Barstool Sports founder and small business star Dave Portnoy has faced criticism from the Washington Post for his first-of-its-kind “One Bite” pizza festival, but, despite this strategic provocation and severe weather conditions, the celebration was a success.
“It couldn’t have gone better. It’s our Woodstock moment with the rain. 5,000 people strong. Everyone had a great time. The vibes are actually probably higher because of the controversy surrounding it. So, yeah, it went great,” Portnoy said during his Sunday appearance on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
The “One Bite” pizza festival was a celebration planned by Portnoy himself to round up America’s greatest pizzerias, at least according to El Presidente’s scale.
The piece, published by Post reporters Tim Carman and Emily Heil Friday, described Portnoy as someone who “has been no stranger to controversy.” It mentioned his history of “sexist” and other insensitive comments, as well as allegations of sexual impropriety.
While on the phone with Portnoy, Heil admitted to sending “negative” emails to the sponsors of the “One Bite” pizza festival in attempts to get sponsors to “engage,” claiming that this is a common “reporting tactic” used by journalists.
“I think the fact that she was a food reporter and not necessarily in this world, she was just caught off guard. And then she did reveal, though, I don’t want to say the secret sauce, but the unfortunate truth that they aren’t after the truth. They’re just trying to create negative headlines and get clicks,” Portnoy proclaimed Sunday.
Portnoy is known for getting ahead of online controversy surrounding his past, choosing to employ the same strategy that has kept the Barstool base stronger than ever: “Don’t give up the ship.”
Portnoy also directed shade at food writer J. Kenji López-Alt, who was allegedly “obsessed” with trying to get people not to partake in the festival.
“I was talking to a lot of the pizza places and some of the people, like this guy Kenji López – who is just obsessed with trying to get people not to partake – he was emailing the pizza places literally the night before, getting their private information and shaming them. Being like, ‘it’s not too late to drop out.’ Your like, dead dad would be ashamed of you. It was pretty crazy,” he said.
“The thing about the hit piece is, what they try to do, whether it’s those or The Washington Post, if you can just get one sponsor to drop, one pizza place to drop, which none of them did…so I owe them a huge thank you. That becomes a story in itself.”
Neither The Washington Post nor the two reporters who wrote the piece about Portnoy immediately responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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FOX News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.