Dave Meltzer, CHRIS & NANCY, and Me (Part 1)

Dave Meltzer, publisher of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, has broken his sphinx-like silence on my book about the Benoit murder-suicide.

Meltzer did not choose to do so in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Though a contributor to his website, Joe Babinsack, recently reviewed CHRIS & NANCY, Meltzer himself has not reviewed the book in his weekly print edition. I have no idea whether he intends to write a review in the future.

Over the weekend, however, Meltzer did go on one of the discussion boards at his site to participate in a thread headed “Irv Muchnick on Big Dave.” The discussion was prompted by the posting by a subscriber of a three-minute clip of my interview a week ago Friday on the podcast Ringside Rap with Rich Tate and Mike Sempervive. The former had invited me on the show after positively reviewing CHRIS & NANCY at his site GeorgiaWrestlingHistory.com.

You can listen to the interview excerpt at http://muchnick.net/ringsiderapclip.mp3. (The other voice is Tate’s.)

You can’t access the full “Irv Muchnick on Big Dave” thread at the Wrestling Observer website unless you are a subscriber. But here is the full text of Meltzer’s post:

 

Irv had a story to write, and his story was how the wrestling media covered up for Vince McMahon.

Whether the truth jived with the story was immaterial.

He also liked to claim a falling out with me and him when he knew that wasn’t the case, given that long after our so-called falling out I was there helping him proof his book.

He was looking for me to respond and thus in his mind, help sales, so my decision was to ignore it even though there are people who have begged me to rip on him for his portrayal of me.

The only negative thing I wrote was when he was going crazy trying to post daily news updates and taunting Chavo Guerrero and Scott James to talk with him, and pretty much becoming a laughing stock, I told him he was killing his credibility by doing so and was very blunt in doing so. He felt it was a means of marketing the book and that criticism created another hook with the idea he and I had a falling out.


I’ve told Meltzer directly that I think his post is unfortunate. A fair reading of CHRIS & NANCY is not that it is a story of “how the wrestling media covered up for Vince McMahon.” You can read Chapter  11, “How the Media Massaged  It (Tabloid, Mainstream, and Fan Flavors)” and the “Notes on Sources” and decide for yourself.

“Whether the truth jived [sic] with the story was immaterial” is a cheap shot, given how much Meltzer knows about how much research went into the book – including my openly expressed criticisms of him both in our email exchanges and in the book. He has a 30,000-word weekly forum, so he has the capacity to devote a few hundred to his opinion of all the ways in which CHRIS & NANCY fell short.

I have not used the term “falling out” to describe our relationship

“Helping him proof the book” is weasel language – it implies that I enlisted Meltzer for help with copyediting. As he knows, I invited him to read the entire book in manuscript form and was grateful that he did. The purpose was fact-checking and, obviously at his own discretion, interpretation.

 

Irv Muchnick

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