Friday, March 12, 2010

Linda McMahon Coverage Getting Tougher, But Media Still Need to Flip Their Priorities

A story in today’s Manchester Journal Inquirer continues the recent trend of more substantive coverage of Linda McMahon’s U.S. Senate bid. The beginning of the piece by Don Michak, “McMahon Vows To Spend More, Force Primary If She Doesn’t Win Party’s Nomination,” is at, but the full text is available only to paid subscribers.

The article zeroes in on two areas of controversy for McMahon: the TV programming content of World Wrestling Entertainment, and the lax drug-testing and other health and safety standards of the pro wrestling industry, which her billion-dollar publicly traded company largely controls.

When Connecticut journalists start consistently reversing the order of priority of the questions in those two areas, my outsider’s mission will have been accomplished.

To the Journal Inquirer reporter, McMahon “dismissed what has been perhaps the complaint most frequently made against her by her opponent — that as the top executive at WWE, she authorized and personally profited from its questionable programming.” I agree that this is “perhaps the complaint most frequently made” — by the media as well as by Republican opponent Rob Simmons — but I hope that won’t always be the case.

McMahon also acknowledged that “some WWE wrestlers had used steroids, but insisted the company’s anti-drug policy is effective. Steroids can provide a competitive advantage to athletes, she said, but no such advantage is required in WWE programming in which characterization, costuming, and the ’soap opera’ script is paramount.”

Let’s start putting some more Truth Squad resources into that whopper, folks. People are dying, and it isn’t funny.

Irv Muchnick

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