For the last nine months, COVID-19 has been at the front and center of our lives. The coronavirus has impacted every single person and every single thing those people do in just about every single country in the world.
With a story that consequential, who can blame the media for covering every angle? Except, they really aren’t. When you turn on the news and hear reports on COVID-19, what are some words that come to mind describing how you feel after watching? Words like “concerned,” “depressed,” “demoralized,” or “sad” are likely to be some of the first out of your mouth. That should be no surprise. When it comes to the media, negativity, fear, and sex are what sells.
With the media’s focus largely on a negative narrative, you would be forgiven for not being familiar with the Barstool Fund, a fund, started by Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports with help from The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis. The fund was created to support and help small businesses survive after being saddled by government-mandated lockdowns for the better part of the last 10 months.
America is an exceptional country and when there is a crisis, we come together. If you really want to know the true spirit of America and how we really act – go to Barstool Sports and learn about what 155,000 individual contributors have done so far and the impact they’ve had.
That impact is in excess of $20 million in contributions and over 80 small businesses saved with no signs of slowing down. Donations have come in large and small amounts. They’ve come from average Joes, celebrities like Tom Brady and Guy Fieri, and even from other small businesses who themselves have suffered during shutdowns but just wanted to do their part to help others.
The Barstool Fund has happened because Dave and the staff at Barstool Sports said, “we need to help people.” Then, they had the vision and creativity to successfully build something so powerful. There is no litmus test on your religion, politics, or race to donate or receive their support. The Barstool Fund is simply an example of seeing a need and taking action to save people’s businesses and lives. As the government is dilly-dallying, Barstool is taking action.
So why is the mainstream media largely ignoring this story? Other than hits on Fox News and The Today Show, the Fund hasn’t been covered by mainstream media. Why aren’t more media outlets telling the story of what the Barstool Fund is doing? The answer is simple.
First, the media largely focuses on the negative, which makes sharing compassionate stories like the Barstool Fund bad for business. Any story that doesn’t help to further their narrative won’t get the coverage it deserves.
Second, it’s because of the source: Barstool Sports. Our mainstream media has spent years targeting Barstool with the false narrative that Barstool is sexist, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and every other unoriginal platitude the media uses for those who refuse to be politically correct. So, it makes sense that same media doesn’t want to eat crow now by giving Barstool Sports or Dave Portnoy positive coverage through recognition of the Barstool Fund. Too much time has been invested running with the narrative that Barstool Sports is the root of all evil with their disregard of the PC culture that infests our media. It’s a perfect storm of media pomposity.
Look no further than a recent San Francisco Chronicle write up on a 171-year-old local business that was saved by the Barstool Fund. The Chronicle couldn’t help themselves and had to turn what should have been a positive and uplifting article into an opportunity to badger the struggling small business owners with questions about fake “controversies” from Barstool’s past and noting racist accusations against the business themselves. It proves there are no depths to which the media won’t sink.
Of course, Barstool Sports has built its brand on finding success in the face of alienation from the mainstream media. So, they will continue to do now what they always do: thrive in spite of those who don’t believe in them or actively seek their downfall. But try, just for a second, to imagine the impact of the Barstool Fund with a supportive media presence that wanted to do its part by highlighting and bringing awareness to this noble cause.
As a society, it should give us pause that we have a mainstream media willing to selectively choose its own prideful narratives at the expense of promoting a cause that highlights the best of America.
Despite what many try to tell us, we are a kind nation that helps each other out. In tough times, we lift one another up. The Barstool Fund has seen hundreds of thousands donate what they could to help total strangers.
There is perhaps no better example in recent memory of the American spirit refusing to let the American Dream die for those who had the guts to pursue it. Positive stories of people doing good for others are still out there in this greater narrative of the downtrodden COVID-19 times in the United States. It would be a refreshing change if the media started doing its job and showing these stories to us – people who are desperately searching for positivity in today’s society.
If you want to donate to the Barstool Fund, click here.