment from Portnoy, it's kinda gross all the same. Rachel is awesome and they basically implied that she's only successful because she bends her morals...yuck.

I can certainly see the arguments why female Barstool employees would lie and stick up for the company they work for against their true beliefs. I really don't see it for someone that works at ESPN.
 

NomarRS05

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Imagine being this dismissive of a woman's opinion on a site that is severely lacking in women's perspectives.
She literally told a poster: “I am ashamed at your toxic lack of self awareness as a human and as a male”

She gets a free pass to hurl personal insults now because she is female? I’m all for everyone having a voice but this seemed like an excessive overreaction given the context of what is being discussed here.
 

Marciano490

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She literally told a poster: “I am ashamed at your toxic lack of self awareness as a human and as a male”

She gets a free pass to hurl personal insults now because she is female? I’m all for everyone having a voice but this seemed like an excessive overreaction given the context of what is being discussed here.
She literally did not. Wrong poster.
 

NomarRS05

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Got it, sorry for confusing the two. The post I originally quoted still underscores the point: this is kind of a mole hill, why make it a mountain?
 

JCizzle

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Got it, sorry for confusing the two. The post I originally quoted still underscores the point: this is kind of a mole hill, why make it a mountain?
Kind of the eye of the beholder yeah? I can think of a number of organizations that could sponsor these towels that would piss me off, but probably not bother someone else.
 

NickEsasky

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I guess it depends on perspective. If you're part of a group that is often belittled to the point you feel like an insect, that molehill might seem pretty big.
 
Oct 17, 2018
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[snip]
Is every incident necessary of the outrage it generates, of course not. But saying that it doesn’t exist is asinine.
This is the take I most agree with. I think it's absolutely valid for anyone to have a negative view of the company, since as others have said, Portnoy is a jerk, he's said some truly terrible stuff, and at the end of the day it's still his company and always will be.

With that said, I do think they've come a long way with cleaning up their act in the past ~5 years. Almost all of the abhorrent quotes and examples cited in the Awful Announcing and Deadspin articles were from 2013 and earlier (and nearly all of that was from Portnoy himself). The company has grown tremendously since that time, going from ~10-15 employees to probably hundreds now, all with varied personalities, backgrounds, interests, etc. I love Pardon My Take, and sometimes consume other Barstool content like Pizza Reviews, etc. and hardly ever find any of it to contain any toxic masculinity or similar crap.

I also agree that Deadspin in particular has a vested interest in keeping the outrage going and come off as pretty hypocritical in their hit pieces, e.g. when they doxxed PFTCommenter last year.
 

Spelunker

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We really are doing a grave disservice to the actual victims of doxxing when we use the term to describe unmasking a public figure that uses a psuedonym.

Using it for PFT- or, say, Joe Klein- is an All Lives Matter approach. Publius will be ok.
 

Gunfighter 09

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I think Barstool has gotten too big and drifted too far from its pre Nardini past for blanket labels. If you can’t name any of the female content generators on the site and include their contributions in your evaluation of the site, you should probably give them a listen or read.

Two things can be true simultaneously. Portnoy produces garbage and sucks as a human, at least publicly. Nardini has given some very talented women an avenue to be very successful and produce some excellent content that frankly isn’t available elsewhere at the same level of quality.


That doesn’t mean you have to like the Bruins getting in a sponsorship relationship with the site, but I think they’ve moved beyond an easy blanket label.
 
Oct 17, 2018
15
We really are doing a grave disservice to the actual victims of doxxing when we use the term to describe unmasking a public figure that uses a psuedonym.

Using it for PFT- or, say, Joe Klein- is an All Lives Matter approach. Publius will be ok.
This isn't really fair. First of all, I personally want nothing to do with "All Lives Matter", it's obviously a shitty narrative.

PFT purposefully chose to remain as anonymous as possible to keep his public persona separate from his private life, and used a pseudonym and sunglasses to do so. Sure, if you googled hard enough you could find his real name, but most didn't know it, until Deadspin blasted it out for no real reason. (And to PFT's credit, instead of going Full Portnoy/asshole on them, he posted this instead.)

I'm not saying it's the most damaging or vile incidence of doxxing- far from it- but it was still mean-spirited and unnecessary.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Even though Gunfighter09 is spot on that a blanket label shouldn't apply to all of Barstool's content, they built their brand on and continue to cater to an audience who can charitably be referred to as being regressive. Furthermore, a decent chunk of their content-consumers feel empowered to go after anyone who is deemed an enemy of the brand.

If you can't see why that is troubling, imagine a situation where you experience objectively bad service at a restaurant and leave a bad Yelp review only to have an army of people threaten, dox and say horrible stuff because you dared express a negative opinion. So we are clear here, the Barstool trolls are worse because they are attacking people essentially for who they are and not because they are simply relating an experience. Its far worse than my example but I wanted to illustrate how crazy it is that people are that zealous over what is essentially a lifestyle brand.

