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Report: The Government Wanted to 'Place a Trusted Messenger' on Barstool and Joe Rogan to 'Promote Vaccination'

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A couple of years ago when we did an in-house documentary on the long and glorious history of Barstool Sports, being the second eldest statesman here besides only Dave Portnoy, I was asked when it first dawned on me that this distinguished institution had "made it," for lack of a better term. 

After mentioning the first of the really big, successful parties we threw back in the Boston-only days, it hit me that was not it. I changed my answer. Instead I said that the first time I truly grasped what I was a part of, what an influential part of the social and cultural fabric of America we had become, was May 2, 2011. That was the day Osama bin Laden was killed. And among the tens of thousands who gathered outside the White House to celebrate, were thousands chanting "Viva la Stool." As I pointed out, Seal Team Six deserves much of the credit. As does the operative that Jessica Chastain plays in Zero Dark Thirty. But the people had spoken. If they wanted Barstool to get some of that glory as well, I think I speak for all of us when I say we humbly accepted it. It's rewarding to know you played whatever part in history being made. 

Well I'm going to need to sit down with the camera crew and film an addendum. Because now that I realize this little Pirate Ship I scurried onto back in the mid-2000s was considered part of the federal government's response to the most significant public health crisis in a century? This is my new "made it" moment. 

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request of the fed's plan for promoting the Covid vaccine. And needless to say, they wanted us to play as big a role as we did that night in Abbottabad when Ol' Busy Whiskers took some US Navy-issued lead in the forehead. 

Source - Judicial Watch announced today that it received 249 pages of records from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailing the extensive media plans for a propaganda campaign to push the COVID-19 vaccine. …

The newly released records include a document titled “PEC [Public Education Campaign] Plan April 19 -May 31 [2021],” which includes the following media plans and action items: 

Earned Media …

Place a trusted messenger on the Joe Rogan Show and Barstool Sports to promote vaccination (work with outside expert to identify who will be most effective).

By way of full disclosure, other outlets were also mentioned in the plan. The major pro sports leagues. ESPN. Religious broadcasters. Tom Brady. But I think I can say without fear of contradiction that those were just minor players. And the real thrust of the campaign was Rogan, since he has the number one podcast in the world. 

And us, since we have the largest, most engaged, loyal, and physically attractive fanbase of any media company in existence. And when our lineup of talented, entertaining, hilarious, brilliant and sexually desirable content providers speak? They listen. And respond in a positive way. 

So this plan was essentially foolproof. One can just imagine how great it would've been. "The Dave Portnoy Show" taking a break from going scorched earth on Dave's critics to sit around and doing a highly engaging segment with a "trusted messenger" handpicked for them by an outside third party. The "Pardon My Take" guys doing an hour Dr. Fauci talking Washington Nationals baseball and vaccine efficacy. Kevin Clancy banging out a hilarious "One Minute Man" rant about how cool getting your second booster is, so all the kids will go running to the Minute Clinic, rolling up their sleeves as they go, because it's good for them and the community. That's the sort of ABC's Afterschool Special-style content that made this company the envy of the business world.

And believe me, I would've been proud to do my part. I'm just spitballing here, but off the top of my head, I could've seamlessly worked in some references no one would've noticed. "I love the fact the Patriots have Mac Jones taking shots down the field. But you know what shot I super duper love? …" 

The fact is, while I got my shots and the booster, I'm no expert and have no right whatsoever to give medical advice to anyone. So I don't. The idea that anyone would base their healthcare decisions based on what they hear from a bunch of unserious people who burp the alphabet into microphones and keyboards all day sounds insanity to me. Especially when you look around at the lot of us and see what kind of physical condition the average Stool employee is in. But hey, it was the HHS' idea, not mine. And they're the ones in charge of the health of a nation. So who am I to refuse if they'd asked? 

 But let's be clear about one thing: I have a moral objection to dispensing any such advice. Especially to someone naive enough to listen to me on something as important as putting a medicine into your bloodstream. That said, my morals are for sale. My soul can be bought. There's plenty of money in the HHS budget if they still want to make it worth my while to promote whatever their agenda is. Hell, I'll even do something as insipidly cringey as this dreck:

So if it's not too late now that the Freedom of Information cat is out of the bag, let's talk turkey, HHS. You know how to get hold of me. And let's discuss my price. In the words of the great Winston Zeddemore: