Archive for May 25th, 2010

Hearst Picks Up WWE Exec Sexual Harassment Story

The Connecticut Post and other Hearst newspapers in Connecticut are reporting the story, first broken here on May 10, about the departure of World Wrestling Entertainment’s executive vice president and general counsel, Jared Bartie, following an allegation that he sexually harassed another company manager during WrestleMania week in Arizona in late March.

See “WWE denies exec fired over sexual harassment,” by business reporter Michael C. Juliano, ” http://www.ctpost.com/business/article/WWE-denies-exec-fired-over-sexual-harassment-499926.php.

The story mostly rehashes other rewrites that have appeared in a range of other publications, including the website of American Lawyer Media’s Corporate Counsel magazine. But credit Hearst with quoting me as asserting that “WWE has a long history and culture of sexual harassment,” including claims “in the past against WWE founder Vince McMahon.” (The article tactfully refrains from noting that Vince McMahon’s spouse and WWE’s other founder, Linda McMahon, is the Republican candidate for Connecticut’s open U.S. Senate seat.)

WWE spokesman Robert Zimmerman told Hearst’s Juliano that the company “neither responds to Muchnick nor comments on personnel matters.”

Irv Muchnick

Richard Blumenthal Campaign Clears Its Throat in First Linda McMahon Attack

According to RealClearPolitics.com, Mindy Myers, the campaign manager for Richard Blumenthal, today said:

“The people of Connecticut face a clear, stark choice between Dick Blumenthal, who will continue standing up for them against powerful interests on issues that matter, like their jobs and health care, and Linda McMahon’s self interest that’s gained her multi-million dollar profits peddling steroid-fueled violence to our kids, exploiting her workers, and obstructing investigations into possible crimes under her watch.”

The professional politico rhetoricians can break that one down. For my money, the first of the Big Three of anti-Linda talking points, “steroid-fueled violence,” which could just as easily be describing the NFL, has been pushed hard and not been shown to make much of a difference to potential McMahon voters.

Missing from the other two bullets is the word that best summarizes the funding source of the Linda McMahon campaign: death. Consciousness of the unacceptable cluster of lost lives in the pro wrestling industry is what will transform lines about independent-contractor abuse and big-business-enabled obstruction of justice from attack boilerplate to an understanding of what is truly decadent about World Wrestling Entertainment, a late-empire pop-culture phenomenon that now seeks out-and-out temporal power.

Irv Muchnick

Rob Simmons Quits Senate Race

As announced today.

The nuances — Simmons didn’t remove his name from the ballot for the August primary, etc. — are unimportant for my purposes.

Irv Muchnick


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