I have to admit that I listen to PMT pretty regularly. I can rationalize it because I think their content is fairly tame and from my practical experience, I have found almost no brands in the universe that are completely free of assholes (or worse). That said, I completely understand if others cannot compartmentalize certain types of content nor can I blame them if they have a problem with my stance.
 

mcpickl

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With the exception of Pardon my Take,
Fore Play and some Spittin Chiclets I have limited exposure to Barstool. Can someone explain to me with specific examples why barstool sponsoring a rally towel for the Bruins is a big deal? I have not been exposed to the toxic masculinity and am genuinely curious to what they have done to create this narrative.
For me, the last time I visited that site was when Portnoy was trying to sell that Erin Andrews was involved with leaking the video of her in the hotel room. He tried forever to claim it was a publicity stunt.

He didn't even back down after she won her case in court against her stalker.

The blog he wrote, which Barstool has wisely since scrubbed from the internet, is referenced here

https://thinkprogress.org/the-clueless-reaction-to-erin-andrews-55-million-legal-victory-9f4888efe12/

Unfortunately for Barstool they forgot to scrub the video of him defending his asinine take

https://www.barstoolsports.com/undefined/barstool-rundown-march-8

Fuck them.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Also PFT Commentator’s real name was more or less an open secret in the media and a quick google would turn it up before he was publicly outed. He has said he was anonymous because he thought the shtick played better as such.
 

Myt1

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I think Barstool has gotten too big and drifted too far from its pre Nardini past for blanket labels. If you can’t name any of the female content generators on the site and include their contributions in your evaluation of the site, you should probably give them a listen or read.

Two things can be true simultaneously. Portnoy produces garbage and sucks as a human, at least publicly. Nardini has given some very talented women an avenue to be very successful and produce some excellent content that frankly isn’t available elsewhere at the same level of quality.

That doesn’t mean you have to like the Bruins getting in a sponsorship relationship with the site, but I think they’ve moved beyond an easy blanket label.
The post at issue claimed that Nardini’s presence and another woman’s opinion ipso facto meant that the site wasn’t sexist. And used that as the basis to tell a female poster how should should feel about the issue.

The “easy label” isn’t the problem here.
 

Plantiers Wart

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Not to go all “both sides!” But serious question as i’m not a Barstool reader or viewer or listener or whatever. The proof I saw in those articles were 8 and 6 year old tweets. It was not so long ago that SOSH engaged in some questionable posts, behaviors, and acts. Crater Chris, polls on hottest olympians, etc. but after much navel gazing, that’s all gone.

Those who are still members here are complaining about some crude company sponsoring a towel seems a bit hypocritical.

Of course, if their boorish crap is ongoing, forget I said anything.
 

mauf

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And because she was extremely qualified to lead a 21st century media company, which she has backed up. Don't forget about the fact that she's, you know, good at what she did and does. But I enjoy the insinuation that a woman at Barstool is more or less a figurehead (hyperbole, I know) instead of driving the strategic direction of the company.
Does the CEO of a media company typically drive the organization’s editorial direction?

I don’t read Barstool. I understand they almost certainly don’t maintain the strict separation between business and editorial functions that a newspaper does. But I would still expect that their CEO would focus on revenue generation, operations, and so forth, and that the people responsible for content generation would enjoy a degree of autonomy that belies any official reporting relationship. But I don’t work in the industry, so I’d be happy to be set straight.
 

Koji’s Slider

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Does the CEO of a media company typically drive the organization’s editorial direction?

I don’t read Barstool. I understand they almost certainly don’t maintain the strict separation between business and editorial functions that a newspaper does. But I would still expect that their CEO would focus on revenue generation, operations, and so forth, and that the people responsible for content generation would enjoy a degree of autonomy that belies any official reporting relationship. But I don’t work in the industry, so I’d be happy to be set straight.
Dave heads content, Kmarko is ostensibly E-I-C, and I would assume Big Cat, has a big say. The day Dave and Big Cat walk out the door, is the day the clock starts ticking on the demise of Barstool.
 

joe dokes

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You could see that coming a mile away. Have to think he will do a bunch of stuff in Boston with Jerry Thornton.
At least God will only need one asteroid.
But seriously.....I don't think minihanes skin is thick enough for this gig.
 

joe dokes

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I have to assume Minihane is going to be simulcast out of Boston, I don’t think he’s moving to NYC.
I didn't mean in regard to where he lives. Just the criticism that comes with the territory. Portnoy obviously doesn't give a shit as long as he makes money. I don't think minihane is wired that way.
Having mouthbreathers exact virtual revenge on critics on his behalf wont be good enough for him.
He wanted to be the guy outside Erin Andrews's door. Now he's going to get his chance.