If Kmarko thought going on Barstool Radio with Kirk Minihane this morning and attempting the Slug Defense was a good idea, we can make it seven career mistakes for the venerable Editor-in-Chief of Barstool Sports. But before we get into that sorry display, a little back story...
Kirk Minihane joined Barstool almost one year ago and tapped me to produce for him. Kmarko from the beginning hated both of us. Why? I really don't know. Most likely politics -- and Kmarko's inability to act professional despite political disagreements. Kirk is a libertarian; I'm conservative. Neither of us fit that radical chic New York City liberal archetype that grants a public figure safe passage among the beautiful people. Add in Kirk's penchant for iconoclastic tirades, his love of conflict, and his relentless desire to question everything, and the stage is set for conflict with a guy like Kmarko.
Over the past year, Kmarko has routinely interfered with our ability to promote the Kirk Minihane Show, often times for petty (he now admits) reasons. Monday's events, viewed in this context, are part of a pattern of malicious acts he's taken to harm a Barstool podcast. Rather than denying us promotion, as he's done in the past, this time he was conspiring with a long-time enemy of Barstool in order to cast Kirk as a bigoted know-nothing and a howling racist. ICYMI, Kmarko collaborated with Zonker to post the most poorly written piece of shit smear that's ever appeared on this website, a piece Dave Portnoy called "insane" and "befuddling," adding that Kmarko's brain died.
Which brings us to this morning's interview on Sirius XM, where it was unclear whether Kmarko's brain had come back to life. Let's go to the transcript.
KIRK: My biggest issue is that we talked about how we thought about it. I was like, I just don't believe the guy. You know, I just I think you coordinated and you tried to fuck us over and it backfired. And that's life. And you're going to keep your job because Dave likes you and I respect that loyalty. I have no problem with that. But, you know, I think you tried to fuck us over, and such as life.
KMARKO: Yeah. No, I didn't try to fuck you over. And no, I don't think Dave likes me anymore, but. Yeah, no I just wanted to apologize to you publicly.
That's just not true. What is the conceivable scenario where Kirk Minihane benefits from Kmarko giving an outside agitator a platform to level baseless, rambling, politically charged accusations against him? Did Kmarko ever stop to consider what our advertisers might think about that -- especially in the current political climate?
KIRK: And again, did you read the Zonker story before you published it? Because it has shitload of errors. Forget that it makes no sense. It has a shitload of errors in it.
KMARKO: First of all, I mean, I've never cared about writing and spelling. There was just a mentally lazy and stupid mistake, which, you know, are two things that I fucking hate.
Look, I know Barstool isn't the fucking New York Times following the Associated Press style guide, but when the maniac sending you this pap can't properly place periods and commits two grammatical errors in the first sentence, perhaps that's an indication that the rest of the piece isn't very well thought out. But at least we can agree that an editor who doesn't care about spelling or grammar is lazy.
Kmarko's rationale, at least the stated rationale, for publishing the post comes down to ignorance. He didn't know what was going on with Kirk's show and thought he was playing into some humorous feud. That's a preposterous notion when you read the post and see it is as utterly devoid of humor as it is of sound reason.
KMARKO: It was lazy and stupid not to even question that background, that situation that I thought it was. I'd never even question it. I would say that's where you and I not being best friends. Came into play.
If you're following along, the EIC is saying he couldn't text, email, or call, me or Kirk over a 24-hour period to get some clarity because we're not all best friends. This is one of those times where you have to just sack up and act like a damn professional, like the EIC of a multimillion dollar sports and comedy website might. Later in the interview, which you should watch in its entirety, Kmarko admits to spiking our posts in the past over "dick measuring contests" and complains that he never asked to be Editor-in-Chief and never thought he was good at it. Nonetheless, when Kirk asked him if he'd resign, he boasted of his near perfect record of good decision making:
KMARKO: No, I don't think I'll [resign]. I've made, I think, probably six mistakes in eleven years… I don't think I'll resign.
I mean, c'mon. If you haven't already, it's time to join the movement and get some #FireKmarko merch.
As Kirk made clear, the poor judgment in evidence could have been -- and could still be -- catastrophic. Zonker could have accused Kirk of committing the most heinous of crimes. This time it was a half-assed attempt at character assassination concocted between two idiots, but next time it could be some ill-considered, unedited post that does lasting damage to the brand or to client relationships. Still, let's not pretend that #FireKmarko, despite the overwhelming populist movement it represents, will move Dave Portnoy's mind. Kmarko is like a tenured professor who knows he'll never be fired.
The fight we're now undertaking will be a hard one, so we'll just ask: How many of these #FireKmarko shirts do we need to sell before Portnoy gives the people what they want?