Ethics Quote Of The Month: Dave Portnoy

“[I]t’s unfortunate that the powers that be at N Magazine are spineless jellyfish who are held hostage by the whims of the vocal minority. Meanwhile, I will continue to do my best to make Nantucket and America a better place while those who hate me can continue to throw cry parties for themselves about how I made a joke they didn’t like 20 years ago.”

–Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy mocking N Magazine, a publication focused on the life on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he lives, for its nauseating apology to readers who criticized its May cover story on him.

Bravo. Now if every grovel to every grievance mob was certain to attract a similar response, maybe we would see fewer grovels. The fact that someone who spawned a company called “Barstool Sports” in Boston, where call-in sports radio is so outrageous that it has driven athletes to tears and where sports discussions would be banned at Basecamp  because they so frequently lead to battle, has been known to express himself, well, like he’s on a barstool, is absurdly obvious. The complaints to the magazine were as risable as the annual letters from Sunday school teachers to Sports Illustrated condemning its swimsuit edition is “immoral.”

But no. Though the article celebrated Portnoy’s documented charity work raising money for bars, pubs and small businesses (you can imagine what 2020 was like for a bar in Nantucket), the invertebrate publisher and editor of the magazine placed a nauseating grovel on the magazine’s Facebook page, saying “a number of people in the community have taken issue with offensive remarks and actions [Portnoy] has made in the past. We never want to hurt, offend, or disappoint any of our readers with the stories we publish. Accordingly, we formally apologize for any pain caused to those who have objected to this May cover….We now recognize and acknowledge our oversight in how this story would be received. We appreciate feedback, positive or otherwise, because ultimately it helps make us a better publication going forward.”

The Manchurian Candidate or Winston Smith could not have said it better.

That’s right: any time anyone decides that anything offends them, they must be apologized to, and efforts to cancel productive societal actors based on real or alleged “offenses” in the past must always be treated as valid and sacred. This kind of craven virtue-signaling is far worse for society than anything David Portnoy might have said on the most politically incorrect day of his life.

Now, when public apologies like N’s result in tangible negative responses—I’d cancel a subscription to any publication run by aspiring totalitarians like that—maybe this antidemocratic trend can be eradicated, as it richly deserves to be.

Hell, I might subscribe to “N” just so I can cancel my subscription.

5 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Month: Dave Portnoy

  1. Why do I feel like not one single person who complained about the article was an actual reader or subscriber of this magazine? How many of the readers of a local, low-circulation niche publication like this would even know who Portnoy is before they read the article, much less have formed strong opinions about jokes he made years ago? It’s all so contrived and phony.

  2. Today there’s a man in Nantucket
    Who gave coin to rescue a market
    When a mag praised his name
    then played the backtracking game
    The man gave a shrug and said “chuck it”.

    • Dave abandoned these creeps for Pawtucket
      Took his charity pledge and unstuck it
      Now he jokes with immunity
      Belching slurs with impunity
      And if someone objects, he says “Fuck it!”

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