Archive for October 29th, 2010

Wrestler and Bestselling Author Mick Foley Supports Linda McMahon, Without Supporting Her

It’s a good thing Mick Foley, a pro wrestler and an engaging personality who knows how to write, doesn’t do steroids. If he did, he’d surely have torn numerous mental muscles loose from their tendons while composing his blog post today, “More thoughts on Linda McMahon,” http://mickfoley.typepad.com/mickfoley/2010/10/at-first-glance-the-motive-for-this-particular-op-ed-might-seem-terribly-predictable-a-wwe-wrestler-explaining-his-support.html.

Foley  begins the essay by reiterating his “terribly predictable” support for McMahon for the U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut.

But Foley ends things on a more ambiguous note:

[T]here are some important issues on which Linda McMahon and I disagree. But if I were a Connecticut citizen, and I were faced with that choice, I would hope that I would be able to make it based on those important issues and with an honest desire to do what was best for the state, the country and the world – not on the condescending notion that involvement in a certain form of entertainment makes one unfit or undesirable for public office.

OK, we get it, Mick — people shouldn’t be condescending toward pro wrestling.

And I’m certainly not: I think McMahon should be held accountable for what happens in her industry, as I would expect from the CEO of the leading company in any industry. In her case, the record includes preventable occupational death, which she has done little to prevent; she seems still not to understand it or to accept responsibility for it.

So come again, what are those “important issues” that tip the scales in favor of Linda? Foley doesn’t say.

 

Irv Muchnick

EXCLUSIVE: Linda & Vince McMahon and Rudy Giuliani — And the McMahons’ Defense Lawyer’s ‘Fixer’ Husband — Go WAY Back Together

“Thank you Mayor Rudy Giuliani for joining me at SS&C Technologies in Windsor this afternoon,” Senate candidate Linda McMahon just tweeted.

Giuliani shares quite a history with Linda McMahon and her husband Vince, the impresarios of World Wrestling Entertainment. It is a story that remains untold during the campaign, except on this blog.

In 1994 Vince was acquitted at a federal trial charging him with conspiracy to distribute steroids. His lead defense counsel was Laura Brevetti (now a partner in WWE’s favorite outside law firm, K&L Gates).

Also in 1994, Brevetti married an odd character named Marty Bergman. Giuliani, then the mayor of New York City, officiated the ceremony.

Brother of the more celebrated investigative journalist Lowell Bergman (who was portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider, the movie about tobacco industry exposes), Marty Bergman was a notorious “fixer.” A year after the McMahon trial, both the New York Post and the Village Voice reported that Bergman had been behind smears of the McMahon prosecutors that were published prior to the trial in The New York Observer. In addition, Bergman met with a key prosecution witness, Vince’s former secretary Emily Feinberg, and, representing himself as a tabloid television show producer, suggested that she could be paid in six figures for her exclusive story.

For full background on the wonderful friendships of Giuliani, Bergman, and the McMahons, see:

* “Tampering Cloud Over Wrestling Big’s Trial,” by Jack Newfield and Phil Mushnick, New York Post, November 22, 1995 — full text viewable at http://muchnick.net/nyposttext.pdf

* “The Fixer: Journalist. Private Eye. Mole. Snitch. It’s All in a Day’s Work for Marty Bergman, the Zelig of New York’s Information Highway,”  by William Bastone, Village Voice, December 19, 1995 — full text viewable at http://muchnick.net/bergmanarticle.pdf

Irv Muchnick

Is Vince (a) Helping or (b) Hurting Linda? Correct Answer: (b)

The headline is my response to the interesting post by Brian Lockhart of Hearst, “Is Vince McMahon helping or hurting Linda’s candidacy?”, http://blog.ctnews.com/politicalcapitol/2010/10/28/is-vince-mcmahon-helping-or-hurting-lindas-candidacy/.

Irv Muchnick

Linda McMahon’s WWE and Connecticut Cops – Both Off Duty and On Duty

The death rattle of Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign in Connecticut is a series of publicity stunts by World Wrestling Entertainment, the company founded by Linda and her husband Vince. One of several surrounding controversies involves the staffing of off-duty cops from the Bridgeport police force on Election Day – Tuesday, November 2. That same night, WWE is shooting one of its television shows in the city.

For details, see blogger Lennie Grimaldi’s “Will McMahon Hire Off Duty City Cops Election Day?”, http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/will-mcmahon-hire-off-duty-city-cops-election-day/#more-14868.

The relationship between wrestling promotions and city police forces is a fascinating one in itself. The Bridgeport scenario reminds us that WWE’s close ties to another Connecticut police department, that of its home city of Stamford, may have played a role in the unsatisfying resolution of the story of the “Benoit Wikipedia Hacker” – the local college kid who in 2007 posted online, perhaps inadvertently, the news that star wrestler Chris Benoit’s wife was dead more than half a day before police in Georgia found the dead bodies of all three family members in a grisly double murder/suicide.

The full story was told earlier this year in a four-part series on this blog. Here are the links:

“Linda McMahon Chronicles: Strange Tale of the Stamford Police and the ‘Benoit Wikipedia Hacker’ (Part 1),” January 28, https://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/linda-mcmahon-chronicles-strange-tale-of-the-stamford-police-and-the-%E2%80%98benoit-wikipedia-hacker%E2%80%99-part-1/

“Linda McMahon Chronicles: Strange Tale of the Stamford Police and the ‘Benoit Wikipedia Hacker’ (Part 2),” January 29, https://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/linda-mcmahon-chronicles-strange-tale-of-the-stamford-police-and-the-%E2%80%98benoit-wikipedia-hacker%E2%80%99-part-2/

“Linda McMahon Chronicles: Strange Tale of the Stamford Police and the ‘Benoit Wikipedia Hacker’ (Part 3),” January 31, https://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/linda-mcmahon-chronicles-strange-tale-of-the-stamford-police-and-the-%E2%80%98benoit-wikipedia-hacker%E2%80%99-part-3/

“Linda McMahon Chronicles: Strange Tale of the Stamford Police and the ‘Benoit Wikipedia Hacker’ (Part 4),” February 23, https://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/linda-mcmahon-chronicles-strange-tale-of-the-stamford-police-and-the-%E2%80%98benoit-wikipedia-hacker%E2%80%99-part-4-conclusion/

 

Irv Muchnick


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