Archive for November 13th, 2009

Dave Meltzer’s Weak Defense of CHRIS & NANCY Review Blackout

Dave Meltzer, by far the most influential journalist in pro wrestling, continues to hide behind the pack mentality of his lowest-common-denominator readers.

He is defending, none too persuasively, his stubborn refusal to explain in any depth what he thinks of my book about the Chris Benoit murder-suicide. And he is doing so on a sophomoric discussion board on the premium version of his website, rather than in his widely read Wrestling Observer Newsletter. This is intellectually dishonest.

Yesterday, from Great Britain (where is covering the next UFC mixed-martial arts event for Yahoo Sports), Meltzer went on his board to issue his latest papal bull. “How many wrestling books have come out in the last five years? How many have I reviewed? Let me know the percentage,” he wrote.

As Meltzer knew, most of the replies were variations of “hear, hear!” – but these were also predictably crude and shallow. It was a pathetic bit of pandering from someone who knows better.

Moreover, Meltzer still didn’t win everyone over.

“I think Dave’s original reporting on the murders was excellent, some of his best work ever under the most trying of circumstances,” one poster said. “However, I wouldn’t go so far to say it was flawless or Dave uncovered everything there was to know about the tragedies. You can certainly disagree with some of his opinions. I for one thought he went way too easy on WWE for paying tribute to someone they knew was a murderer, even though he was gutsy enough to break that story.”

The poster, “kjharris,” added: “We also know Dave helped Irv by fact checking [CHRIS & NANCY]. Assuming Dave was diligent in doing this and Irv took Dave’s advice, which to be fair may be faulty assumptions, there shouldn’t be many factual errors in the book. So most disagreements will be based on Irv’s interpretation of the facts, which should be open to some debate.”

In conclusion, this person said, “It’s unusual though for a pretty important book release to get completely ignored like Chris & Nancy has been. Most noteworthy books at least get a paragraph in the appropriate section talking about how good the book is and any new information that is broken in the book at the time of their release.”

Obviously, Meltzer can review or not review whatever books he chooses. What is at issue is that he regards himself as a serious adult, and most of the time he acts like one. The preponderance of intelligent opinion is that he and his work would be well served by his going on the record about CHRIS & NANCY with more than a couple of throwaway lines on a discussion board.

As another poster pointed out, my book is about a few things more important than “who is going to be in the main event of the next Wrestlemania.”

Irv Muchnick

Irv’s Tweets

November 2009