Archive for July 30th, 2010

Syllabus for Further Reading on Politico’s Story About Linda McMahon and the WWE Pedophile Scandal

Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman of are the first journalists to take aboveground the story of Linda McMahon’s  management of the pedophile scandal at her World Wrestling Entertainment (then called the World Wrestling Federation) in the early 1990s. See “Linda McMahon’s world of wrestling,”

Politico left out significant swaths of the known old narrative. Smith and Haberman also filled in some spaces with important original reporting. I’ll comment in more specifics as we go along.

First, I want to point everyone to Tom Cole’s 1999 interview with Wrestling Perspective, which can be downloaded on the journal’s website (

In addition, interested readers should review these posts at this blog:

Irv Muchnick

Newspaper Endorsement Scorecard: One More for Rob Simmons, One for Linda McMahon

Newspaper editorial endorsements seem to me a lot like book blurbs: ancient rituals whose translation into results is now more dubious than ever. Everyone does it because we haven’t come up with any better ideas, but you figure it can’t hurt.

If book blurbs meant anything, then my first book, Wrestling Babylon, would be a runaway bestseller instead of chugging along nicely in its second printing. After all, it was endorsed by the incomparable sportswriter Frank Deford (who lives in Connecticut, by the way).

But for those of you keeping score, two more Connecticut newspapers have published their endorsements in the Republican Senate primary. (The Hartford Courant had already broken the ice by putting its pick axe behind Rob Simmons, the former congressman and Senate frontrunner who hopes to be closing fast on the outside.)

The Register Citizen in Litchfield County endorsed Linda McMahon. I don’t agree that the editorial characterizes the candidate with complete accuracy, but I think its words make the case well: “Remove three irrelevant factors — Linda McMahon’s gender, her personal wealth, and the nature of the business that she built from scratch — and the sneering doubts that party insiders and the press raise about her would go away…. And let’s face it, World Wrestling Entertainment, whether we like it or watch it or not, is every bit a piece of modern Americana as NASCAR or American Idol.” See

The Day in New London likes Simmons. This is noteworthy, according to the impish Connecticut Capitol Report, because The Day “stiffed” Simmons in his losing 2006 bid for reelection to his House seat. See

Neither editorial mentions death in pro wrestling.

Irv Muchnick

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