How to Handle Linda McMahon’s Handlers

Joseph Cole of the Valley Independent Sentinel (a community newspaper in the lower Naugatuck Valley) has a valuable account of Linda McMahon’s appearance last night at the meeting of the Seymour Republican Town Committee.  See

The reporter describes how inquiries from the lone journalist covering the event (presumably Cole himself) were “shut down by a press wrangler.” He adds: “The well-funded campaign has tried, in general, to seal off McMahon from reporters. Rather than alert the press to public events, even after repeated requests, it often posts YouTube videos after the fact and distributes the link to the media instead.”

A bit later I want to get into some of the substance of unfriendly questions on which McMahon is hiding behind her handlers. They involve things like World Wrestling Entertainment’s acceptance of federal stimulus money in the interest of the company’s shareholders, without using the funds to forestall layoffs during recent rounds of corporate cost-cutting. This subject opens into a wider one on the tension – one might even say the antagonism – between businesswoman, the title McMahon has owned, and stateswoman, the one to which she aspires.

But while we all chew on that one, I want to ask a question. Is McMahon’s campaign event “press wrangler,” by any chance, the redoubtable Suzan Bibisi herself, wife of state Republican Party chief Chris Healy, who controversially is on the McMahon payroll to the tune of thousands of dollars a month?

I also want to make a suggestion to all my friends in Connecticut. So Linda is marketing herself with slickly edited YouTube videos of her campaign appearances? Well, how about capturing some real-time footage of what happens when her cameras are off? A professional TV news crew could do that. So could anyone with a cell phone video camera. Of course, that’s how the world got the most raw and grisly accounts of the execution of Saddam Hussein.

Irv Muchnick

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