Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer: Missing in Action

In the previous post I gently called on the Connecticut media to smoke out more of the Linda McMahon story.

Now, as always, my criticism turns to another “Who me?” target: wrestling fans and the newsletters that often pander more than they inform.

To his credit, James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch went into the archives and helped me republish the Torch’s contemporaneous coverage of the New York Post’s 1995 expose of Martin Bergman, husband of defense attorney Laura Brevetti. Bergman’s career-long portfolio of shady activities included dirty tricks before the Vince McMahon/TitanSports federal steroid trial, which resulted in acquittal.

The online archive of the biggest publication in the field, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, is being filled in gradually and does not yet include the 1995 issues.

I challenge Dave Meltzer, publisher of the Observer, to release, at a minimum, his own stories about the criminal investigation of possible witness-tampering at pro wrestling’s Trial of the Century.

Meltzer – who, I again emphasize, has forgotten more about all these matters than I’ll ever know – continues to play “hide the ball” in his reporting and analysis of the Linda McMahon campaign. He selectively clues in his readers only on those stories to which his reactions can be calculated to “put himself over,” as they say in wrestling.

Dave, an old friend and fellow journalist, has not responded to my last several polite email messages.

However, on April 10 he did find time to go onto the private discussion board of his subscribers and post a message ridiculing my exhortations to him to add more value to the public discussion of a U.S. Senate candidate whose only resume line reads “wealthy wrestling mogul.”

“I’ve never laughed so hard in my life,” Meltzer wrote. “Between my defense of Flair the night of Shawn’s speech and my defense of Linda last night, this has been so much fun.”

Meltzer did not explain what was so mirthful. Perhaps there was no need with this audience of his most sycophantic and sophomoric readers, who could be relied on to guffaw on cue, like Ed McMahon for Johnny Carson’s old Carnac the Magnificent routine.

His “defense of Flair the night of Shawn’s speech” was lumped with his “defense of Linda last night.” Pretty much sums up the priorities there.

Irv Muchnick


5 Responses to “Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer: Missing in Action”

  1. 1 Chris Marullo April 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Come on Irv don’t you think you’re being a little hard on the guy? I don’t know much about how he operates his business but I imagine he does the work of several people and just might not have the time to dig out stories from 1995 at whims of others.

    He has his own obligations to his own newsletter and to his other ventures and this might just not be a priority for him at the moment, for whatever reason. As the sole writter/publisher/editor of the newsletter, it’s up to him to determine what needs to be covered and what will most likely interest his readers. The past several months have been a very hectic time for both pro wrestling and MMA with several major stories to cover.

    Unless there’s a major scoop from 1995 that we’re not aware of, how badly would the re-release of an already published article help your case. You’re doing a fine job of covering this campaign and the McMahon’s on your own. Can you shed more light on the articles and their revelations?

  2. 2 wrestlingbabylon April 16, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t have a case. Did you mean cause? I think this is about educating the public on the background of a political candidate. Dave seems to me to have a double standard on that principle; he likes to answer reporters’ questions, unless they’re too good. You’re right that he has every right to use his own discretion in the running of his business. Likewise, I can and do call attention to when he, as well as others, fall short of the mark. You say Meltzer doesn’t have time for the Linda McMahon campaign story? Give me a break. He finds the time for everything he wants to find the time for. It would take about two minutes to share with the world what he said at the time of the 1995 New York Post story on the McMahons’ lawyer’s “fixer” husband.

  3. 3 Chris Marullo April 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Fair enough. To play devil’s advocate for a moment, do you think it’s possible that Meltzer’s lack of coverage of the campaign may have something to do with the fact that McMahon doesn’t stand a chance? Even if she wins the primary I imagine we’ll see you as a guest host on RAW before we see a McMahon in Washington. Hopefully….

    Perhaps Meltzer sees this as another one of their many attempts to “legitimize” themselves that will ultimately suffer the same fate as the WBF and XFL.

  4. 4 wrestlingbabylon April 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    All of what you say may be true, but journalism is still journalism, not prophecy.

  5. 5 Keith Harris April 17, 2010 at 5:18 am

    To back up Irv’s point: who ever thought that Jesse Ventura on a third party ticket would become Governor of Minnesota in 1998? Linda McMahon is starting from a much stronger position than Jesse did. If Jesse could pull it off, then Linda could easily do so too.

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