After Toronto website BlogTO was caught misrepresenting restaurants who invited the founder of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy, to their restaurants to try pizza, a flurry of backlash came from Barstool fans and netizens at large, prompting the name of the author to be removed from the original article.
Despite numerous restaurants saying they were misrepresented, the article remained unchanged.
Senior news editor for BlogTO, Lauren O'Neil appeared on the Dave Portnoy Show last week to defend her publication, and in a shocking display of honesty, admitted that the article was meant to click-bait readers with "hate clicks" or "rage clicks."
"Hate-clicks sell, rage-clicks sell...you know people want to read things about controversy," she explained.
"[If] 'controversial American pizza guy' is in the headline, that is going to get a lot more attention than 'really nice dude who does all of this nice stuff is coming to Toronto,' you know how it is," O'Neil continued.
Shocked at her honesty, Portnoy responded aghast, "that's a good answer, I hate that she gave that answer because that is true."
While clearly disagreeing with her intent, the podcaster obviously did not expect for the editor to outright admit the article was meant for rage clicks.
O'Neil also defended the methods used by her writer, citing "journalistic due diligence" as the reason for messaging restaurants with negative information about Portnoy, which he pointed out was the only information presented, omitting the approximately $40,000,000 raised for small businesses in the U.S.; this prompted the above acknowledgment by O'Neil.
When asked by co-host Chicago Eddie if he likes O'Neil after having heard her explanation, Portnoy said "I don't know if I like her...she still dragged my name."