JERRY McDEVITT SPINS WWE’S SPIN OF THE ESPN BRAIN INSTITUTE STORY
After apparently stewing over it for a month, Jerry McDevitt, World Wrestling Entertainment’s ever-quotable lawyer, this week decided to tell the world, through another one of his serial screeds to me, that he didn’t like this blog’s report on how WWE had played fast and loose with the truth in a statement to ESPN about the studies of the brains of dead wrestlers Chris Benoit and Andrew “Test” Martin.
(See “EXCLUSIVE: Linda McMahon’s WWE Medical Director Met With Chris Benoit Brain Experts in 2008,” December 14, http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/exclusive-linda-mcmahons-wwe-medical-director-met-with-chris-benoit-brain-experts-in-2008/, and “Senate Candidate Linda McMahon’s WWE Lies to ESPN (Part 2),” December 16, http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/senate-candidate-linda-mcmahon452%80%99s-wwe-lies-to-espn-part-2/.)
Evidently, McDevitt hadn’t wanted to bring artificial free publicity to “my” lie. However, after I emailed a separate question this week about WWE’s Washington lobbying, it must have reopened bad memories. He couldn’t stop himself.
“ I also understand,” McDevitt emailed me on January 20, “that you have accused WWE of lying to the media when it said it had requested information on the scientific work involved in the post-mortem exam of Chris Benoit’s brain, and had never received a response.”
He added, “I have recently corresponded” with Dr. Julian Bailes, the prominent West Virginia University neurosurgeon who is at the center of the controversy, to clear everything up.
I’ll say McDevitt corresponded “recently”: his letter to Dr. Bailes was dated January 19. You can view it at at http://muchnick.net/mcdevittbailes.pdf.
McDevitt attached his letter in a second email to me, in which he says, “Kindly retract your latest lie about WWE.”
Ah, sir, but it is you who is lying. The proof is in the second paragraph of the Bailes letter, which renders my name “Irving Muchnick.” Everyone knows that there is no “g” in Irvin Muchnick. Only a lazy, no-account lawyer would fail to have his paralegal go to my website and make sure my name was spelled right. Since when did you morph into Susan Bysiewicz?
Let me just say that I ordinarily don’t waste time giving spelling lessons to worthless mouthpieces. Usually I just ignore them, because they’re not worthy of even the cheap heat they seek. But in this case I’m so mad that I’m making an exception.
Moving right along to the substance of McDevitt’s letter, he tells Bailes that WWE retained Dr. Joseph Maroon as its medical director “several years ago.” As best I can determine, WWE hired Maroon around March 2008 – 22 months ago and, unquestionably, as a result of the public pressure after the Benoit murder-suicide. The lion’s share of the credit goes to Chris Nowinski’s Sports Legacy Institute and to Dr. Bennet Omalu, who at the time was affiliated with SLI.
Of course, if it turns out that the date of Maroon’s hire – which does not appear to have been announced in a company news release or website announcement – was actually, say, February 29, 2008, I’m sure McDevitt will get back to all of us to straighten out my latest “lie.”
On another subject, it’s funny how McDevitt makes such a big deal to Bailes out of whether WWE ever received a response to a 2007 letter to Nowinski. At the same time, McDevitt keeps a discreet silence on the fact that the company’s medical director as of “several years ago” met on October 1, 2008, with Dr. Omalu, as well as with Dr. Bailes himself.
The doctors don’t want to comment on any of this, for an excellent reason. They’re pushing behind the scenes for entities like WWE and the National Football League to start doing the right thing about brain trauma. I, on the other hand, have no designs on a future relationship with WWE or Jerry S. McDevitt, Esq.
Well, except for one. I’d love to go to a party with Jerry some day. There couldn’t be anyone anywhere more skilled at the game of Spin the Bottle.