Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer: Missing in Action

In the previous post I gently called on the Connecticut media to smoke out more of the Linda McMahon story.

Now, as always, my criticism turns to another “Who me?” target: wrestling fans and the newsletters that often pander more than they inform.

To his credit, James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch went into the archives and helped me republish the Torch’s contemporaneous coverage of the New York Post’s 1995 expose of Martin Bergman, husband of defense attorney Laura Brevetti. Bergman’s career-long portfolio of shady activities included dirty tricks before the Vince McMahon/TitanSports federal steroid trial, which resulted in acquittal.

The online archive of the biggest publication in the field, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, is being filled in gradually and does not yet include the 1995 issues.

I challenge Dave Meltzer, publisher of the Observer, to release, at a minimum, his own stories about the criminal investigation of possible witness-tampering at pro wrestling’s Trial of the Century.

Meltzer – who, I again emphasize, has forgotten more about all these matters than I’ll ever know – continues to play “hide the ball” in his reporting and analysis of the Linda McMahon campaign. He selectively clues in his readers only on those stories to which his reactions can be calculated to “put himself over,” as they say in wrestling.

Dave, an old friend and fellow journalist, has not responded to my last several polite email messages.

However, on April 10 he did find time to go onto the private discussion board of his subscribers and post a message ridiculing my exhortations to him to add more value to the public discussion of a U.S. Senate candidate whose only resume line reads “wealthy wrestling mogul.”

“I’ve never laughed so hard in my life,” Meltzer wrote. “Between my defense of Flair the night of Shawn’s speech and my defense of Linda last night, this has been so much fun.”

Meltzer did not explain what was so mirthful. Perhaps there was no need with this audience of his most sycophantic and sophomoric readers, who could be relied on to guffaw on cue, like Ed McMahon for Johnny Carson’s old Carnac the Magnificent routine.

His “defense of Flair the night of Shawn’s speech” was lumped with his “defense of Linda last night.” Pretty much sums up the priorities there.

Irv Muchnick

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